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Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) last week announced a series of police reforms, expanded police training and new initiatives to increase the number of unarmed civilian employees providing presence on the San Francisco rail system.
On June 12, BART Police Chief Ed Alvarez updated the BART Police Department’s (BPD) use-of-force policy to ban the use of carotid control holds. Previously it was only justifiable under circumstances where deadly force was warranted, BART officials said in a press release.
The agency also will:
BART General Manager Bob Powers also has pledged to reallocate $2 million in operating funds — originally identified for pandemic enforcement using sworn officers and fare inspectors — to increasing the number of unarmed civilian employees providing presence in the system.
BART Director Rebecca Saltzman first presented the budget adjustment and now Powers will work with BART’s board to determine if new positions will expand the ambassador program launched last year or another type of social service program.
Employees from eight departments at BART have also begun a year-long Government Alliance on Race and Equity training. The training helps participants gain awareness of the history of race, implicit and explicit bias, and individual, institutional and structural racism. It also helps participants in identifying and addressing racism.