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Santa Cruz Police Department announces Halloween fine increase

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - With Halloween just around the corner the Santa Cruz Police Department has announced they will be upping not just officers on the streets but the cost of code violations. The cost of violating those codes might be the scariest thing you see this Halloween.

"If you're drunk and causing trouble in downtown Santa Cruz this Halloween, well, the costume you start out in won't be the costume you end up in."

A warning from a Santa Cruz Police Department public service announcement as Halloween creeps up on us. Starting at 5 p.m. Halloween Day, the city of Santa Cruz has set up a Safety Enhancement Zone through the Downtown Corridor. That means triple fines for certain violations. But this isn't the first year police have enforced it.

Last year, the estimated crowd size was more than 10,000 people. The Santa Cruz Police Department got nearly 400 calls for service, they issued 24 triple fine citations and, throughout the event, 20 arrests were made.

So just how much can you expect to pay if you get a citation?

With court costs, traffic control device disobedience can cost you nearly 300 dollars. Having an open container or drinking alcohol in a public place can cost you close to 500 dollars. Some of the most expensive fines like messing with trees, plants and lawns are more than 1,000 dollars.

Musicians Camellia Boutros and Dillen Maurer have been playing on Pacific Avenue over the years and say Halloween has been a positive experience.

"I love it, you always get to see really creative costumes and things like that, it's always been good fun for me," Maurer said, "I've never had any issues."

They say the idea of triple fines in the area is a bit excessive. 

"My gut feeling is to say no, that's not necessary" Boutros said,  "Just because I've never personally experienced an issue out here."

Nevertheless, the Safety Enhancement Zone will be enforced leaving Camellia and Dillen hoping for a fun and safe downtown Santa Cruz Halloween.

The Safety Enhancement Zone will last from 5 p.m. Halloween evening through 5 a.m. the following morning.

Several road closures are schedule as part of the Safety Enhancement Zone, those closures are listed below:

No Parking/Tow Away zone from 10:00 a.m. October 31st to 10:00 a.m. November 1st on the following streets:

Pacific Avenue between Laurel Street and Water Street.

Cooper Street between Pacific Avenue and Front Street.

Cathcart Street between Cedar and Front Street

Soquel Avenue between Pacific Avenue and Frazier Louis Lane.

No Parking/Tow Away zone from 5:00 p.m. October 31st to 3:00 a.m. November 1st, on the following streets:

Front Street between Soquel Avenue and Laurel Street.

River Street between South River Street and Front Street

Front Street between River Street and Soquel Avenue

Front Street between Water Street and River Street.

Locust Street between Pacific Avenue and Cedar Street.

Walnut Avenue between Pacific Avenue and Cedar Street Parking Garage.

Cathcart Street between Pacific Avenue and Front Street.

Church Street between Pacific Avenue and Double Decker Parking Garage

Temporary road closures from 5:00 p.m. October 31st to 03:00 a.m. November 1st, on the following streets:

Walnut Avenue between Pacific Avenue and Cedar Street.

Maple Street between Pacific Avenue and Cedar Street.

Locust Street between Pacific Avenue and Cedar Street.

Soquel Avenue between Pacific Avenue and Front Street.

Front Street between Soquel Avenue and Laurel Street.

Front Street between Water Street and River Street.

 Church Street between Pacific Avenue and Double Decker Parking Garage.

Temporary road closures from 10:00 a.m. October 31st to 10:00 a.m. November 1st, on the following streets:

Pacific Avenue between Laurel St Street and Water Street.

Cathcart Street between Cedar Street and Front Street.

Cooper Street between Pacific Avenue and Front Street.

Lincoln Street between Pacific Avenue and Cedar Street.

Elm Street between Pacific Avenue and Cedar St The temporary rerouting of Birch Lane from an eastbound one-way roadway to a westbound one-way roadway will occur from 5:00 p.m. till 3:00 a.m. Signage will be posted at each entrance to indicate the proper traffic flow.


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