A new full-time detective began service with the Isla Vista Foot Patrol (IVFP) on Tuesday, aiding a law enforcement effort to crack down on sexual assault in I.V.
Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office (SBSO) Detective Julio Gutierrez will be the only detective serving full-time in the IVFP, which is staffed by a collection of police from the SBSO and the University of California, Santa Barbara Police Department (UCPD).
“The Sheriff’s Office hopes that a full time investigator dedicated to the Isla Vista area will further enhance our ability to help victims of crime in this community and hold those accountable for their actions,” the SBSO stated in a release.
An SBSO crime report released in April indicated a sharp increase in sexual assaults in I.V. during 2016, which prompted a sizable community response.
But the SBSO, in a release Tuesday, cited 2017 mid-year crime stats that show a 29 percent decrease in forcible rape cases (from seven to five), as well as a 19 percent decline in violent crime (from 32 to 26).
Gutierrez worked with the IVFP for two of his 12 years with SBSO. He is bilingual and has experience investigating sexual assault cases, according to the release.
“My goal is to make a difference in the Isla Vista community.” Gutierrez said in the release. “I feel fortunate that this opportunity is going to allow me to be a part of a community that has given me great experiences in my career.”