Fewer police on BART trains as mandatory overtime ends

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- You might be noticing fewer police officers on board BART trains this week. That's because BART has suspended mandatory overtime that's been in place for the last three weeks after the stabbing death of Nia Wilson in late July at the MacArthur station.

BART officers had been working 10-hour shifts, six days a week. Now all that overtime is voluntary.

RELATED: Nia Wilson's family files claim against BART after fatal stabbing

BART police Depity Chief Lance Haight said, "People will see additional officers on our trains but not to the full extent when people had to work six days a week, but we are still having additional coverage. "

BART estimates there were ten to 20 officers riding on trains on an average day with the mandatory overtime. Now there will be four to 10 officers.

BART recently secured a federal safety and security grant for $6.8 million. They will start spending that money in September. But the focus of the grant is anti-terrorism, not crime. Still it will provide some upgrades in surveillance cameras.

RELATED: BART stabbing victim recalls horrific attack, loss of sister
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Letifah Wilson spoke to ABC7 News outside a family member's home about a brutal attack in which BART police say John Cowell stabbed both her and her sister at the MacArthur BART Station. Her 18-year-old sister Nia Wilson passed away at the scene.

Deputy Chief Haight said, "People realize if I commit a crime on BART, my photo will be captured and I will be apprehended and that is a deterrent to crime absolutely. "

But attorney Bob Arns who is representing Nia Wilson's family in a lawsuit against BART said, "Security cameras will catch the crime being committed but it won't stop the crime. "

He added, "BART is like a sieve for the criminally and mentally ill who want to be in a confined space and spend the day. BART knows the only way to stop crime on BART is to stop fare evasion."

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