San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system has six vacancies for police officers, but plans instead to fill those positions with social workers to handle issues involving the homeless and those with mental illness or drug addiction.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the public transit system has $2 million in its budget to fill the vacancies (for an average salary and benefits package worth about $333,000), but will instead hire a supervisor and “20 crisis intervention specialists,” the outlet reported. Last year, the board approved a plan that only added 10 specialists to BART’s bureau of progressive policing.
Unlike some other proposed police plans around the country, the BART plan would pair a social worker with an officer in case the call becomes violent.
“This bureau of progressive policing is super important in this time in our law enforcement history,” Deputy Police Chief Angela Averiett, head of the progressive policing bureau, told the Chronicle. “It really complements