Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Oscar Grant Aftermath: Scathing Review of BART Police

Since our main focus is the correctional system, we haven't blogged in depth about the Oscar Grant shooting and its aftermath. However, the broad nature of our correctional crisis makes all stages of the criminal process - including policing - inexorably linked to each other. Therefore, we thought that some updates may be interesting to our readers.

Today, NOBLE (the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives) published its scathing review of BART police management, training and procedures. The full report can be downloaded here.

Among other things, the report points out to antiquated policing techniques, such as an emphasis on car patrols and very low visibility on the trains, tracks, and parking lots. Training is abysmal, there are no specialized units such as a SWAT team, and the protocols for use of force are sorely deficient.

If anyone is interested in hearing more, the report will be the subject of a public meeting at 9 a.m. Thursday in the BART board room, Kaiser Center 20th Street Mall, Third Floor, 344 20th St., Oakland. I called NOBLE this morning, and they seem to be interested in helping make things better.

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