BART is conducting outreach on new public safety approaches that emphasize responding to homelessness, behavioral health and substance use issues without relying on armed police.
We invite you to participate in a facilitated, virtual discussion about how BART currently addresses these societal issues in our system and get your recommendations on how to address them in future.
When: Monday, November 9, 2020
Time: 6:00 p.m.
BART General Manager Bob Powers has pledged $2 million in operating funds, originally identified for Covid-19 pandemic enforcement using sworn officers, to be reallocated toward more unarmed civilian employees providing presence and assistance and to expand training.
Already in 2020, there have been some big developments in the BART Police Department:
• BPD Chief Ed Alvarez created a new Progressive Policing and Community Engagement Bureau;
• A new team of highly visible ambassadors were recruited from the ranks of Community Service Officers (CSOs), who are unarmed and trained in de-escalation and anti-bias techniques;
• BART has extended partnerships with community-based providers like Homeless Outreach Teams (HOT) to help connect those in need with services;
• The focus of these unarmed personnel is on education, outreach, and prevention
“We’re a transit system that takes people from Point A to Point B, but we’re also part of the communities we serve, and we reflect what’s going on in those communities,” said Armando Sandoval, BART’s Crisis Intervention Training Coordinator and Community Outreach Liaison. “Pre-Covid, many people in our area were homeless or struggling with mental health or addiction. Now there are even more stressors.”
BPD has seen more than a decade of significant reform since the death of Oscar Grant in 2009, which presaged the nationwide reckoning over policing that disproportionately affects minorities. Current events demand renewed attention and we will be actively listening to your ideas.
There will be one stakeholder meeting in each of the nine BART director districts, along with targeted meetings in communities that have experienced disparate policing impacts. Stakeholder input will be reported to BART's Board of Directors in December.
We want to fully engage our stakeholders and look forward to your participation.... More >><< Less