BART Police Chief Ed Alvarez to retire after 4 years leading department

BART Chief of Police Ed Alvarez announces retirement. 

BART Police Chief Ed Alvarez announced Wednesday that he will retire from the agency's Police Department next month after four years leading the office.

Alvarez announced he will retire May 1. He was first named BART's interim police chief in April 2019 and was subsequently appointed as the permanent chief in January 2020

Alvarez has served within the BART Police Department for more than 25 years in total. 

"It's been the greatest honor of my career to lead the people of the BART Police Department for the last four years as we've welcomed the Bay Area back to transit in the wake of the pandemic," Alvarez said in a statement.

During his time as police chief, Alvarez has overseen the launch of BART's Transit Ambassadors program, a group of unarmed police personnel who help those dealing with mental and physical health crises aboard BART trains.

BART police also recently expanded its uniformed police presence aboard trains throughout the system in an effort to make riders feel safer.

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BART Police Chief Ed Alvarez announces retirement. 

Since Alvarez has overseen the department, BART police have also worked with the University of California, Los Angeles' Center for Policing Equity to make policing less aggressive by eliminating from the BART police policy manual the use of carotid restraints and chokeholds as well as the term "excited delirium," which has been used mostly by law enforcement as the cause of deaths in police custody, especially among those who are physically restrained. 

"I'm proud of all the work we've done as we've strived together to make BART PD one of the most progressive and community-oriented police departments in the nation," Alvarez said.

Alvarez will be succeeded on an interim basis by Deputy Chief Kevin Franklin, who currently leads the BART Police Department's Operations Division.

Franklin has served with the BART Police Department since 1996 and previously served as BART's manager of security programs from 2011 to 2018.