Rain and public safety campaigns conspired last weekend to calm Isla Vista’s normally rowdy Halloween celebrations. The streets of the seaside college town are typically flooded with tens of thousands of costumed revelers from all over the state, but this year, the crowd was reduced to just a few thousand locals. Numbers are still coming in, but Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Kelly Hoover said there were fewer than 40 jail bookings over the weekend, compared to more than 200 last year. There were no major incidents, she said.
“The Sheriff’s Office thanks the students of UCSB and Santa Barbara City College for their cooperation and good behavior, and for not inviting large numbers of out-of-town guests to attend,” Hoover said in a prepared statement. “We also want to thank the multi-disciplinary ‘Isla Vista Safe’ coalition, sponsored by the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office, for their forward thinking and ongoing efforts to keep Isla Vista safe. Last but not least, we thank the many first responders from the University system, and both Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, for their professionalism and dedication in protecting Isla Vista.”
Hoover noted that because of the small crowds, many first responders were relieved from their shifts early, which reduced the overall cost of law enforcement services. She said it will be several weeks before the total expenses can be tallied.