BART secures $1.7 million federal grant for police patrols

08.14.19

BART secures $1.7 million federal grant for police patrols

BART’s continuing focus on safety and security for riders and increased police presence has received a funding infusion via a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  BART has been awarded $1.7 million to pay for continued police patrols on trains traveling through BART’s busiest stations.  This funding is critical in meeting BART’s new General Manager’s priority of a fully staffed BART police department and his plan to put the riders first and improve the customer experience.

“These funds are essential to our efforts to boost riders’ sense of security and prevent crime from occurring in our system,” said BART General Manager Bob Powers. “The grant money allows us to sustain the deployment of our Critical Asset Patrol (CAP) team for an additional year, while we continue to hire new officers to fill the 19 added positions prioritized in this year’s budget.”

BART’s CAP team consists of seven officers and one sergeant who are assigned full time to high visibility patrol on trains, platforms and in stations primarily within the core San Francisco underground BART stations.

Their presence acts as a deterrence to criminal and potential terrorist activity and the detection of suspicious activity.  Year to date the CAP team has been responsible for 55 arrests including cellphone theft suspects, active warrants, stay away order violations, probation violations, public intoxication and drug use, and other criminal activity.  The team helps keep BART safe and plays an essential safety role during major events when BART carries large crowds. They also work in conjunction with BART’s K9 units and other efforts such as emergency staffing and overtime details to boost officer presence during all hours including weekends and holidays.

Each CAP team member is trained as a Terrorism Liaison Officer and collaborates with other law enforcement agencies.  Since January they have run over 25 high visibility joint operations with the Transportation Security Administration’s VIPR (Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response) team. 

BART launched the CAP team in 2011.

Congressman Eric Swalwell led the effort to help secure these funds for BART with support from Bay Area members of Congress including Representatives Barbara Lee, Ro Khanna, Zoe Lofgren, Mark DeSaulnier, Jackie Speier, and Anna Eshoo.

BART Police continues to make progress in hiring more officers to increase police presence across the system.  The BART Police Department has now hired 37 officers this year, compared to 24 officers hired in all of 2018.