BART Police Department

BART Police Department The official FaceBook page for the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Police Department. In case of an emergency, please call 911. For BART Police related issues, please contact 877.679.7000.

The BART Police Department is the law enforcement agency responsible for the Bay Area Rapid Transit system in Northern California. The BART system covers more than 100 miles of rails with 46 stations throughout four counties of the San Francisco Bay Area. The BART Chief of Police is Chief Carlos Rojas. Chief Rojas leads more than 200 sworn officers and 100 non-sworn staff.

Operating as usual

Join us this Sunday, October 11th, from 6pm-8pm for a  virtual Community Dialogue with Law Enforcementevent that is part...
10/08/2020
Faith & Blue

Join us this Sunday, October 11th, from 6pm-8pm for a virtual Community Dialogue with Law Enforcement
event that is part of the "National Faith & Blue Weekend," sponsored by the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, SF Bay Area Chapter along with the BART Police Department, Vallejo Police Department and two houses of worship.

Join community members, law enforcement, and faith based leaders in a 2 hour conversation about what steps can be done to improve relations and build trust between law enforcement and the community.

Details and the zoom registration is available at:
http://www.noblesfbayarea.com/faith--blue.html

The "National Faith & Blue Weekend is a collaborative initiative that builds bridges and breaks down biases through activities and outreach among Bay Area law enforcement professionals and the Bay Area communities they serve.

CASH PRIZE ESSAY CONTEST FOR YOUTH ESSAY INFO: Essay applicants will be divided into three age groups: 12-14, 15-17, and 18-25. Essays must be 500-750 words. No GPA requirement. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd...

Update: The BART Community is invited to attend the Faith & Blue virtual event on October 11th from 6-8pm when winners o...
10/06/2020

Update: The BART Community is invited to attend the Faith & Blue virtual event on October 11th from 6-8pm when winners of the essay contest will be announced. More details and the link to register are at http://www.noblesfbayarea.com/faith--blue.html

The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives SF Bay Area Chapter is presenting a youth essay contest for cash prizes.

National Faith & Blue Weekend (NFBW) is a collaborative initiative that builds bridges and breaks down biases through activities and outreach among Bay Area law enforcement professionals and Bay Area communities they service.

ESSAY INFO:
-Essay applicants will be divided into three age groups: 12-14, 15-17, and 18-25.
-Essays must be 500-750 words.
-No GPA requirement.
-1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners will be selected & win cash prizes.
-Applicants under 18 must complete & upload the Minor
Photo/Essay Release Form at http://www.noblesfbayarea.com/faith--blue.html

1st place winners will have the opportunity to read their essay at the Community Dialogue Event, Sunday, October 11th.

DEADLINE:
Essays must be entered and submitted at the link below by October 7th. http://www.noblesfbayarea.com/faith--blue.html

Winners will be announced on October 11th during the Community Dialogue Event.

As you begin your day, please remember the 2,977 innocent people who lost their lives 19 years ago on September 11, 2001...
09/11/2020

As you begin your day, please remember the 2,977 innocent people who lost their lives 19 years ago on September 11, 2001.

The BART Police Department is launching a new initiative that gives riders another way to request assistance from office...
08/28/2020

The BART Police Department is launching a new initiative that gives riders another way to request assistance from officers while they’re in the system. Text BART Police allows riders, employees, and others to directly contact the BPD Dispatch Center. The launch builds on the success of the BART Watch app, which has been downloaded 89,000 times.

The number for Text BART Police is 510-200-0992.

“I want to give our riders as many ways as possible to reach us while they’re on our trains and in our stations,” said BART Police Chief Ed Alvarez. “Text BART Police makes it easy for anyone to use their phone to discreetly contact us if a need should arise.”

Text BART Police is operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can also be used to send pictures to BPD. Much like the BART Watch app, the number should be primarily used for non-emergency reports. Anyone with an emergency is still urged to call 911 or contact their Train Operator.

BART Police Chief Ed Alvarez told the group Latinos in Transit how his experience as an immigrant has shaped his policin...
08/25/2020

BART Police Chief Ed Alvarez told the group Latinos in Transit how his experience as an immigrant has shaped his policing philosophy, most recently when he created a new Bureau: the Progressive Policing and Community Engagement Bureau.

“They’re going to continue the work we’ve done to make connections with the communities we serve,” he said in the discussion on Friday. “It’s the message that we teach and train constantly. If you treat people with respect, you’re going to get it in return.”

Alvarez, who has spent his entire career rising through the ranks at BART, talked about how the organization has changed over his 23 years there. He addressed the killing of Oscar Grant by a BPD officer in 2009, which presaged the nationwide reckoning over policing that disproportionately affects minority communities, and which BART itself has improved through numerous changes.

You could hear the emotion in his voice as Alvarez called that time over a decade ago as “rock bottom. It was hard to come to work. I care about this place and these people.”

In the intervening years, he said, BPD has made groundbreaking reforms, becoming one of the first departments to use body-worn cameras, and the role of BART’s Citizen Review Board and Independent Police Auditor in implementing other checks and balances. “Now I’m proud and happy to come to work,” he said.
Alvarez became chief only nine months ago, a trial by fire with the coronavirus pandemic, the economic devastation it wrought, and the outpouring of demonstrations for the Black Lives Matter movement sparked by events in Minneapolis in May 2020.

“We denounced the murder of George Floyd,” Alvarez said, of the man who lost his life when a police officer, now charged with murder, kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes. “It shouldn’t have happened. And a lot of departments are changing how they operate because of it, because of him and the other individuals before and after him. It’s been a call to action.”

Alvarez shared a bit of his life story and the experiences that formed his character.

“I was born in Mexico in the state of Jalisco,” he said. “My parents migrated from Mexico to the United States and they built a life for us. I’ve lived in the East Bay my whole life, and my mom still lives there.”

Alvarez said that as a young boy he had to learn English, benefiting from ESL classes, and that his parents emphasized education as a way to get ahead, a principle he lives by to this day.

“I’m really proud of where I came from,” he said. “We persevered. I lost my father to a tragic accident when I was 10 years old, and my mom had to step up. My mom is a very strong Mexican woman. She had to learn how to drive, how to get a job to support our family.”

She went to work at the American Licorice Company in Union City
(you may know them as the maker of Red Vines candy). “My mom never called in sick one day in 25 years, ever,” Alvarez said. “She made sure we were in school every day. On Sunday mornings, when we’d stayed out late on Saturday nights, she would kick open the door of our bedrooms, open up the blinds, and tell us we’re going to church. I appreciate that now. It helped make me the person I am today.”

Alvarez joined the force with a junior college degree then went back to school in his 40s to get his bachelor’s degree. “It was really hard, to be working, going to school and raising a family,” he said.

“That’s why I tell Latino kids when I speak at schools, take care of your education before you have a lot of other commitments. I tell the kids to keep working on learning English, keep at it, the language will come.”

“We as immigrants have to take advantage of the opportunities that this country affords us,” Alvarez said. He said he never dreamed that one day he would be chief of the BART Police, with more than 400 personnel under his watch.

“We’re out there handing out face coverings, working on the mental health piece, connecting the homeless with services. In some ways this pandemic has been a good opportunity for us to hit a reset, tighten up a few things, so that when our ridership goes up we’re in a better place than we were pre-pandemic.”

“Our message right now is that BART is safe, reliable and clean. We’re ready to welcome everybody back to our system.”
Alvarez spoke at a monthly meeting (held virtually for now) of Latinos in Transit, a national organization that promotes the advancement and development of Latinos and other minorities in the transportation industry. The “Café Con LIT” networking meetings let members share a coffee break to connect with others and learn from their experiences.

At the talk with Alvarez on Friday, participants said his story resonated with many who had similar upbringings, and inspired pride in members of the Latino community.

“I’m humble to be one of many,” Alvarez said. “We’ve got to keep being role models, keep grinding, show people that it can be done. This country gives us many opportunities. You have to take them and give back.

Bay Area Rapid Transit
07/31/2020

Bay Area Rapid Transit

Sonja Hagins Perry never gave up on her son, her firstborn, her boy who loved music, art, being a big brother.

For the past several years, T.A.E. (his mother requested he be identified by his initials only) had lived on the streets in San Francisco, taking shelter in BART stations where he frequently engaged with BART PD’s crisis intervention officers and homeless outreach specialists.

T.A.E., 30, became homeless after episodes of psychosis as a young adult, his mother said, which ultimately led to a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

Perry said she is talking about her son’s mental health issues with his permission as part of his treatment and recovery and to give hope to others in her situation.

Full story can be read here: https://www.bart.gov/news/articles/2020/news20200730

“Periodically he would reach out and call me,” said Perry, who moved from Northern California where she was stationed at Travis Air Force Base to San Antonio, Texas, about a decade ago. “Anytime I saw a 415 area code, I knew it was him." T.A.E. gave his mother the phone number for Armando Sandoval , BART's Crisis Intervention Training Coordinator and Community Outreach Liaison. "Armando started calling me," she said. "He was my guardian angel.”

Sandoval helped Perry with resources so she could better advocate for her son. She studied up on the law, on treatments and medications, on paperwork and forms, on techniques to deescalate a crisis. And she asked for help from a higher power, relying on her faith.

In mid-July, after contacts from Sandoval and BPD Officers Eric Hofstein and Nicholas Luzano, Perry had a call from her son and felt her prayer had been answered. Not only was T.A.E. alive, he was in a period of lucidity where he was receptive to begin treatment and recovery.

“He was ready to get better,” Perry said. She packed a bag with clean clothes and toiletries for T.A.E., enlisted her brother to help, and flew from San Antonio to the Bay Area, where the first stop was the BART PD office at Powell Street Station to patch together the pieces of her son’s life.

T.A.E.’s contacts with BART PD were mainly for low-level infractions like fare evading, but he was enough of a “regular” to have been on the radar of BART PD’s crisis-intervention staff and of partners contracted with the SF Homeless Outreach Team, including SFHOT's Jessie Jones. BART's Fiscal Year 2021 budget will include an additional community outreach specialist and continued emphasis on connecting people in crisis with services.

Sandoval and the officers helped Perry to check for her son around the downtown San Francisco BART stations and at community-based organizations and churches in the area that offer free meals to those in need.

One morning she went over to the St. Anthony’s Dining Room, which is serving grab-and-go instead of sit-down meals due to COVID-19. “It was bittersweet,” she said of the moment she saw her son there. “I knew it was him immediately. And he had no idea who we were. He said, ‘Do you know me?’ It broke my heart.”

“As we were talking more, he said, ‘Mommy, is that you?’ I said ‘Yes, Baby.’ He started crying. He didn’t recognize me because I’ve gone all gray now. He said, ‘Are you mad at me?’ and I said, ‘No, Baby. I’m here to take you home.’ And he said, “I want to go home.’ "

San Francisco Department of Public Health’s Dr. Anita J. Barzman helped also to streamline his diagnosis, medications and follow-up plan, Perry said.

Perry and T.A.E. got home to San Antonio just this week, on Tuesday. He had a joyful reunion with his sisters, got to know his stepfather and asked his mom if she would cut his hair. (SEE TEXT SCREENSHOT BELOW) They’ve joined NAMI, the National Alliance for Mental Health, and T.A.E. is taking his medications and arranging for therapy, Perry said.

“We’re still learning,” she said. “I’m trying to keep things stable and calm for him.”

Perry asked T.A.E. if he wanted to share some words for this article; he needed a little time to collect his thoughts then wrote in a text: “It’s about family. That’s all that matters. The BART Police treated me like family. I’m thankful and happy to be reunited with my family.”

“They took my text messages, my phone calls. They made me feel like T.A.E.’s was the only case they were working on, even though I know they were very busy,” Perry said. “He wasn’t just another number, they treated him like a person. Police officers as a whole get a bad rap but for these individuals from BART, I just can’t thank them enough.”

“They were the only connection I had to my child,” Perry said. “Knowing he was OK, just knowing if he was dead or alive, knowing anything about him, that’s the only way I could sleep at night. God prevailed, at every step along the way.”

05/29/2020

BART Police Chief Ed Alvarez and BART Independent Police Auditor Russell Bloom have issued the following joint statement:

The BART Police Department and the Office of the Independent Police Auditor stand together in denouncing the killing of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis. His death was tragic and should not have happened.

We are committed and accountable to our riders and the region, and we bolster our accountability through layers of robust oversight. We are also committed to strengthening our relationship with our community, to increase trust, and to maintaining an open dialogue.

We extend our deepest condolences to the George Floyd family.

Bay Area Rapid Transit
05/27/2020

Bay Area Rapid Transit

BART is working hard to reimagine transit service as the region begins to reopen and riders return. We understand the public is looking to us to provide reassurance that service is as safe as possible and social distancing is followed.

To welcome riders back and regain confidence in public transit, BART is taking the following 15 steps while continuing to explore new measures and technologies that could assist in a safe recovery.

Step 1 – Cleaning

BART is using hospital-grade disinfectant in stations and on-board trains. Train poles are wiped down with disinfectant at the end of the line during service hours. Crews use electrostatic foggers on train cars that spray disinfecting mist that coats and clings to surfaces. Station touchpoints are wiped down multiple times each day.

Step 2 – Run Long Trains

BART is committed to running service that allows for social distancing. We will continue to run long trains all day to allow riders to spread out. BART has determined riders can maintain social distancing of 6 feet on-board train cars with no more than 30 people per car. Social distancing of 3 feet can be achieved with no more than 60 people per car.

Step 3- Increase Train Frequency

BART is currently running service every 30 minutes on weekdays, but we are monitoring ridership daily and will add additional trains during commute hours in the 15-minute slots once data shows that train cars consistently have more than 30 people on board. As businesses allow for staggered shifts, BART will extend the hours of 15-minute frequencies.

Riders should expect a 9 pm closure for the time being. We are planning our budget in a way that will allow us to scale up when the recovery creates demand. If demand and revenue are low, we will need to continue 30-minute frequencies.

Step 4- Pilot New Seat Configuration

BART’s Fleet of the Future provides for modular seating. BART will pilot a new configuration of seats that could potentially help create space between riders. Updated CDC guidelines indicate coronavirus does not spread easily from contact with contaminated surfaces and that person to person contact is the main source of coronavirus spread. BART is looking at ways to create as much space to spread out as possible. BART does not plan to block off seats for use because it is difficult to enforce and is subject to vandalism.
Step 5- Require Face Coverings

BART will continue to require face coverings at all times for all riders ages 13 and older. Consistent with county health orders, children aged 12 or younger are not required to wear a face covering and children aged 2 or younger should not wear one because of the risk of suffocation.

Even if the local counties ease the face covering mandate, BART plans to keep it. Currently Downtown San Francisco station agent booths have extra masks for those who need one. We’re also supplying officers with extra masks to hand out if necessary. BART Procurement is exploring having face mask vending machines inside stations.

BART is asking everyone to do their part to help protect their fellow riders by wearing face coverings at all times while in the system.

Step 6- Police Enforcement

BART Police will enforce the face covering requirement and be positioned at fixed posts near the faregates at many of our stations. Police personnel will conduct more frequent fare checks to increase staff presence on-board trains and inside stations. Crime at BART is down 34% January-April compared with the same four months in 2019. Increased attention will be paid to keeping station entryways clear and safe.
Step 7- Visual Indicators

Large decals, posters and banners are being printed and will soon be displayed throughout the system and on-board trains to reinforce social distancing expectations and the face covering requirement. While BART does not plan to use standing markers on the platforms and on trains, there will be plenty of signage on platforms and on-board trains and overhead announcements reminding riders to social distance and spread out.
Step 8- Hand Sanitizer

BART will continue to offer hand sanitizer at every station. We are making large signs, so the dispensers are easy to find.

Step 9- Contactless Payment

Clipper allows for contactless payment at BART. Riders are encouraged to get Clipper and load funds online in advance or get auto-load. This will reduce lines at the ticket vending machines and reduce customer touchpoints. BART will speed up efforts to eliminate the sale of paper tickets and to go Clipper-only at stations systemwide in the coming months. BART is also speeding up efforts to expand the official BART app parking payment feature to all stations (currently available at five stations).

Step 10- Personal Hand Straps

BART will offer personal hand straps for riders to use and take home for cleaning after each trip. A limited supply will be handed out inside stations to welcome riders back and then will be offered for sale for $5 plus tax by phone order by calling 510-464-7136, in person at the Customer Service window at Lake Merritt Station (Monday-Friday 7:30 am–4:45pm) and through a soon-to-be-launched online store.
Step 11- Data Transparency

BART will continue to post daily ridership numbers at www.bart.gov/covid showing what percentage ridership is at compared to Pre-COVID-19 ridership. During the first part of recovery, this will help reassure riders there is no crowding. BART will also share train car loading data based on the number of riders on a specific train and how on average those riders can spread out among the cars. This information is not available in real time, but we plan to communicate it in some form of frequency on our website and through social media. We will offer this information in an easy to read format to help riders make informed decisions about what time of the day they want to ride.

Step 12- New Technologies and Industry Best Practices

BART will continue to explore new technologies used by transit systems across the world in response to COVID-19. For example, BART is evaluating a variety of new cleaning procedures such as ultraviolet disinfecting to determine if new methods are safe, won’t cause damage, and are more effective and efficient than current practice. As best practice trends related to safety and customer experience emerge, BART will examine how practical implementation would be for our system.

Step 13- Business Community Outreach

BART will encourage employers to allow for staggered shifts to help spread out the commute and avoid crowding during peak travel times. BART staff will also participate in virtual town halls with companies to answer questions about BART service and new safety measures.

Step 14- Healthy Workforce

BART’s greatest asset is our employees and they must remain healthy to continue to provide service. BART is supplying workers with PPE and supplies and offering COVID-19 testing to employees. Station Agents have been advised to stay inside their booth as much as possible to limit exposure. Work areas are being disinfected frequently.
Step 15- Rebuild Infrastructure

BART is using this time of record low ridership to accelerate infrastructure rebuilding projects facilitated by the extra work hours made available due to an earlier closing time. The increased level of work will shave off time on some of these projects that can be disruptive to passengers. For example, every six weeks BART single tracks beginning at 7 pm in San Francisco for cable replacement, six months of Sunday single tracking are eliminated. This accelerated work ensures that when riders return to the system, it will be in better shape than when they last used it.

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