BART unveils new police patrol desks at Powell and Civic Center stations in SF

BART officials Tuesday unveiled new police patrol desks at its Powell and Civic Center stations in San Francisco that will be tested during the busy holiday shopping season.

The desks will be staffed by BART police or community service officers to handle any rider concerns or questions. Officers will not be at the desks full-time but will spend time there as a regular part of their shift, BART officials said.

BART police said the goals are to serve as a visual deterrent to crime and also help make stations friendlier.

“We want people to feel like they can approach us, whether it’s asking directions or just saying hello,” said police Lt. Ed Alvarez, who implemented the plan in coordination with BART police Chief Kenton Rainey.

For in-progress crimes or incidents, people should still call 911, (510) 464-7000, use a train intercom or contact a station agent if an officer is not around.

Riders can also use the BART Watch smartphone app to contact BART police and can find contact information for various police personnel at http://www.bart.gov/about/police/contact.

BART officials said if the patrol desks are well-received, they may be implemented at other stations in the future.