San Francisco BART Seeks $28 Million to Improve Security

San Francisco BART Seeks $28 Million to Improve Security

The move comes after several high profile homicides and other violent crimes on the BART system.

In the wake of several recent homicides and other violent crimes on San Francisco's BART system, BART general manager Grace Crunican announced that she's asking the district's board to approve a $28 million comprehensive safety and security plan.

Crunican said the series of proposals that the board will consider at its meeting later this week are aimed at boosting the visible presence of police and other transit agency employees in the system, enhancing BART's network of surveillance cameras and increasing public safety outreach.

The first part of her proposed action plan was already into place to, when the BART Police Department temporarily canceled off days for all of its officers. Crunican said that means patrol officers, community service officers and dispatchers are now working six 10-hour days a week and patrol officers who work on their normal days off are required to ride trains throughout their shifts.

The second proposal is to train teams of BART employees to staff trains and stations while wearing high-visibility vests to provide an additional layer of visibility to BART's safety efforts. Such teams would be deployed temporarily at times of greatest need.

The third proposal is to accelerate "station hardening efforts" to make it harder for riders to bypass the transit system's fare gates. These efforts include raising barriers to five feet and adding additional fencing to include elevators in paid areas and adding a second proof of payment team for evenings.

The forth proposal would be to have platform emergency call boxes that would be installed on each platform. The call box would have a direct intercom with BART police dispatchers and a camera would activate whenever the intercom button is pushed.

A fifth proposal would install video screens showing real-time station images and enhanced video surveillance signage.

In addition to the various proposals, the BART Police Department has contracted with the University of North Texas to develop a five-year strategic plan for appropriate police staffing levels for the BART system.

About the Author

Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.

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