BART Police Chief Ed Alvarez to retire May 1

April 6, 2023
Alvarez served in the BART Police Department for 25 years and has been chief since January 2020; Deputy Chief Kevin Franklin has been named interim chief.

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Police Chief Ed Alvarez will be retiring from his role effective May 1 after 25 years as part of the BART Police Department (BPD). BART has named Deputy Chief Kevin Franklin, who currently heads BPD’s Operations Division, as interim chief following Alvarez’s retirement.

Chief Alvarez spent his entire career with BPD and was named interim chief of police in 2019 where he led an acceleration of hiring, upholding BPD’s accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, improved surveillance video recovery time and began to roll out the deployment of Narcan.

When Alvarez was appointed chief in 2020, BART General Manager Bob Powers noted Alvarez’s knowledge of the system and vision for safety.

Alvarez’s accomplishments during the past four years as chief include:

  • Implementing a new deployment initiative in March to bolster rider safety by more than doubling the number of sworn officers on trains.
  • Launching the Progressive Policing and Community Engagement Bureau to bolster the department’s unarmed safety presence on BART. The bureau is among the first of its kind for any transit agency in the country.
  • Reaching full staffing of 20 Crisis Intervention Specialists to boost efforts to help people in the system experiencing challenges with mental health, lack of housing or drugs.
  • Collaborating with the Office of the Independent Police Auditor and Police Citizens Review Board to implement important reforms, including the elimination of the use of carotid control holds and eliminating the term “excited delirium” from the BPD policy manual.
  • Voluntarily working with the Center for Policing Equity on an analysis of BPD’s practices and behaviors, becoming the first transit law enforcement agency in the country to undergo such a review.

“It’s been the greatest honor of my career to lead the people of the BART Police Department for the last four years as we’ve welcomed the Bay Area back to transit in the wake of the pandemic,” said Chief Alvarez. “I’m proud of all the work we’ve done as we’ve strived together to make BART PD one of the most progressive and community-oriented police departments in the nation.”

Deputy Chief Franklin has been with BART PD since 1996 and will begin in his role as interim chief on May 2. BART notes Franklin has worked a variety of assignments with BPD, including patrol and data analysis. He has been an instructor for many of the subjects in the department’s training programs.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Editor in Chief

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the magazine’s editorial direction and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.