BART will add 11 specialists with social work training to its police force and formalize a program with 10 unarmed ambassadors to respond to calls about homelessness, mental health and drug addiction. Directors who supported the plan said it adds appropriately trained personnel to address social issues that plague the train system and shifts police resources to tackling still problematic violent crime that stokes rider fear and provokes complaints. “Homelessness, poverty, mental health and drug abuse that we have in the Bay Area is not a BART problem, it’s everyone’s problem,” said Director John McPartland. “We all have a piece of the action.
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