BART Police Uniforms, Now With Less "BART"

Update to shoulder patches emphasize police, de-emphasize BART

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Michael Mees
    BART's police chief wants you to know that BART cops are real cops -- you know, with lethal force and everything.

    Bay Area Rapid Transit Police Chief Gary Gee has issued new shoulder patches to the BART Police troops, and like anything the BART Police have done lately, it's proving controversial.

    Gone from the top of the patch is the "BART" in "BART Police." Instead, it reads "Police" in large type, with "Bay Area Rapid Transit" in much smaller letters across the bottom.

    The change was originally requested before the fatal shooting of Oscar Grant by BART Officer Johannes Mehserle on New Years Day, with the intent to make it clear that the officers were full-fledged law enforcement officials.

    However, in the wake of the shooting and trial, it might appear to be a quiet way of distancing the department from the bad publicity.

    In fact, the change was made so quietly that a BART spokesman hadn't even heard of the change when contacted by San Francisco Chronicle reporters last week.

    "It's one of the stupidest things I've heard," BART board member Lynette Sweet told the Chronicle. Photo by Michael Mees.

    Jackson West figures the fully loaded guns should be enough of an indication that the police are "real."