The Office of the External Vice President for Local Affairs (EVPLA) of Associated Students of UCSB (ASUCSB) received notice by Lieutenant Garrett TeSlaa of Isla Vista Foot Patrol that Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office has decided against the use video surveillance cameras in Isla Vista over Halloween Weekend 2022. While Isla Vista Foot Patrol is not at liberty to disclose the myriad of factors that ultimately went into this decision, the EVPLA office was informed that the concerns, frustrations, and reservations voiced by UCSB students and Isla Vista community members at recent public community forums were taken into consideration. 

My hope in issuing this statement is that this news provides solace and reassurance to UCSB students and local residents in knowing that your dedication to collective action and civic engagement truly does make a difference in the decision-making processes that affect Isla Vista. Over the past month, the EVPLA Office spearheaded multiple initiatives to provide students and community members a platform to voice their concerns regarding the potential plans to implement surveillance video cameras as well as the decision to increase police presence over Halloween Weekend. With over 100 attendees present at our October 14th Halloween and Policing Town Hall, and with almost 500 signatures on our petition against surveillance in Isla Vista, UCSB students, and Isla Vista residents stood united in successfully voicing concerns to law enforcement. I want to express the EVPLA Office’s gratitude for UCSB students and the Isla Vista community in being catalysts for change. 

The digilience of our beloved community in participating in local lobbying efforts has aided in meaningful advocacy work and will continue to hold such an effect. The EVPLA office continues to stay dedicated to ensuring UCSB students and Isla Vista residents, regardless of background or identity, feel at peace in their community; thus, by extension, we recognize that ensuring a safe, local, and equitable community has been made possible in large by the commitment to activism spotlighted in our community. 

The EVPLA office also remains firm in our stance that strong communities make police obsolete. Community-led initiatives towards safety should remain the ultimate priority rather for our town that has long endeavored to address issues of public safety, infrastructure, and community services, especially in regard to such a historically complex weekend like Halloween. 

Despite Isla Vista Foot Patrol’s decision against implementing surveillance cameras to monitor the streets of Del Playa for Halloween Weekend, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s office remains adamant in their decision to up-staff the number of deputies patrolling the streets of Isla Vista this weekend. In Isla Vista Foot Patrol’s report to the Isla Vista Community Services District Board on October 11th, 2022, they reported deploying up to 40 law enforcement personnel for Halloween Weekend. Further, it is imperative that students and community members know that all Isla Vista Foot Patrol Deputies are equipped with Body Cameras that must be worn and turned on at all times. 

With this in mind, and as communicated in prior statements, there is a critical need to create spaces in which the community can educate each other about our rights in regard to law enforcement agencies. Recognizing this, our office is hosting a Know your Rights Workshop tomorrow (this Thursday, on October 27th) at 6:30 PM at Embarcadero Hall (935 Embarcadero Del Norte)  where we will discuss topics including navigating misdemeanor crimes such as Minor in Possessions (MIPs), Open Container Citations, Public Intoxication Citations, Festival Noise Ordinances, the Restorative Justice Program, distinguishing different law enforcement entities, drug safety, as well as navigating surveillance. Attorney Robin Unander will be helping to facilitate the workshop and answer any questions you may have regarding your rights in regard to policing. UCSB life of the party will be tabling outside of the workshop to provide peer-to-peer safety education information regarding safe partying tips and Gauchos for Recovery will also be tabling to provide information on overdose prevention. 

All students and community members are welcome and encouraged to attend. Free pizza will also be provided at the beginning of the workshop. Please use this link here to register (optional).

Hailey Stankiewicz is the external vice president for local affairs of Associated Students of UCSB.


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