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Halloween weekend in both San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara was a quiet one for the most part, according to San Luis Obispo Police Department (SLOPD) Captain Chris Staley, University Police Department (UPD) Chief George Hughes and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.
San Luis Obispo
The rain on Friday night changed the dynamic of the usual festivities, Hughes said.
“With Halloween falling on a Friday evening, we were worried it might bring in additional crowds,” he said. “The rain kind of dampened some of that.”
UPD reported 10 arrests for public intoxication, seven citations for minor in possession and three citations for possession of marijuana in and surrounding Cal Poly.
These numbers were slightly higher than those reported in 2013: six arrests for public intoxication, two citations for minor in possession and one citation for marijuana possession.
“We had more citations and arrests because we had more people working,” Hughes said. “We also had additional events this weekend: homecoming football and UCSB soccer.”
Hughes said despite the increase in arrests, the weekend did not turn out to be as large as UPD had expected it to be.
“I think people knew we were going to have additional enforcement actions,” he said. “It helped with some of the behaviors we have experienced in the past.”
Although SLOPD could not provide exact numbers, Staley agreed with Hughes: This year ran smoother than the last.
Spreading the word early about safety enhancements in the community and speaking to fraternities and sororities beforehand deterred unruly behavior, according to Staley.
“We tried to make sure we were proactive,” he said.
Hughes foresees the template used this past Halloween weekend as a future template for times when large groups of people are expected to be out and about on the weekends.
“We did it the same way we did move-in week and WOW (Week of Welcome),” he said.
UPD collaborated with the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) and state officials. Their primary focus was to monitor and eliminate illegal sales of alcohol early in the evening to keep alcohol out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have it.
Santa Barbara and Isla Vista
University of California, Santa Barbara’s Halloween in Isla Vista was just as mellow.
Unlike previous years, the crowd was estimated at no more than a few thousand people and consisted mostly of locals, according to a Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office news release.
According to the release, there were fewer than 40 citations and arrests in Isla Vista.
“As a comparison, in 2013 — a three-day operation as opposed to two days this year — there were more than 200 jail bookings and almost 250 citations issued,” the release reads.
The Sheriff’s Office attributes the smaller crowd to a number of factors such as the annual Keep it Safe, Keep it Local campaign, enhanced law enforcement presence, a university-sponsored concert, student-centered activities and the heavy rain.