BART to use funding for security cameras
BART will soon be buying millions of dollars in new security cameras for its stations. Today, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's office announced BART will receive $5.4 million for those cameras from a recent voter-approved bond measure.
During this morning's news conference at the Powell Street BART Station, Matthew Bettenhausen, the Governor's Director of the Office of Homeland Security, handed top BART officials a giant mock check symbolizing the $5.4 million allocation BART will receive. The $5.4 million is the first installment from the $19.9 billion Proposition 1B bond measure, which voters approved last year in November.
"From day one, the Governor has pledged that public safety is priority number one," Bettenhausen said. It's why he added security funds into the bond measure in the first place. This is the first installment of a billion dollar payment to transit security in the state. I'm proud to deliver these funds to BART and it shows the Governor and we at OHS are moving quickly to put the money to good use."
"We are truly grateful for the Governor's support of Proposition 1B, which sets aside $ 1 billion of the $19.9 billion solely for security enhancements," said BART Board of Directors President Lynette Sweet who accepted the ceremonial check alongside Director Carole Ward Allen who chairs BART's Security Committee, Director James Fang who represents the Powell Street Station and BART General Manager Dorothy Dugger. "For security reasons we cannot tell you how many cameras we'll be purchasing, or exactly where we'll be installing them, but rest assured the money will go a very long way in making our riders even safer than they are today," Sweet said.
CAMERAS DO MORE THAN FIGHT TERRORISM
The cameras BART will purchase with the $5.4 million will do more than fight terrorism. "In this day and age, when people think about security, they usually think terrorism," said Director Ward Allen. "But these cameras will also help BART Police fight regular crime as well. These cameras will deter both crime and terrorism as well as provide a valuable tool for investigators to use should an incident occur."
"The safety and security of our passengers is our top concern," Director Fang said. "It's particularly important that we strategically use these funds to implement a program that enhances the protection we provide our 350,000 daily riders who use BART's 43 stations each weekday."
BART already has many cameras in its system. "What BART will do with this $5.4 million is to standardize our camera system so that all cameras are state-of-the-art," Ward Allen said.
BART HAS $250 MILLION IN SECURITY NEEDS
BART has $250 million in security needs. The list of needs includes a uniform network of state-of-the-art security cameras, more bomb-sniffing dogs, and chemical, biological and radiological detectors. Since 9/11 BART has spent $46 million on security, but has received $20 million in grant funding. "There's no way we can afford to pay for all the items on our list with BART fare revenues," Dugger said. "That's why we must rely upon other sources of revenue. We want to thank the Governor, the Legislature and the voters for their support of Proposition 1B. The revenues from the measure will greatly help us protect our passengers."