BART customers are likely to see law enforcement officers from other agencies patrolling BART parking lots and stations today as part of the nationwide transit safety preparedness training initiative, "Operation RAILSAFE."
BART Police Chief Kenton W. Rainey has asked law enforcement agencies surrounding BART property to join the BART Police for this multi-jurisdictional exercise to enhance protection of the nation's rail and transit system. BART customers may notice extra vehicle patrols through bus zones and parking structures and uniformed officers from other agencies patrolling BART stations and platforms.
Operation RAILSAFE, which stands for "Regional Alliance Including Local, State and Federal Efforts," was developed in 2010 in partnership by the Transportation Security Administration, the Amtrak Police Department, and the New York City Police Department to exercise counterterrorism and incident response capabilities. Since then the exercise has been deployed all over the United States and Canada.
The primary objective of Operation RAILSAFE is to coordinate deployments of personnel, not just among agencies that police the rail systems, but with those agencies that could be called upon to help secure the rail system during an emergency or heightened alert. RAILSAFE also provides a venue to share intelligence and best practices related to security of the rail system.
"This exercise will improve coordination among our partners so that we are better prepared for emergency scenarios," Chief Rainey said. "I want to thank the participating agencies in advance for their team effort in helping keep BART safe and improving the overall security of rail transportation."