Starting Monday, more officers will be deployed to BART due to public safety concerns

ByLena Howland

Monday, March 20, 2023 4:04 p.m.

Starting Monday, more officers will be deployed on BART

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — Starting Monday, more police are being deployed to BART to respond to passenger safety concerns.

Eight to 18 additional officers per shift will join the 10 officers currently patrolling the system.

The increased police presence comes after BART board director Janice Li spoke about what she calls a lack of investment in the system.

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She spoke at a crowded event in San Francisco last week, saying BART is trying to do more with less.

Runners say they now routinely face delays and cancellations.

Safety is another major concern. Passengers tell us they have seen crisis response teams on the trains.

But Li says the problems plaguing San Francisco are bleeding on BART.

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“The effectiveness of these programs is really really limited by the inability of the City and County of San Francisco to have real solutions and real exits from homelessness and to really address the addiction crisis that we have here,” Li said.

Passengers tell ABC7 News that homeless people often occupy a full row of seats during commute hours and sometimes use drugs on board.

BART Police Chief Ed Alvarez said in a statement:

“This is the largest train deployment we’ve had in the 25 years I’ve been here, if not the history of the BART Police Department. We’re going to double our presence in the system.”

BART officials are also holding a meeting at 10 a.m. Monday, outlining the newly launched security plan and introducing some of the new officers.

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