By Dr Ces Noble
The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Police hosted a learning exchange (SMEE) for the members of the Public Safety Senior Officers Executive Course (PS-OSEC) visiting the US as part of their global peacekeeping module. Lt Gary Caganan, Ret (former Chief of the BART Police) and Sgt Shaun O’Connor arranged the event. JSUPT Ruelito Bobadilla gratefully acknowledged this gesture of bilateral assistance and friendship which is actually first in the history of BART Police.
The October 16 visit started with a briefing on BART Police Operations with Chief Alvarez.
The briefing emphasized the high-impact economic value of the BART operations hence the critical importance of the BART Police. The PNP officers commented that the BART Police is a good template for the Philippine light rail transits that transport about 1.2M daily in its three (3) lines – MRT, LRT1 and LRT2. They were impressed with how the BART police has authority and joint-jurisdiction of the rails regardless of its geographic location. If it is a security issue, they are responsible and take full-charge of the situation.
Sgt Joel Enriquez was in-charge of touring the group. First stop was the K-9 unit demonstration featuring single-purpose dogs. This was followed by the Zero bikes that could go up and down rail stair cases, and the fascinating skills demonstration of defense tactics led by LT Neil Rafanan. JSUPT Lorenzo Reyes tried the Zero bike himself and noted how light it is.
The LT Rafanan took the group to check-out the BART Dispatch Unit where he emphasize their close coordination with the non-uniformed units of the BART. The touring group enjoyed the BART ride that went from Embarcadero to Warm Springs. After the learning exchange the group, had lunch and fellowship with other officers of the BART Police particularly its Filipino-American members. “The Bay Area people are fortunate to have the BART Police championing their welfare and safety on daily basis,” explains PLTCOL Wilbert Divina, Vice President of the OSEC 2019 Group.