SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — In an effort to improve conditions and improve a sense of safety on BART, the transportation agency now has a dozen police officers patrolling on trains cars and platforms.
It’s something riders are probably wondering why it hasn’t been done before.
“I ride BART everyday and probably go three months without seeing policeman on the train,” one rider told KRON4.
The agency simply didn’t have the staffing to do it.
However, BART was able to make the necessary hires over the last year to be able to allot 12 new officers to this type of patrolling and they’re hoping that it will not only deter crime, but make riders feel safer.
“They’ll board a train, they’ll walk through a train. They’ll be highly visible,” said Deputy Police Chief Lance Haight. “Police presence should deter criminal activity and address situations that may need enforcement actions.”
In a ride-a-long with two officers from Lake Merritt to the Montgomery station, KRON4’s Noelle Bellow observed the officers walking through the train cars, scanning to make sure things were okay.
The officers checked tickets and on the welfare of some sleeping riders.
The officers say this type of patrolling is not only good for riders, but safer for them as well.
“We’re here to be a presence, we’re here to make the BART patrons feel comfortable,” an officer told KRON4. “A lot of people when they see us they’re like ‘I haven’t seen a BART officer here ever.'”
The heightened police presence is all in response to the calls for more police presence and folks saying they don’t feel safe on BART.
This is a permanent change on BART trains, in addition to a pilot program starting next month with 10 unarmed ambassadors patrolling the train as well.