BART officials finalized a committee of 11 members Thursday for a newly established Citizen Review Board as part of the BART Police Department.
According to BART officials, the creation of the board is in response to the January 1, 2009 shooting of 22-year-old Oscar Grant by BART officer Jonhannes Mehserle at the Fruitvale station in Oakland. Mehserle was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2010 and is now serving two years in a California prison.
“After the 2009 tragedy, we listened to the public and we promised a series of sweeping changes to improve transparency and public confidence in the BART Police Department,” said BART president Bob Franklin in a press release.
Franklin said in the release that BART created the board in an effort to create transparency and safety for riders and police officers.
The CRB will be responsible for analyzing, suggesting, and commenting on changes and implementation of police policy. In reflection of its commitment to the community it will also receive and give suggestions on disciplinary measures when dealing with police misconduct and also interacting with community outreach.
Alongside the CRB, BART officials have also begun a Police Department Review Committee and plan to hire a private police auditor. The CRB will begin when this auditor is hired.
“The list of changes that we’ve already made is quite substantial, including hiring a new police chief, significantly increasing visibility of officers on trains, tripling the training hours for our officers, streaming our board meetings live on www.bart.gov/board and now establishing a Citizen Review Board,” Franklin said.
Members of the approved CRB include former Berkeley Police Chief Doug Hambleton of Danville, along with citizens from San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley. Berkeley