Increase in police presence results in increased arrests on BART’s system

May 31, 2023
BART Police Department reported its two highest monthly arrest totals in March and April.

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Police Department reports preliminary data showing March and April had the two highest monthly arrest totals since the arrival of the pandemic in March 2020. In March, BPD reported 258 arrests systemwide and in April, the monthly total increased to 266.

“These numbers are proof of the hard work being done by the people of the BART Police Department,” said interim BPD Chief Kevin Franklin. “Our redeployment strategy is a direct response to the safety concerns of our riders.”

BART PD implemented a new deployment strategy on March 20 that doubled the number of sworn officers riding on trains in the core of the system. BART PD’s redeployment plan removed seven traditional vehicle patrols per shift and moved those officers to train patrols. Officers who were on special assignment such as K9 units also joined train patrols. Those moves have resulted in an additional eight to 18 officers patrolling trains per shift.

The strategy is in response to BART riders requesting additional BART officials present on the system.

Non-sworn personnel are also boosting BART PD’s visible safety presence in the system. The redeployment strategy includes unarmed transit ambassadors, crisis intervention specialists (CIS), community service officers and fare inspectors. As an example, in the first four weeks of the new deployment plan CISs responded to 277 calls for service, freeing up sworn officers to respond to other incidents. CISs also completed an additional 1,998 self-initiated contacts with individuals in need of services.

“Our riders have told us loud and clear they want to see more BPD presence on trains and in stations. That means more officers, as well as unarmed crisis intervention specialists and transit ambassadors. Even non-BPD staff like elevator attendants are helping to make BART feel safer by being highly visible in the system,” said BART Board President Janice Li. “I applaud BPD for being responsive to riders and hope that maximizing the visible safety presence, especially in the core of our system will encourage more people to come back to BART.”

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