Saturday, October 27, 2007

Foot Patrol's Favorite Halloween Talking Point

I sincerely hope that the ongoing Halloween festivities are moving along safely and enjoyably for the celebrants and the 160+ law enforcement officers in attendance. If you're like me, you have heard the Foot Patrol say the following over and over again (for years, actually): It's not the local residents that we are concerned about, it is the out-of-towners that cause the majority of the problems. Uh, okay, then are we to expect that the 160+ officers will be arresting and handing out citations only (or even mostly) to visitors? Doubtful. If this year is anything like years past, the majority of arrests and citations will involve the local college-aged population (mostly SBCC and UCSB students). Without a doubt there will be some visitors cited and arrested, but they will be in the minority; as there are far fewer of them AND, not all of them are monsters (although I'm sure some will be wearing monster costumes). Many are friends, relatives, girlfriends, and boyfriends of locals; not criminals. Well, at least, not until they have been dealt with by the Foot Patrol. After all, we are all no more than a court date away from being rendered a criminal; no one is immune... Especially not the locals.

Be sure to read my last post (immediately below) for tips on how to avoid problems with the police. Also, visit my website at for more relevant information.

Again, be safe.

P.S. Another talking point heard less often, but which is similarly designed to communicate to the locals (for public relations purposes) that they are not going to be treated unfairly by the police for engaging in myriad fairly ordinary college activities (read: drinking alcohol), is that "90 % of it will be citations" (implying no jail, no crime, no big deal). It is important to point out that more than 50 % of the 90 % may cause the person cited significant penalties with longterm negative effects (e.g., year-long drivers license suspensions).

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