SAN FRANCISCO - JULY 05: Commuters walk off of a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) train July 5, 2005 in San Francisco, California. With a strike deadline looming at the end of the July 5, BART management and union representatives are trying to hammer out a c

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To Deal With Safety, BART Studying Unarmed Civilian 'Ambassadors'

SF Muni Program Viewed as Possible Model

KCBS Radio Morning News
September 25, 2018 - 7:47 am

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS Radio) -- There's widespread agreement that BART needs more police officers. But there's also a push to add unarmed civilians to the mix. 

Several BART Board members are interested in launching a "civilian ambassador" program modeled on the one used by San Francisco's Muni system.

The Muni conflict resolution program uses 16 people in yellow safety vests; they ride buses near known trouble spots. 

The idea appeals to BART Director Bevan Dufty of San Francisco, who told "KCBS and Chronicle Insider" Phil Matier in a KPIX5 interview, "I think what we need is a visible presence on the trains and in the stations."

Dufty did a Muni ride-along through San Francisco's Bayview District on Monday,  looking to see if a similar program would work on BART.

As if to highlight the challenges facing BART, the Tuesday morning commute was delayed when police  took a man into custody at the Bay Fair station after 5 am.  Authorities said the suspect had dragged a woman off a train.  BART police said the woman  was not hurt but was not cooperative with police.