BART's new Police Chief Kenton Rainey ushers in "era of change"
The BART Police Department now has a new police chief. Kenton Rainey, the person selected to lead BART’s 296-member police force, officially took command as Chief of Police today.
After a five-month selection process, which included critical input from the public, a professional peer review panel, a community review panel and the BART Board of Directors, today General Manager Dorothy Dugger announced 51-year-old Chief Rainey is poised to lead the BART Police Department into a new era of improved policing services.
"We now begin a new chapter for the BART Police Department," BART Board President James Fang said. "I¹m proud of the work the BART Board of Directors Police Department Review Committee has done, particularly the efforts of Directors Carole Ward Allen and Lynette Sweet, to ensure the new Chief of Police meets the high standards that our riders and the public deserve. I believe and hope that Chief Rainey will meet the very high standard that our riders, the public and the BART Board have set for him and our police department."
"I am proud to have selected Kenton Rainey as BART’s fifth police chief," Dugger said. "Chief Rainey embodies the change the community, the BART Board and the dedicated men and women who serve on the BART police force seek. He has a proven track record that exemplifies the values and goals that are critical to improving BART’s policing services. I have every confidence Chief Rainey is the right person, with the right experience, values and commitment to lead our ongoing efforts to usher in a new era for the BART Police Department." (Visit www.bart.gov/police for a bio and photo of the new police chief. )
"Chief Rainey has the confidence of the community, his peers, and the BART Board to successfully usher in a new era of change," BART Board Member Carole Ward Allen said. Ward Allen chairs the Board’s Police Department Review Committee, which is guiding the implementation of many of the police reforms that are now underway following the tragic New Year’s Day 2009 shooting of passenger Oscar Grant. "What impresses me most about Chief Rainey is his commitment to community. He’s a man who doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks the walk – a trait which I am confident our customers will appreciate and our officers will find inspiring as they strive to be the best they can be in the years to come."
TOP PRIORITIES – CONTINUE REFORMS UNDERWAY
Dugger and the BART Police Department Review Committee have laid out clear goals for the new chief – many of which the department has already started implementing. They include:
- Increasing officer visibility on trains, in stations
- Substantially exceeding POST training requirements to ensure officers’ knowledge & skills stay current and well-versed
- Building trust and establishing long-lasting partnerships with the community
- Ensuring policies, practices, procedures and best practices are regularly updated
- Guiding the implementation of Citizen Oversight of BART Police, now pending approval in State Legislature (BART Board unanimously approved Citizen Oversight in August 2009)
"I am extremely honored and humbled at my selection as BART’s Chief of Police," Rainey said. "I have made it very clear to those closest to me that BART would be my dream job. I feel this position will present me with many new and interesting law enforcement challenges and new opportunities to focus on my professional passion which is Community Oriented Policing & Problem Solving (COPPS). Going forward, my immediate goals are to improve public safety and increase police visibility on the trains, strengthen and empower our organizational leaders so they can ensure accountability and provide proper guidance to our personnel; and strengthen our ties to the community so together we can work toward making BART the safest metropolitan transit system possible."
RAINEY’S FIRST VISIBLE ACT AS CHIEF – LEADING BY EXAMPLE
Chief Rainey says his style is to lead by example. One of his first visible acts to show officers the importance of police visibility on trains and in stations is to ride BART to work in uniform as often as he can, including tomorrow, his second day on the job.
The media are welcome to join Chief Rainey at Richmond Station tomorrow at 5:45 a.m. as he boards a train bound for Lake Merritt Station. The media will be able to get off the train at El Cerrito Plaza Station and return to Richmond for a round trip that should take less than 30 minutes.