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Fiesta security preparations in place

Along the lines of a major sporting event or a political convention, Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara, has several venues, thousands of guests, and the need for a small army of police.

Safety is the number one concern at all of the entertainment sites.

“Particularly in the four, five, six and 700 block of State Street,there’s going to be a lot of police officers present.” said Santa Barbara Police Sergeant Riley Harwood.

The cost for police and to pay for outside agencies such as the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department to send in reinforcements for Old Spanish Days runs about $100,000 a day for the city.

There are certainly very big event sites to manage, and the often grid-locked State street night club zone, but officers have to be available for regular patrols and a wide range of calls.

This year street vendors may be contacted more than ever by police, especially if they are not permitted to sell their items in a public place.

That includes food vendors with mobile carts and those selling cascarones confetti eggs.

“We’ll deal with those vendors that are particularly infringing upon the activities of the other sanctioned vendors,” said Harwood. He especially focused on sellers blocking the sidewalk and pedestrians.

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