BART Police make big strides in adopting reforms
The BART Police Department is making big strides in adopting recommendations made by the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE). Among the 82 recommendations that have already been completed are reorganizing under new community based zone structure, training officers to prevent racial profiling and launching an effort to equip every officer with a small video camera to record their interactions with the public. BART Police Chief Kenton W. Rainey gave the BART Board of Directors a progress report on the reforms at today’s regularly scheduled Board meeting. You can download the latest NOBLE Management Audit Response Matrix (.pdf).
“Chief Rainey and his Department are to be commended for their dedication to improvement,” BART Board President John McPartland said. “Safety is our number one priority at BART and our professional, well-trained police force is integral to our commitment to safety. I look forward to the Department’s continued improvement.”
Chief Rainey outlined changes in BART’s use of force reporting requirements, including the use of small video cameras officers will wear on duty. The cameras continually record during an officer’s shift and the video is stored on servers for possible later use. The cameras will be put into service by BART Police once policies and training are finalized.
Chief Rainey also informed the Board that a majority of officers have been trained to ensure awareness of the potential for racial profiling bias, with a goal of training every officer.
“Our police officers are becoming the best trained officers in the state,” BART Director Lynette Sweet said. Director Sweet chairs the Board’s Police Department Review Committee. “BART Police Officers receive 40 hours of annual training, which exceeds the California Peace Officer Standards and Training mandate of 24 hours every two years. We want to establish ourselves as leaders in providing training for our officers along with transparency and accountability.”
In addition, Chief Rainey outlined the Department’s new zone geographical policing structure, designed to identify problems for more diligent responses while enhancing the Department’s Community Oriented Policing Problem Solving (COPPS) philosophy.
The BART Police Department has been working toward implementing a total of 131 recommendations made by NOBLE. The NOBLE Audit Report was completed in April 2010 after an independent review was initiated in 2009. Members of the public can monitor the progress of implementation by visiting www.bart.gov/police.