Weeks of meetings have gone into a sweeping game plan to deal with the unsanctioned Isla Vista street parting set for Halloween night. Sheriff Bill Brown says there will be a large “law enforcement” presence to greet anyone attending.
Several sources say it will be close to 400 deputies and officers from Santa Barbara County and nearby agencies. They will be working side by side with University Police, UC Santa Barbara officials, AMR medics, Santa Barbara County Fire, and countless other support crews including public works.
Fencing in specific areas will go up next week to keep crowds directed from dangerous jaywalking locations.
Sheriff Bill Brown says, while Isla Vista has UCSB and Santa Barbara City College students, along with non students and families that are year round residents, his biggest problems are from people who do not have a local address.
“The lions share of the problems are caused by people who come from out of town. They are not invested in the community or our area and they come in and behave recklessly and ruin it for everyone,” said Brown.
Crowd estimates in recent years have been around 30,000. This year with Halloween on a Friday, emergency crews are gearing up for a Friday and Saturday party scene.
Those entering the area will see DUI checkpoints and also areas where even plastic toy items that could be dangerous will be taken away, such as swords, bats, guns and knives.
“Coming into Isla Vista is going to be done in an environment that is going to have a strong law enforcement presence,”said Brown
There will be special surveillance cameras and large portable lighting systems to illuminate areas known for large crowds.
The Isla Vista Foot Patrol station will have a coordinated location for booking those arrested, and transporting them to jail.
Medical personnel will triage patients and transport them to the hospital in a priority order.
Those arrested and linked to specific schools will also have their arrest information forwarded back to their campuses for review.
“The message is that it is really not worth it Look for some alternative method to celebrate Halloween,” said Brown.
UC Santa Barbara is using social media messages to discourage visitors. Pictures of college aged people in handcuffs or getting mug shots have gone out on Facebook with a message that it’s “not worth it.” About ten pictures are up now and more are expected.
School officials, the District Attorney, Sheriff’s personnel and community leaders met at lunch today to discuss the latest plans.
Over the years, members of the Santa Barbara County Grand Jury have attended the event to monitor the process and track the costs to taxpayers, which has been estimated to be in excess of $300,000.
UCSB also announced a concert on campus October 31, featuring the band Young the Giants in the Thunderdome. Tickets are $5.00 each, and on sale Thursday. They are only available to UCSB students.