SAN FRANCISCO—BART is currently in the process of hiring a Crisis Intervention Specialist and Transit Ambassador. This department will include a total of 20 Crisis Intervention Specialists, 10 Transit Ambassadors, and 12 officers.
Based on the data collected in 2020, almost 40 percent of the calls received regarding BART were not in relation to crime but, were in relation to wellbeing and medical assistance.
According to the BART Police Chief Ed Alvarez, BART has been looking for ways to re-evaluate policies and examining incidents that have transpired across the country. He stated that they are finding ways they can help with the crisis going on regarding mental health, homelessness, and drug use. BART’s goal is to increase the unarmed presence surrounding BART noted Chief Alvarez.
The contract has been approved by the Bart Board, and the Bart Police Department are moving to begin the hiring process. In order to be a Crisis Intervention Specialist, applicants need a background in social work. The position includes performing outreach to individuals who experience homelessness, mental health issues and substance use.