A typically busy Halloween for law enforcement in San Luis Obispo may not be the case this year with fewer students in the area and COVID-19 still lingering.
San Luis Obispo Police say since the start of the pandemic, they have seen a decrease in calls related to parties.
“Generally most of the parties that we see that are in violation of the municipal code on the noise ordinance are less than ten people," said Lt. John Villanti, San Luis Obispo Police Department.
The police department says large gatherings among students have not been a pressing problem and they have also seen a decrease in calls for service for open containers and public urination.
Two-hundred more citations have been issued between April and now compared to last year, but police say this could be due to the Safety Enhancement Zone that has been in place since April, allowing for citations instead of warnings.
While the holiday typically draws larger crowds, some Cal Poly students say they are unsure if they will partake in the typical Halloween festivities this year.
“It’s gonna be different than home because I usually go trick-or-treating with my little sister," said Cal Poly student Mia Hansen. "It’s a little uncomfortable with COVID and everything and it spreads so easily.”
University officials say they will be responding to any violations and those out of compliance may face sanctions.
In San Luis Obispo, police staffing will be increased on Halloween to monitor things in the downtown area.
“We’re anticipating that there will probably be a surge of people downtown enjoying the social activities down there," Lt. Villanti said.
The city says heading into the holiday weekend, COVID-19 safety is still top of mind.
“Our biggest concerns are the same as many other cities in the state and the county and that is really limiting and/or avoiding gatherings," said Ryan Betz, Assistant to the City Manager.
Virtual events like a costume contest and pumpkin decorating are highly encouraged this year by San Luis Obispo city officials, in an effort to keep people safe.