BART receives draft of key report recommending police improvements
BART has received a draft of the last of the two independent reports it commissioned from outside experts in response to the New Years Day officer-involved shooting at Fruitvale Station. This latest management audit comes as the agency continues to take a number of significant steps to improve its policing services.
In April, BART hired the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives or NOBLE to look beyond the specific shooting incident and provide a thorough and independent top-to-bottom assessment of the BART Police Department. The audit contains 23 major recommendations.
On Thursday, October 1, NOBLE will present the BART Board a full draft of its findings, many of which address:
- Recruitment, Selections & Promotions
- Use of Force
- Police Operations
- Citizen Oversight
- Policies and Procedures
- Biased-based Policing/Racial Profiling
The BART Police Department has already begun implementing changes in many of these areas.
"This draft report is one of the important results of the hard work done by the BART Police Department Review Committee that I appointed in early January," BART Board President Thomas Blalock said. "I appreciate their efforts, which I believe are helping to open a new chapter in our continuing efforts to improve police services at BART. What has made BART a resilient agency over the years is the fact that we’re not afraid to scrutinize ourselves by looking into the mirror to find our flaws and then making the necessary changes for the betterment of the taxpayers and riders of BART."
"We view this report as a very valuable resource," BART Board Member Carole Ward Allen, who chairs the Board of Directors BART Police Department Review Committee, said. "NOBLE has identified a number of opportunities for improvement and we intend to use the report to guide us on how we can
enhance the policing services at BART."
"The NOBLE report is thorough, comprehensive and includes serious and substantive recommendations for changes needed to improve policing at BART," BART General Manager Dorothy Dugger said. "We are reviewing the draft report and its recommendations carefully and will begin the process of prioritizing the recommendations for implementation. This draft report has identified areas where we can and must improve and points out the best practices in the industry."
KEY FINDINGS & RECOMMENDATIONS
The draft NOBLE report makes 23 major recommendations including:
- Revising the BART policy manual & training officers on new policies
- Developing and implementing more comprehensive training methods
- Establishing better data collection/record keeping to support analysis tracking & compliance
- Instituting more comprehensive use-of-force policy
- Revising the methods of personnel selection in hiring & promotions
- Increasing presence of police on trains/in stations
- Implementing on-going strategies for community involvement
- Develop and implement a computerized early intervention system
- Adopting a more traditional police discipline system
- Adopting a more efficient organizational structure
ACTIONS BART HAS ALREADY TAKEN
In August, BART received a separate set of reports from Meyers Nave - the law firm it hired to conduct an
independent internal affairs investigation of the New Year’s Day shooting.
- The Police Department is finalizing an action plan to respond to the Meyers Nave recommendation
- The Board’s Police Department Review Committee will review and report monthly on progress in implementing these recommendations
The BART Police Department had initiated changes in a number of important areas, which include:
USE OF FORCE:
- All use-of-force incidents will now be reported and investigated instead of just significant use-of-force
- Use-of-force reports are forwarded through the chain of command and filed with Internal Affairs
- A new review panel now reviews all uses-of-force incidents and reports recommendations to the Chief of Police
- The BART Police Department training plan and budget will provide 40 hours of training per year
for officers (Police Officers Standards and Training requires a minimum of 24 hours every 2 years)
- Training curriculum includes: cultural diversity, racial profiling, tactical and inter-personal
communication, policy manual review, firearms/range/use of force options/policy review,
defensive tactics/arrest control, taser recertification, among other topics.
POLICY MANUAL UPDATE:
- The BART Police Department is in the process of updating its policy manual
- The first group of 8 critical policies has been revised and will be issued by September 30. All
BART police officers have now been trained on these first 8 revised policies as part of this year’s
expanded training program. Those 8 critical policies are:
1. Racial/Bias Based Profiling
2. Shooting Policy
3. Electronic Control Device (i.e., Taser)
4. Officer Response to Calls
5. Use of Force
6. Control Devices and Techniques
7. Vehicle Pursuit Policy
8. Officer-Involved Shootings
DISCIPLINE & PROBATION PERIODS:
- BART has reached agreement with the BART Police Managers Association (BPMA) and is in negotiations with the BART Police Officers Association (BPOA) to adopt a more traditional police disciplinary system
- BART has reached agreement with BPMA to establish a 1-year probationary period for all police management positions
- BART has reached agreement with BPMA to remove the two commander positions from the collective bargaining unit
Download the NOBLE Draft Management Audit:
BART Management Audit Executive Summary (Draft) (628 KB .pdf)
BART Management Audit Chapters 1-4 (Draft) (8.16 Mb .pdf)
BART Management Audit Chapters 5-14 (Draft) (8.12 Mb .pdf)
BART Management Audit Chapters 15-16 (Draft) (3.6 Mb .pdf)