Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Monday, July 28, 2008

Big City or Small Town?

Has anyone noticed the increased police presence of late with helicopters in Old Town and Noleta, ATF raids in San Roque, and heavy preparations for the problematic-of-late Fiesta? This morning SWAT teams with large firearms responded to a break in at Macy' we need to be more like Long Beach and LA to address our gang problems or is this overkill? Walk softly and carry a big stick sounds okay to me -- as long as judicious decisions are made. But how do we make sure of that?


Anonymous Specious Speculation? said...

Sara, I followed the links in your post, and nowhere did I find anyone reporting that our gangs were somehow connected to the ATF raids or the Macy's break-in. And the "heavy preparations" for Fiesta appear to be the same in number as last year, with no reference to staffing in years prior to 2007.

So what's the gang connection here?

7/28/2008 10:27 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Specious? Great word. There was a stabbing during Fiesta a couple of years ago in a downtown parking lot...not to mention the recent July 4th stabbing.

I could have done a better job at not making it look like the other items were related but the recent stabbing in July generated the following quote in an Indy article:

Santa Barbara police, in light of the recent killing, have ramped up patrols, McCaffrey said. The increased activity will continue through next week’s Fiesta, when local police are joined by nearly all law enforcement agencies in the region. Last year’s Fiesta was marked by little gang activity, he said, but with two recent gang killings, police are on high alert. “There’s definitely tension in the air, no doubt,” McCaffrey said.

McCaffrey forgot to mention that there was a gang-related killing just two weeks before Fiesta last year which prompted a "Gang Sweep" (see The Indy archive) while his statement was technically correct, you couldn't get the whole story from what he said.

7/29/2008 5:12 AM  
Anonymous christine! said...

I actually prefer the shoot first, ask questions later tactic.

I am not participating in FIESTA at all this yr, first becasue of the violence of late, and because I am leaving the 2nd of August, on a pre-arranged trip.

As much as I feel for the locals when FIESTA comes around- try having a Casino open in your small town- that'll make your town go from small town to BIG CITY with a meth problem in 2 seconds flat.

7/29/2008 8:46 AM  
Blogger Greg Knowles said...

I am glad the police are going to be out in full force.

It will be interesting to see how they get critiqued after Fiesta. My guess is the media won't give them a break if something does happen.

I wish them good luck and an uneventful Fiesta.

7/29/2008 6:32 PM  
Anonymous And you're questioning this because.......?? said...

Gee, Sara, I wonder why law enforcement (oh, and residents in general) feel a heightened sense of anxiety about Fiesta---after the brazen gang stabbing in the midst of the crowd at 4th of July--and the escalating presence of intimidation throughout this community. Small town? NOT for a long time. I live here, but most of my neighbors and friends are battening down the hatches for Fiesta....let the gangsters, tourists and politicos duke it out....I"m watching videos.

Sad but true.

7/29/2008 7:41 PM  
Anonymous AN50 said...

One of the benefits of looking at your own city from an objective point of view is that you suddenly realize it is not what you though it was. Step back people and look at where you live. SB, population 90,000, Goleta - 30,000, IV - 20,000, Carp - 13,000, Montecito - 10,000 and other unincorporated areas making for a metro area pop. Of 200,000 is not a small town, period, end of debate. You can wish it all you want but it just ain’t so. The point – we need to grow up and face what we are realistically and not idealistically. SB is a medium sized city in a medium sized metropolitan area and has all the problems that come from that size; traffic, crime, pollution, shortages, crumbling infrastructure, resource imbalances and high living cost. The utter failure of the mighty no growth movement here is that the only growth they prevented is the growth of solutions to these problems. To solve them, and they are solvable, we need to stop whining like spoiled entitlement minded babies and start doing.

7/30/2008 12:20 AM  

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