BART Police hope to lure new recruits with $10K hiring bonus

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- BART police are on a mission to fight a growing crime problem and it starts with the recruiting of more officers, more than three dozen to be exact.

"We currently have roughly 39 vacancies," explained BART Police Chief Carlos Rojas, as he stood at the "Hiring Our Heroes" Job Fair at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

It's an event designed exclusively for people who've recently completed their military service. "We're very interested in those who have served in the military," said Rojas. "We believe there is a self-discipline regardless of what they did in the military, that is conducive to becoming a BART officer."

Violent crimes on BART have surged 41-percent in the first five months of this year, compared with the same period last year. At the same time, the system has seen a steady decline in the number of people applying for its police department.

There were just 750 applicants last year, compared with nearly 3000 in 2013.

"I love their program. I love everything they're about," said John Urbina, a Daly City resident who recently completed four years in the Navy. "I've been really motivated recently with all the crime that's been going on with BART and I'm the type of person that likes to help people."

Starting pay at BART for new academy graduates is just over $5,600 per month plus benefits. There's also a $10,000 signing bonus for recent academy graduates and officer with prior experience at another agency.
More information, including a full list of incentives, can be found on the BART website.
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