With the horrors of Halloween in the raucous streets of Isla Vista just over a week away, UCSB and other agencies are planning to shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars to control the monstrous annual party. Last year, the Sheriff’s department picked up more than three-quarters of the $380,000 tab, but this year, the UCSB Police Department is planning to contribute just under 50 percent of the total cost — which is expected to clock in at $410,000 — and to borrow about 65 officers from other UC campuses.
In the last few years, Halloween has been considered successful by Sheriff’s officials because there were no major incidents (though there were hundreds of arrests and citations). And it has definitely been tame compared to the rioting that plagued Deltopia last spring. But the fact that five sheriff’s deputies have been injured by assaults ranging from kicking to arm twisting in the eight weeks since late August doesn’t bode well for the community recovering from a troubled year. (Last year, there were two assaults in the same eight-week time period.)
UCSB has also shelled out a few thousand dollars (from donation funds) for ads appearing on Pandora and area buses; images of unhappy teens dressed up in costumes — with hashtags that read “Not Worth It” and “Keep IV Safe” — spread a clear message: If you break the law, you will suffer the consequences. The efforts also seek to deter “out-of-towners” — invited or not — from entering Isla Vista. To that end, California Highway Patrol will set up a DUI checkpoint at the entrance to I.V. on Thursday, October 30, and will add 35 officers to its force, though the agency does not anticipate any additional costs.
In the other arm of law enforcement, District Attorney Joyce Dudley secured branding expert Ken Berris — a Santa Barbara resident who has worked on several presidential campaigns — to launch pro bono public service announcements on TV and in newspapers, including in this one. Dudley said she is also having additional prosecutors trained to file cases to get them through the court quicker.
In Goleta, the City Council voted two weeks ago to prohibit nonresidents from parking in neighborhoods surrounding Isla Vista from October 31 to November 2, a pilot program that is estimated to cost a few thousand dollars.