The Bay Area Council is asking BART to consider asking for BART mutual aid so that local police along the routes can help patrol trains and stations.
The request by the Council comes after three recent deaths at BART stations.
The most publicized the fatal stabbing of 18-year-old Nia Wilson by a transient at MacArthur station.
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At Bay Fair Station a man was killed after another assault. And at Pleasant Hill station another death after an attack.
BART has now ordered its officers to work longer days and spend a normal day off riding trains and on platforms.
All this while BART police is faced with a serious staffing shortage.
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“Cities that are served by BART that benefit from BART service could provide local police resources that help supplement BART’s force,” Rufus Jeffris of The Bay Area Council said.
But, BART said in a written statement, “The collective bargaining agreements make clear that only BART police may provide security at BART. But that doesn’t mean another agency can’t respond to an ongoing incident if we need their assistance.”
BART’s former police chief Gary Gee tells ABC7 that mutual aid has been used during emergencies. He says BART could be in one now. “If this were an emergency staffing situation, I believe BART could call this as an exception.”
The BART police union responded with a statement saying in part that they have now “saturated” the system with their presence. “Having officers who know our system patrol it is the best way to address the issue. Taking resources from other agencies would not be fair to the communities they serve,” the statement read.
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