The social services safety net that used to be out there that would catch a lot of those individuals are gone, Rainey says. "They had these programs in place that we could take them to or call them out to help us. Now a lot of those programs are gone because there's no money. There's literally no money."
He says with the money lacking for proper re-entry programs, you've destined it for failure if you don't appropriate the necessary funding because you are putting these people out on the street in the worst economy since the depression. "They're not just going to curl up in a corner and die. They're going to do what they need to do to survive," he says. "There are a lot of people with a college education that can't get a job."
As BART/Capitol Corridor Public Information Officer Luna Salaver says, transit properties are a magnet for these types of individuals for a number of reasons. "One, in the wintertime we provide shelter and in the summertime we provide air conditioning, so if you're homeless, you're going to be attracted. "
She also says, "You have the situation where if you're looking for crimes of opportunity, you are attracted to places where there is a lot of people and BART serves 380,000 people per weekday, so if you want to break in to somebody's car or do a robbery, you're going to go where there is a lot of people congregated."
The biggest challenge, Rainey says, is to manage expectations. With the hundreds of recommendations they received and the public safety hearing, people putting the BART police down and being critical that they're not moving fast enough, why isn't everyone trained yet?
"Every law enforcement organization in the state of California, we all have the same needs." Rainey says, "None of my peers want their officers to encounter a mentally ill person, have a critical incident and then that person isn't in CIT training, knows the media is going to get them; they're going to get criticized." He continues, "So when a class pops up, everybody's trying to get their personnel in that class. So you're lucky to get maybe one or two slots at a time." He adds, "Whenever we see a class, no matter where it is in the state, we send at least a couple people."
Reaching out and talking with organizations and individuals that are critical of his law enforcement is important to Rainey. Not that he's going to change their mind, but he wants to hear what they have to say and give them a voice to what they're saying, including the ACLU, local minority ministers and the Oscar Grant Foundation. "I maintain a relationship with those individuals, and I accept their constructive criticism; and it's almost a renewal process for me that I need to go and work harder and challenge my personnel to do the same thing."
He also says he has a very good working relationship with his partner law enforcement agencies of the four counties, 26 cities, the federal and state because, as he says, "Good, bad or indifferent, BART is one of those high-value targets for terrorists.
"You look at mass transit around the world, 22 other countries, mass transit systems have been hit and they have definitely tried to target, not necessarily BART, but our mass transit systems in our country.
Taking Care of Personnel
Police officers are the first point of contact for people's government, Rainey explains. "You call and they come.
"And usually when people call us, they call us when people are at their worst. In emergencies, we're expected to come and make sense out of chaos. You constantly have your folks going in and out of these types of situations and sometimes they don't get a break; it's non-stop." He stresses, "You definitely worry about your personnel's mental health."
They've created a Trauma Response Team within the organization since he's been there and that team works with clinical psychologists and individuals who have witnessed or experienced some type of trauma: individuals who've witnessed a suicide, somebody accidentally killed or somebody that was shot and killed in a law enforcement situation.
"They can talk them through the post-traumatic stress, guilt feelings and those types of things," Rainey says. "We lose a lot of personnel, a lot of law enforcement in general, off of these types of situations.