BART Agents Feeling Threatened By Passengers

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Officer of the Bay Area Rapid Transit Police Department walks along a BART train, San Francisco (AP)

Officer of the Bay Area Rapid Transit Police Department walks along a BART train, San Francisco (AP)

OAKLAND (CBS 5) – BART agents have said they fear for their lives due to an increase in threats of violence and even physical attacks from passengers.

The people who sit inside the booths at BART stations claim that they’re regularly under attack.

“There’s just a handful of folks that are making lives difficult for the employees,” said BART Spokesman Linton Johnson.

The number of attacks has on station agents vary year-to-year from 54 in 2008 to 34 last year.

Johnson said the police force of 300 is limited, and can’t be everywhere all the time. Now they are asking riders to help point out troublemakers.

“We understand that the police are understaffed and we understand that they have a small cadre of officers on each shift but we also understand that we’re in that booth by ourselves and we need to have a level off comfort higher than we have now,” said Station Agent Antonette Bryant.

In addition to more police, the station agents would like to see better fortified booths.

The BART Board of Directors is thinking about a new PR campaign to highlight the fines and jail time associated with attacking a transit officer.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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