I'm a student, and IV is a student community. We're not bad people. Why do we need cops at all?  
The population of Isla Vista is about 7% of the county’s population, but close to 25% of all serious crime in Santa Barbara County occurs in Isla Vista. That figure includes burglary, robbery, grand theft, sexual assault, and other violent crimes.


Many of these crimes result in injury, and sometimes death.  In addition, other calls for paramedic services are due to alcohol poisoning, alcohol related falls, and other accidents; such calls are all too frequent.  Often police officers or sheriff’s deputies are the first on-scene, and are an integral part of the emergency response system.


There are many officers, deputies, firefighters and paramedics who work very hard toward the safety of residents of and visitors to Isla Vista. 
Just for the record: UCSB students account for about 60 % of I.V.'s population and 35% of its crime.



O.K., IV has some crime. But I see cops everywhere. Why do we need so many officers?


Approximately 23,000 people live in the .6 square mile of Isla Vista. On weekends, when outsiders come to party, the population can explode to 30,000 or 40,000. More people mean more problems--especially when they're intoxicated. More problems mean more law enforcement presence.



Why do we have to have a law that says we can't drink in public? People are going to drink anyway, what difference does it make where you do it?


Drinking in a private home or apartment, or even in a bar, puts you in a somewhat controlled and safer environment. People who are drinking are less likely to have a violent confrontation indoors with their friends than outdoors with strangers on the street. If you are drinking or drunk on the street, your chances of getting into a violent situation with someone you don't know are much higher. Likewise, violent sexual assaults are more likely to occur on a darkened street than at a house party.



If I am 21 years of age or older, can I carry an open container with an alcoholic beverage in the street or other public place?


No. You will be in violation of SB Co. Ordinance 36-3 and will receive a citation.  The term open container includes cans or bottles that has been previously opened, or the seal broken.



I hear there's a "noise ordinance" in Isla Vista. What is it and why do we have to have it?


Experience has shown that alcohol consumption, and the related problems, continue as long as the music is blaring.  Those problems spurred the passage of the noise ordinance.  Check our section The Law Says for the specifics.



How late can I play my stereo in Isla Vista?


You can play your music at any time of the day or night unless someone calls in a complaint about it. However, there are some restrictions that apply specifically to amplified music. Where the music can be heard 100 feet from your property, your stereo can be played until 10 PM Sunday through Thursday nights, and until Midnight on Friday and Saturday nights only. (SB Co. Ordinance 40-2). This section does not require a complainant, and if you violate this ordinance, you WILL receive a citation



I was contacted about loud music during the daytime; it was referred to as disturbing the peace.  That seems to conflict with the music ordinance.


Penal code § 415 has been a state law since 1974.  It is a misdemeanor (more serious than the 40-2 ordinance above), will probably require a court appearance, and may appear on a criminal history.  It is in effect around the clock.  The noise portion of the law refers to willfully disturbing the peace of another by loud or unreasonable noise.  Enforcement is initiated by a complaint, usually from somebody living or working nearby.  The county ordinance and the state law both address noise, but the two are distinct in several respects.  It is wise, if you are contacted by law enforcement about disturbing the peace, to heed any warning you are given.



Why won’t the officer or deputy tell me what the fine will be?


The officer or deputy does not know what the fine will be.  Fines are determined by the court, and may vary depending on the defendant’s record, changes in fine schedules, or other factors.  The court administration specifically instructs law enforcement to avoid offering estimates of the fines.  Estimates would probably be inaccurate; they provide no service to the defendant; and they often cause defendants to argue with court personnel, wasting valuable time.  Once you receive your citation, the case is in the hands of the court.  At 10 days after the citation the case should be in the court’s database.  At that point you may log-in to, or call the court phone number shown on your citation, to learn more about your case.



Can you please, please let me go this time?


We often hear this, but where is the fairness in that?  Why would one person think that he should be the one given leniency while other are cited or arrested?  This question reflects immaturity; a failure to recognize the reality of a situation.  Most of the citations issued and arrests made are the result of blatant, public behavior.  The reality is that once a person is detained, the investigation is going to follow its normal course.  Avoiding illegal behavior, particularly when in public, is the best way to avoid citations and arrests.



How do I report that my bicycle has been stolen?


If your bicycle is stolen at an Isla Vista location you need to contact the Isla Vista Foot Patrol as soon as possible. If the theft occurred on the UCSB Campus, contact the UCSB Police Department. Additionally, it is highly recommended that you have your bicycle licensed with the UCSBPD upon your arrival in the area. This will assist you in reporting the theft of your bicycle. Recovery rates for bicycles increase significantly with serial number information. To help prevent bicycle theft, lock your bicycle to a solid object.



Does the Isla Vista Foot Patrol sell abandoned bicycles to the public?


No. The bicycles we collect are given to an auctioneer in Central California, who in turn, sells them to certified bicycle shops. The money earned is given back to the Santa Barbara County general fund. The University CSO's hold two bicycle auctions per year for bicycles found or recovered on University property.



Can I park my car in the middle of the street where the street dead-ends at the UCSB Campus?


No. You will be issued a citation for Parking in a NO PARKING ZONE.



Can I park my car in front of the bank ATM located on Embarcadero Del Norte?


No. The curb in front of the ATM is RED. A RED ZONE means NO STOPPING, STANDING, OR PARKING AT ANY TIME. This area is not to be used for a quick stop to get money. If you decide to violate the red zone, you WILL be issued a citation.





If I receive a citation for illegal parking, can I fight the ticket or do I just pay the fine?


If you believe you were cited in error, you may send a letter (along with the citation) to an office located in Southern California requesting that the citation be rescinded. If you just want to pay for the ticket, that must also be sent through the mail. Specific instructions are located on the back of the citation.



Can I get fingerprinted at the Foot Patrol Office?


No. The Sheriff's Office Main Station located in Santa Barbara can do fingerprinting. This service is available during the week and a small fee is required.  Call 805-681-4357 for an appointment. Also refer to .



If I see something suspicious, what should I do??


Whether you are at home or in public, call 9-1-1 immediately. Try to provide a description of the subject(s) and explain in detail what was suspicious about them. Advise whether the subject was on foot or in a vehicle, and try to provide a direction of travel. Many of our important cases start with prompt and discrete reporting of what the caller sees.  Your participation helps to make your community a safer place.



How can I prevent my apartment or house from being burglarized?


Always remember to lock your doors and windows. In three out of four cases, the method of entry into a residence was through an open window or unlocked door. In Isla Vista, a lot of students believe that all of their neighbors are friends, so they leave their doors unlocked. Please, don't make this mistake or you could become a victim.



How can I keep my valuables from being stolen?


This is a frequent problem in Isla Vista.  Often housemates have different levels of vigilance.  Some residents seem to allow visits from a lot of random, unknown guests.  Some of these guests appear to be friendly, but are there simply to find things to steal.  Keep your property locked up. Consider marking your valuables with your driver license number. Take pictures of the serial numbers of your phone and computer to assist in the theft investigation.  Store such pictures in the cloud or on a USB stick for easy retrieval.  Back-up you schoolwork in case your computer is stolen.  Do not bring your computer out to play music unless you really know the people present.  Think of your computer as ten $100 bills, and your phone as five $100 bills.  Do not leave those items in a location where you would not leave several $100 bills.


What can I do if I have a monetary problem with a roommate or landlord?


These problems are civil in nature and can only be handled by a civil or small claims court; or by a professional mediator. For assistance, contact an attorney, the UCSB Office of the Ombuds ( , 805-893-3285), or Isla Vista Tenants Union ( at 6550 Pardall Rd. Unit B, 805-968-6704 (available to all Isla Vista residents at no cost).



Is it legal to have a "KEG" party and charge admission?


No. There are certain ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Control) laws that prohibit this activity. If you have a party, ensure that all persons consuming alcohol are at least 21 years old. Furnishing alcohol to a minor can be a very expensive citation.



How did I end up with a warrant for my arrest? All I did was forget to take care of a citation I received a few months ago.


Any time you receive a notice to appear (commonly known as a citation) you are responsible for taking care of it by the due date located on the bottom of the ticket. If you fail to respond to the notice to appear, either by appearing in court, or in some other manner satisfying court requirements (e.g. hiring an attorney to appear on your behalf, paying the fine by mail, etc.), a bench warrant will be issued for your arrest. At this point you are subject to arrest at any time.


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