Petitioning BART Board of Directors

STAFF AT LEAST TWO SWORN POLICE OFFICERS PER BART STATION AT ALL TIMES

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BART is the main artery of the San Francisco Bay Area. Nearly half a million rides are taken on BART each day. That number is estimated to increase to one million per day in less than 15 years.

My name is Jasmine Cote. I have been riding BART since the 70s when I was a kid. I take BART to work five days a week. BART was a world-class transit system in the 70s, 80s and the 90s. But over the last several years it has drastically changed for the worse. Today, BART has a lot of crime and is generally unsafe.

Statistics show that crime on BART is on the increase. Additionally, many crimes go unreported as victims refuse to report or press charges, or can't wait long enough for the officers to arrive. That doesn't mean those crimes didn't occur.

I've spoken to over fifty (50) BART employees to find out the exact reason why. The root cause of this problem is gross understaffing: AT ANY GIVEN TIME BPD HAS ONLY 25 SWORN PATROL OFFICERS ON DUTY IN THE ENTIRE BART SYSTEM!!!

Police officers work in teams of at least two. Roughly, there are two police officers per four stations, and this is the main reason why response is often delayed. Both riders and employees have complained about the lack of safety and enforcement for many years and now we know the real reason why.

BPD is grossly understaffed and overworked, and has obviously failed to control crime efficiently. Although BART Police Officers do not openly express their opinions, they do talk to BART employees about their pain and frustration. They are not happy with understaffing and lower pay.

The BART Board of Directors are a group of elected officials who make all major decisions for BART. It appears as though they are okay with giving away millions to contractors, but don't seem to have enough money to staff BPD well. As but one example, each of these canopies cost $3 million! A total of $66 million for 22 canopies!!! How in the world does a canopy cost $3 million?? Visit this link for all the details: www.bart.gov/news/articles/2017/news20171107

BPD was once the highest paid police department in the Bay Area. They were strong. The morale was high. They kept the system safe for everyone. Today, the ridership has tripled, they are spread thin over 110 miles, and they are the lowest paid in the Bay Area. Applicants who qualify to become police officers often choose other police departments because of lower pay at BPD. More Officers have left or retired from BPD in the last five years than ever before.

If the BART Board of Directors truly care about the safety of passengers they should do whatever it takes to hire and staff at least two police officers per station. If that means, better pay, so be it! As a society we should be able to spend a bit more to ensure safety for all.

Increased police presence in the entire system is the only solution to the problem of crime. If and when a station is slow, officers can take short rides on the trains to make sure the trains are safe.

Crime at BART can be reduced. But that won't happen until enough police officers are hired. Add your name to this petition now to tell the BART Board of Directors that you do not tolerate crime and urge them to increase staffing to at least two sworn patrol officers per station at all times.

 

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ONGOING CRIMES AT BART

BART crimes database created by a rider

https://www.bartcrimes.com/

Rider launches website to inform public about wave of BART crimes

http://kron4.com/2017/08/02/video-rider-launches-website-to-inform-public-about-wave-of-bart-crimes/

BART mob robbery: Six victims sue transit agency over brazen attacks

http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2017/09/14/bart-mob-robbery-six-victims-sue-transit-agency-over-brazen-attacks/

BART Releases Photos Of Gunman Who Robbed Woman Aboard Train

https://patch.com/california/unioncity/amp/27257625/bart-crime-gunman-robs-woman-aboard-train

Rash of crimes at Bay Area BART stations

http://kron4.com/2017/07/20/rash-of-crimes-at-bay-area-bart-stations/

Woman robbed, carjacked at South Hayward BART station

http://abc7news.com/woman-robbed-carjacked-at-south-hayward-bart-station/2581567/

4 BART Riders’ Cellphones Stolen in Separate Incidents Friday

http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2017/11/25/bart-riders-cellphones-stolen-friday-separate-incidents/

Oakland man sentenced to 9 years in prison for rape of woman at Millbrae BART station

http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/01/16/oakland-man-sentenced-to-9-years-in-prison-for-rape-of-woman-at-millbrae-bart-station/

A busy Memorial Day for BART car break-in burglaries

http://www.ktvu.com/news/at-least-a-dozen-car-burglaries-at-bart-on-memorial-day-9-in-millbrae

BART Crime: How Much Should the Agency Be Telling Us?

https://ww2.kqed.org/news/2017/07/14/bart-crime-how-much-should-the-agency-be-telling-us-about-it/

BART robberies climb 45% over last year, figures show

http://sfgate.com/crime/article/Crime-stats-show-where-surge-in-BART-robberies-is-11108092.php

 

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