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Rail News: Security

BART steps up police visibility at two stations

The patrol desks are aimed at deterring crime and encouraging riders to interact with police.
Photo – BART

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) has rolled out "patrol desks" at two stations to increase the agency's police visibility.

BART police officers or community service officers will staff the desks "at random times throughout the day and night" to help riders with concerns, according to a news article on BART's website.

One goal is to encourage people to feel comfortable interacting with the agency's police force.

"We want people to feel like they can approach us, whether it's asking directions or just saying hello," said Lt. Ed Alvarez. "It's also a visual deterrent to crime."

BART is piloting the desks at the Civic Center and Powell Street stations, which both experience a high volume of foot traffic. At the Powell Station in particular, tourists or new riders coming in for holiday shopping can be targets for "aggressive panhandlers" or scammers selling fake tickets, BART officials said.

Officers won't be at the patrol desks full time, but will spend time there as part of a regular patrol shift.

If the "soft rollout" of the program is successful, the agency may implement patrol desks at other stations in the future.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/28/2016