1995-1996 Santa Barbara County Grand Jury

September 18, 1995
Contact: Spencer Boise, Foreman
Phone (805) 568-2292


The 1995-96 Santa Barbara County Grand Jury has praised police peacekeeping efforts during the recent Old Spanish Days Fiesta celebrations in Santa Barbara. In a Grand Jury report released today, the Grand Jury commended participating police agencies for using “an intelligent application of limited force numbers for maximum impact in controlling the last two, and largest, nights of Fiesta crowds.” This is the first report issued by the new Grand Jury impaneled in July.

Grand Jurors accompanied the Santa Barbara Police Department Operations Commander during the last two nights of Fiesta. On these evenings a force of 40 to 60 officers from some eight agencies controlled crowds that police estimates placed at 15,000 to 20,000 people.

Grand Jurors observed police in action for seven hours each night. They accompanied officers through the crowds on State Street and the south and north mercados as well as into several bars on lower State Street. They listened to police briefings on operations strategy and tactics and observed officers handling inebriates, fight victims, traffic and crowd control.

“Effective policing is sometimes just being present and meeting and greeting the crowds, not just seeing how many people you can stuff into an arrest van,” summarized one police department supervisor. Police created a strong presence and an atmosphere of helpfulness and lawfulness, according to the report.

“The policing agencies, individual officers and the police command structure deserve high commendations for their work,” said the Jury report.

The full report is posted on the Grand Jury’s World Wide Web page. Copies of the report are also available at the Superior Court Jury Services office at 1100 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, or call 568-3139.