Extra security to be added to Avocado and Lemon festivals this fall

Sheriff's decision comes after Gilroy tragedy

Upgraded security is planned for the 2019 California Avocado Festival after the Gilroy mass shooting tragedy. (John Palminteri/

CARPINTERIA, Calif. - More security is going to be added to this year's  California Avocado Festival in Carpinteria after the mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival.

"Any public gathering big or small could  potentially be a target," said Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Lt. Erik Raney.

The Sheriff's department is working with the festival organizers and the city to add another layer of security to make sure the already problem free event stays that way.

Police Chief Butch Arnoldi, a Sheriff's Lieutenant in charge of law enforcement in a contract with the city says, there will be two additional bike patrols,  two teams of two foot patrol deputies and two  motorcycle units.

"Doing our pre planning,  looking at the intelligence gathering process and what information that we have that there might be people out there looking to do harm and looking for those opportunities and then putting the staffing in place to react to that," said Raney.

Avocado Festival officials say they will have all of the entrances to Linden Avenue where the event takes place sealed off with k-rails or barricades.   Emergency responders will have access.

Event organizers say they will have their staff and hired security teams throughout the festival, including many that have worked the event for years and know what to do if there is any issue ranging from a lost child to a health concern.

Prior to the Avocado Festival on the first weekend in October will be the Lemon Festival in Goleta.  That is held in late September.

The same type of security  scrutiny will take place there.

"The Sheriff's office is taking a look at how we police these major events in our jurisdictions and what can we do to provide a safer environment," said Raney.

They are now taking another look at every event in the area that the Sheriff's department is involved in to determine if security issues need to be upgraded.

For more information go to:  California Avocado Festival

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