BART Police begin extra patrols


BART Police begin extra patrols

Beginning this week BART Police Officers and Fare Inspectors will work extra hours, adding an additional day to their work week to bolster their visible presence and enhance public safety.  The General Manager’s Safety and Security Action Plan, introduced in August, outlined the periodic use of mandatory overtime and the deployment of BART employees to staff stations wearing high-visibility vests to provide an additional layer of presence in the system.  Both will be utilized for the time being for strategic saturation of BART’s busiest areas in direct response to riders concerns about safety.

The objective is to move illegal and rule violation activities off the trains and out of stations while deterring criminal activity. The pilot strategy will be frequently evaluated to determine its effectiveness, timeframes, and next steps.

“We are taking concrete action in direct response to the concerns of our riders,” said BART General Manager Grace Crunican.  “Our riders want to see more employees on the trains and platforms and at the fare gates.  This plan lets us immediately increase employee presence while we work to hire more police officers.”

Budget Proposals to Come

The General Manager will propose adding 19 new police officer positions in the next fiscal year budget which begins July 1. This would be a significant investment toward increasing police presence systemwide.  The BART Police Department has already made significant gains in stepping up patrols because of an aggressive recruitment effort to get our officer vacancy rate from a high of 41 down to 20 today.  Arrests have surged 56% in the past two years.

Meanwhile, BART continues to work with the Bay Area counties on the homeless outreach team program. Currently, there are two dedicated teams in San Francisco and one in Contra Costa. The General Manager will propose additional teams in San Mateo and Alameda counties in the next budget.

Additionally, there is an active effort underway, in partnership with SFMTA, to secure grant funds to expand the very successful elevator attendant program to Embarcadero and Montgomery stations.

The General Manager has also accelerated station hardening efforts that make it difficult for fare cheats to bypass the fare gates. Many stations already have been retrofitted with raised railings and alarmed swing gates. Seven more will be completed by July and another nine are planned for in the next budget.  BART is also piloting modifications to existing fare gates and installing upgraded camera systems.