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BART Police Training Manual: Now You Don’t See It, Now You Don’t

By queen
Monday, January 19th, 2009 at 2:53 pm in Misc. Transportation.

In the wake of the fatal officer-involved shooting on New Year’s Day, questions are flying about BART police training. If you’ve seen the chilling video of the shooting, it’s hard not to wonder how an officer could seemingly pull his gun and shoot a man lying on the ground with his hands behind his back. Wasn’t the officer trained not to do such a thing?

That certainly is a good question, and the BART police manual would be a good way to answer it. BART spokesman Linton Johnson says there isn’t such a thing.

“There’s not really an officer’s training manual,” Johnson told Medianews in a voicemail message last week. “We hire out of police academies. You’d want to call the police academies to get their training manual, if there is one.”

On Saturday, Jan. 17, a letter from two BART directors published in the Contra Costa Times said, “BART’s Police Department … has established policies and procedures that prescribe appropriate conduct expected of all members of the department, both sworn and non-sworn.” Seems like policies and procedures might fill the bill, no? Wouldn’t those have to be written down?

BART has devoted a section of its Web site to its police force. Readers, if you have found anything useful here, please feel free to comment. The SWAT Team page is not very specific, telling us that the team gets training from “a number of sources” including the FBI and “other local teams.”

“Team members train on scenarios which include situations on-board trains within tunnels, on elevated trackways, or in stations.” But there’s no manual?

(Photo: BART Web site, SWAT Team page) 




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2 Responses to “BART Police Training Manual: Now You Don’t See It, Now You Don’t”

  1. david vartanoff Says:

    sounds like time for a FOIA request, no? at the very least what do these directors refer to?

  2. Queen Says:

    David, excellent suggestion. For readers unfamiliar with the acronym, FOIA refers to the Freedom Of Information Act, under which journalists can request documents. I will look into that, David.

    I also e-mailed Linton Johnson to see if he can get me the policies and procedures referred to by the directors. Stay tuned!

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