BART officials reconsider the type of incidents BART police should respond to

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — The type of incidents BART police respond to was front and center during BART’s online board meeting Thursday, with the board majority voting to have its staff rethink how the department operates.

“I accept the challenge that Black Lives Matter has made that cities across the country are looking at ways to make different investments that don’t support structural racism in society,” Bevan Dufty said. “And I think over policing and using policing for things that are not criminal problems is contributing to structural racism in our society.”

BART Board Director Bevan Dufty’s resolution calls on staff to look at “new approaches that emphasize responding to homelessness, mental illness and addiction without relying on armed police.”

“Those are not situation which require an armed response,” Dufty said. “I think there are better ways to handle it and to deescalate conflict.”

Dufty says it’s possible some of this work could be done by adding additional BART ambassadors.

Over the next three months, BART staff will meet with interested parties explore other incidents  that would be handled without police and propose specific changes.

Dufty says fare evasion could be another area they consider to be hands off to police.

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