BART to increase security for anniversary of 9/11

As part of a project called Operation RAILSAFE, Bay Area Rapid Transit is increasing its security presence at its stations and parking lots in recognition of the 10-year anniversary of 9/11.

The operation — which is designed to coordinate deployments of law enforcement officers from Contra Costa, Alameda and San Francisco counties — began Thursday and will continue through Monday.

The first Operation RAILSAFE took place across eight states and 22 transportation agencies on May 27, 2010, and was an effort to coordinate personnel to aid the agencies during emergency or heightened alerts.

“What we’re asking our partners to do is augment our staff and to come into our systems when their personnel is available,” said Kenton Rainey, BART police chief. “It’s another way for us to improve relationships with other law enforcement officers and send a clear message that we’re all of one accord and working in conjunction.”

Officers outside of BART police will contribute part of their regular patrol hours in shifts to station personnel in parking lots and patrol BART terminals and platforms.

The main goals of the project are to provide a venue to share intelligence and practices related to rail security among law enforcement agencies and to formalize channels for quickly mobilizing large numbers of officers, a BART press release said.

Rainey said the operation is especially important considering the lingering questions regarding transportation security in light of 9/11.

“When (citizens) see something out of the ordinary, they will report it, and we’re asking for that because officers can become complacent — having different law enforcement agents come in can relieve that,” he said. “(The operation) is another way to communicate to our commuters and the citizens that everything is OK.”