Carlos Rojas Sworn in as BART's New Chief of Police

BART's board of directors on Thursday swore in Carlos Rojas as the new chief of the transit agency's police department.

"I just want to thank you for this opportunity and this privilege to be the chief of the BART police," Rojas said, shortly after posing for a photo with the board, during a meeting in Oakland.

"I really view it as an honor to serve as a police chief in this capacity," for the people who rely on BART for transportation, Rojas added.

Rojas served as chief of the Santa Ana Police Department for five years before coming to the Bay Area, and has 27 years of law enforcement experience as well as expertise in community-oriented policing practices and homeland security issues.

Rojas will be BART's first Latino police chief, according to the transit agency.

Grace Crunican, BART's general manager, announced the hire last month.

"The Police Department has been moving in the right direction, and I am confident that our new chief will accelerate our efforts to increase the visibility of police officers on our trains and in our stations," Crunican said in a statement back in April.

The new chief took a moment on Thursday morning to recognize the agency's civilian review board, thanking them for taking time to come in for the swearing-in ceremony.

Rojas is joining BART at a time when crime has been on an uptick and there's been a jump in the number of fare evaders.

Just last month, a group of about 40 to 60 juveniles stormed a train in Oakland and robbed several riders. And last night, a woman reported a case of sexual battery on a train between Richmond and north Berkeley.

NBC Bay Area's Bob Redell contributed to this report.

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