Santa Barbara Police moved an afternoon briefing to a problem section of Ortega Park on the Eastside of downtown Thursday afternoon. This comes after a call from City Councilman Jason Dominguez for a focused effort at the site where there have been a number of complaints.
Dominguez said alcohol, drugs, gambling and other issues were keeping some kids and families away. Nearby residents said they lived “in fear” from the daily groups that have been congregating, some breaking the law in clear sight.
Police have increased patrols, but Thursday, the 4 p.m. crew of officers attending a regular briefing, held it at the park and the problems were not present.
City leaders, residents and police are meeting soon to talk about other solutions to make the area safer including more enforcement along with community service officers there on a regular basis.