BART considers $28M plan to better fight crime

It's a call to action at BART after a series of violent crimes,  including an unprovoked knife attack that killed a young Oakland woman.
Now, BART is poised to do something about it.

The Board of Directors meets Thursday morning to consider new proposals to fight crime systemwide.

BART General Manager Grace Crunican will be presenting the new safety and security plan. 

The CEO of the Bay Area Council and passengers say they welcome the plan, but that it's not enough. 

During the Wednesday evening commute, people arriving at the Lafayette BART station included one passenger who says she was recently the victim of an attempted purse snatching on a train. 

"I was by the door and the door shut... and the guy was walking out and he grabbed my purse and was pulling it off my shoulder," said Amy Hu.
 
A series of recent crimes, have left many passengers feeling unsafe. So, BART has come up with a $28 million  safety plan. It includes: hiring more officers, installing emergency call boxes and video screens on platforms,  and upgrading surveillance cameras.

The Bay Area Council says these improvements take both time and money.

It is urging BART to get help now  from law enforcement departments in the cities and counties it serves. 
 
"We're talking about a show of force on the train, in the stations...all the time  so passengers can see that they're going to be safe," said Jim Wunderman, CEO of The Bay Area Council. 
 
BART said in a written statement "The collective bargaining agreements make clear that only Bart police may provide security." BART's police chief says there is already an agreement in place with the area's law enforcement agencies to help each other out when necessary.  

"We operate in a mutual aid configuration when we need it.  If they need to assist us, they're readily available and if we need to assist them, we do the same," said BART Police Chief Carlos Rojas.  
 
The Bay Area Council  says that agreement only covers emergencies. and wants a pro-active approach. 

Many BART passengers say they seldom see officers on trains or in the stations and would welcome a stronger police presence.   

"I'm petrified with everything that has been happening with all the crimes," Hu said.

 Wunderman says he plans to speak at the meeting to make the case for getting other law enforcement agencies to help with patrols.  
 

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