BART's new police chief, Ed Alvarez outlines priorities to reduce crime, improve rider experience on transit

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- BART's new police chief outlined his priorities when he was introduced to the media on Friday.

Chief Ed Alvarez is an East Bay native and a 22-year veteran of the transit agency's police department. He's been the interim chief since his predecessor Carlos Rojas retired in May of last year.

Alvarez faces a tough challenge in combatting the recent increase of crime on the transit system within the last five years.

REPORT: Violent crime on BART increased by 115 percent over last 5 years

In his first order of business, Alvarez said he will assign 12 new officers, just out of training, to ride the trains in high crime areas.

Individual officers will also be assigned to select stations like Balboa Park, which has seen an increase in cellphone and electronics thefts. In both cases, he says, the goal is to increase visibility to build more confidence in riders.

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Alvarez says there are also 25 openings for new officers that he plans to fill in the next two years.

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