July 31, 2012 > BART re-launches law enforcement security enhancement program
BART re-launches law enforcement security enhancement program
Submitted By Officer Era Jenkins
In a move to enhance passenger security, keep Station Agents safe and reduce fare evasion, BART is re-launching its Law Enforcement Security Enhancement Program (LESEP). Active, full-time, sworn officers and District Attorney Investigators from pre-authorized law enforcement agencies within the four counties BART serves may ride BART trains through the use of special BART ID smartcards. The LESEP is one of several BART system improvements designed to enhance system security and reduce fare evasion.
In 2011, BART officers served approximately $10M in outstanding BART, local, state and federal warrants after conducting checks on people suspected of criminal activity, including fare evasion, in the BART system. In one case, a fare evasion contact led to the arrest of a wanted bank robber who had escaped from a Federal Correctional Facility.
"The presence of law enforcement officers on our system, even when they are off-duty, enhances passenger safety," BART Board President John McPartland said, "Knowing BART is allowing law enforcement officers on board at any time will make those, who have crime on their minds, think twice. Case in point: recently an off duty Alameda County Sheriff's Deputy helped BART Police to locate and arrest two people who had beaten and robbed a passenger on board a train."
Other objectives of the LESEP are to minimize BART Station swing gate usage and ticket fraud while maximizing Station Agent safety and BART's control of swing gates by providing secured, smartcard BART system access for peace officers.
"The re-launch of this program will not only enhance public safety, but Homeland Security, by shifting the responsibility of identifying eligible peace officers to BART Police personnel rather than the Station Agents," BART Police Chief Kenton Rainey said.