In light of the national Black Lives Matter movement, the BART Police Department introduced policy reforms Friday, expanding training and creating new initiatives.
Introduced by BART Board of Directors President Lateefah Simon, BART General Manager Bob Powers and BART police Chief Ed Alvarez, the policies aim to increase police oversight and civilian policing, according to a BART press release. All three will work together to create a community-based, anti-racism training course.
Other police training changes include an inclusion of integrating communications, assessment and tactics training, which will teach officers how to respond to situations that do not involve firearms. The new protocols also include updated interactive simulator training tools that reflect the new restraint requirements, as BART banned the use of the carotid hold June 12.
The BART Police Department will also reallocate $2 million in operating funds to increasing the number of unarmed civilian employees in the system, participate in Government Alliance on Race and Equity training and provide resources to increase police oversight activities from the Office of the Independent Police Auditor.
“BART will continue to listen to communities, learn from experts and collaborate with advocates,” Powers said in the press release. “Being responsive to calls for reform from the community is a critical part of establishing a culture of accountability within the BART Police Department.”