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SF-area transit upgrading security after train station attacks

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Bay Area Rapid Transit announced new safety measures this week as a response to multiple attacks at train stations this summer. The new measures include more officers and new security infrastructure. File Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI

By Sommer Brokaw, UPI

San Francisco's public transit organization has announced new safety measures in response to a series of passenger attacks at train stations this summer.

Bay Area Rapid Transit announced a safety action plan Monday that includes an increase of patrol officers in train stations.

Other measures are enhanced security training, additional fencing, emergency call boxes and making it harder to bypass fare gates. Upgraded video surveillance, which would cost about $15 million, is also part of the plan.

Officials said it will take about four years to implement all the upgrades.

[post_ads]The ramped up security comes on the heels of multiple homicides at BART stations last month.

Nia Wilson, 18, was killed as she waited to transfer trains at Oakland's MacArthur Station. John Cowell, 27, was arrested for the stabbing the next day. Police said Cowell stabbed her and 26-year-old Latifah Wilson, who survived.

Wilson's was the second death at a BART station in two days, and the third in five days.

BART Police Chief Carlos Rojas said Wilson's attack was "probably one of the most vicious" he's seen in 30 years of police work.

The attacks sparked public outrage and BART's safety plan.

"BART has always been focused on public safety but it's clear that we must do even more," BART General Manager Grace Crunican said. "Our riders are demanding that we do more to maintain public safety and this plan offers multiple new initiatives we can immediately begin to roll out."

BART board member Bevan Dufty told The San Francisco Chronicle the attacks have shaken riders.

"Nia's murder just decimated public perception," Dufty said. "Only one thing will alleviate riders' fears: seeing more people in uniform on BART."

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U.S. - U.S. Daily News: SF-area transit upgrading security after train station attacks
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