I first wrote this in the comment section but decided to expand on it. BART police officers are probably very hard at work, and it's easy for the rest of us to complain their lack of presence since we don't exactly see everything they do. Even if that is true, several readers and I have mentioned multiple times that there are many things that BART police can do to help make BART a more pleasant experience. Someone asks me, "Like what?"
Thought I should cut and paste my response as a new entry. Of course, I'm speaking from my own experiences, and I just happen to go to the lovely Civic Center station daily.
I can think of different examples everyday on why we need BART police presence even for "minor"things but the one that pops out at me most is what happened to me today and many other times in the past. Right outside the Market/8th exit off Civic Center station, there are homeless people coming up to passengers exiting up the stairs or escalators, asking for money, for food, for cigarettes, or whatever. I don't mind solicitations, but it's when they are hostile that I feel unsafe. If you ignore them, they yell obscenities at you. If you say sorry, I don't have anything, they curse hell at you too. Occasionally, they spit at you. Once I've even had one point a plastic toy gun at my head closely (I wrote about this back in 2005).
I've written the BART comment site about this several times. I never saw a visible difference or noticed an increase in BART police presence around there.
A coworker and I once told a ticket agent that there's blood on the stairs and all she said was it happens all the time, what do you want me to do about it. I said, well, maybe it should be cleaned up, and I don't know, maybe someone's hurt? If anything, I was stunned by her attitude.
On my way home, I've seen a disheveled woman inviting men to 'check out' her g-string. I can go on with other examples but hopefully you get the point.
For anyone who will likely blame me and other passengers for these mishaps, please hold back your criticisms and really think about why there isn't more BART police presence at a known to be troublesome station like Civic Center/UN Plaza?