Santa Barbara- S County

Towers With Surveillance Cameras Pop Up in Isla Vista

They are expected to be watching 'Deltopia' this weekend when thousands descend on the streets

Isla Vista Security Cameras

ISLA VISTA, Calif. - New surveillance cameras have gone up throughout Isla Vista.

Each one has a sign saying the company Camguard is operating the systems.

The sites are portable.  Each one has a pole that's up about 25 feet, and various cameras pointed in different directions. Some are wired to a nearby building with an existing system.  Some are recording without being connected to any other equipment.

Many residents, mainly UC Santa Barbara students, were caught off guard by the cameras when they saw them today, after being gone for a week during Spring Break.

A few were worried the cameras would zoom into their homes and apartments.

"As far as safety purposes,  I can understand why they would put so many throughout Isla Vista," said student  Janelle Maraccini.

Recently there have been several unsolved crimes in the area including a gang rape.

One student thought the cameras would be a deterrent, but also invasive.

"It does violate our right to privacy which, I can't remember the exact amendment,  it's in our Bill of Rights.   It is what it is,  it's nothing we have control over, none of us do," said Andrew Zaghi a resident.

A woman concerned about the cameras in both public food areas, and on residential streets said if it makes the area safer she can live with them. "Yea, if someone were to be attacked around here,  they could review those cameras. I would feel a lot better," said Jessica Dorsey.

The camera system has been paid for with university funds in a joint effort with the Isla Vista Foot Patrol.

"We already have a pretty safe campus but we're starting to get a bad rep, the past few weeks. I think it is definitely good," said student John Morrow.

No doubt the cameras will be rolling this weekend when the annual, unpermitted, "Deltopia" event takes place that drew an estimated crowd of about 15,000 last year.

It has been announced through social media sites.

During that event many people were armed with water balloons,  squirt guns, and toy soakers as part of the water oriented daytime party.

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