Thursday, September 25, 2008

Do BART Police Cars Need Sirens?

On a jammed freeway, I saw a BART police car, not equipped with sirens on top (the top was just plain and flat like a normal vehicle), honking nonstop with their hazard lights on, and trying to cut off other cars to get ahead. Weird sight. Do they really have another emergency to attend to? If there really is such an urgency, wouldn't the stations just call the local police to take care of the matter? Does BART police really need to get from one station to another in an urgent state? Because without sirens, by the time they get there in that traffic, I can't see them being of any help anymore.

It was just a weird sight. I'm not doubting their importance, but it is quite awkward seeing them honk nonstop with their hazard lights on in order to try to get around....if there's such a need, why not just install sirens? And what type of emergency would require BART police over ambulance or the local police force who can get there a lot more quickly?!?!


Anonymous said...


Pantograph Trolleypole said...

Interesting. BART is the only law enforcement group in the bay area that has jurisdiction over the bay area, because of so many counties and jurisdictions BART itself crosses. So I guess that might be a good idea for lights?

Anonymous said...

Yes, BPD is important and sometimes need to get to a call, just like other officers. There are not officers or substations at all the stations, so there are times where an officer will have to between stations. Any BPD is important!

I know the general mindset is like that of the first poster, which is typical, but they play a very important role at BART.

Anonymous said...

Contrary to the person who posted the "rent-a-cop" comment, BART police are actually state police. Serious stuff, they have more authority than your average local police.

That said, I have no idea why they don't have sirens on their cars. It seems like the should. I can imagine a situation where BART police are at, for example, Walnut Creek, and are called into a emergency on the train at Lafayette....

Anonymous said...

BART Police is important! They are not rent-a-cops. You would be shocked at how many gun calls BART PD responds to. Recently, they caught a man, who shot another man in the back parking lot of the Colisuem station, then there was that shooting at 19th street, not to mention all the incidents that happen at Bay Fair. Yes, BART PD is important, they are real police and I see them take people to the real jail, all the time!

Anonymous said...

I bet these guys are great at patrolling Starbucks and Dunkin Doughnuts.

Anonymous said...

In my 10 years of riding BART as a commuter:

- Have only seen BPD on the trains once, 2 days after 9/11.

- Have only seen them in the Station, usually chatting up the Station Agent - 3 times.

- Seen them at the Starbucks near El Cerrito Plaza - 20+ times.

Just some of my observations.

Anonymous said...

That's good then, because it means the system is quiet and their assistance is not needed. As for their presence at certain stations, remember there are substations in the system. But only notice them when they are at the coffee shop. Typical.

Anonymous said...

Well, so far my direct experience with BPD has been a lazy one: they like to sit in cars and wait for a commuter to leave their car so they can ticket them for parking...if it's 9:50 AM. Without, you know, actually bothering to look at plenty of other parked cars who don't have the permit.

Apparently one night my dad was waiting to pick up my brother in the drop-off/pick-up area only to notice another car who was waiting to pick up someone else was ticketed for waiting in the bus area. I was surprised to hear of this since it was something like 10 PM on a Saturday night, but I guess the officer had a quota to fill.

It's nice to actually see BPD stand around by the enter/exit gates to deter fare jumpers since they are usually never around.

Anonymous said...

10AM means 10AM, not 9:55AM. I have no problem with BPD doing that. Patrons should read what those signs say.

Anonymous said...

As a general rule, it is not BART PD who issues a citation for the Bus Zone. AC Transit has their own police officer who do this. Community Service Officer are the ones who go through the parking lots an issues parking citations, not BART Police Officers. Knowing the facts is half the battle!

Anonymous said...

Not true, I was at North Concord, sitting my truck as BPD pulled up at 955AM and started citing autos that were parked in the carpool spots prior to 10AM. I thought it was great to see people getting cited for not following the rules. These were not CSAs, this was a BPD officer. But CSAs do write parking citations as well.

Anonymous said...

This has nothing to do with sirens or BART police....Seats are often discussed on this blog and I justed wanted to let you know that last night on the way home - on the 7:45 pm Pittsburg train there were "adults" fighting over seats. Though I was not in the same car as the fighting group it must have been an issue because the train was delayed about 15 minutes. Meanwhile in my train some inconsiderate women sprawled herself out on two of the handcap labeled seats, lounging with her feet up on her bike reading her yoga manual. And everytime she would have to move her bike slightly she'd grimmace like it was the other people's fault. It was a pretty full train and I think she was being quite selfish. Granted BART should have bike racks, but give me a break. I also found it funny how everyone else was so polite as to Not ask her to move her things from the seat adjacent to her. I really don't understand the mentality of this city and it's public transport dynamics. For a city "considerate" of the environment people are pretty crappy to each other.

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