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BART Board Considers New Policing Measures Following Public Outcry

Reginald James
Public Domain
BART police patrol during protests in 2010 for Oscar Grant murder


Leaders at BART have pledged to shift $2 million from sworn officers and fare inspectors to unarmed ambassadors. These staff would wear uniforms and patrol the trains unarmed.

Governor Gavin Newsom recently appointed BART Board Director and advocate Lateefah Simon to lead a statewide working group on police reform. She wants to add at least one staff member to BART’s office of the Independent Police Auditor. This office looks into complaints against police officers for misconduct. 

Any changes will require approval next week when the board passes its new budget.

BART police chief Ed Alvarez has also pledged to start training his force to follow a state law called AB392. This law went into effect on January 1st. It mandates that police can only use deadly force when absolutely necessary to defend human life. It also provides de-escalation techniques for police to use prior to firing their guns.

Bee Soll is a producer with Your Call at KALW, and a producer, writer, and editor at KCBS Radio in San Francisco. She is a former reporter for Crosscurrents and contributor at KPFA Radio.