If you ride BART regularly, chances are you've seen a police officer more often in the past month.
BART has increased patrols on all its trains since the first of the year.
In particular, though, it has added officers on trains traveling in the Transbay Tube and through the Berkeley hills. Those areas are considered most vulnerable to a large-scale attack.
The officers are part of a Critical Asset Patrol team of seven officers who began duty Jan. 10. Their services are paid by a three-year federal grant. Part of the money is used to train the officers in counter-terrorism tactics.
"The idea was to create a team of officers who would be riding trains, checking platforms and be highly visible throughout BART's critical corridor,” said BART Police Sgt. Edgardo Alvarez, supervisor of the team, in an article on BART's web site.
The CAP officers spend most of their shifts riding the silver mass-transit vehicles.
Other officers split their time between riding trains and patrolling parking lots and areas around BART stations.
Since early January, regular officers have been riding trains in their region at least twice a shift. Alvarez said the goal was to increase the presence of uniformed officers on all trains.
He said most crime on BART property is not committed on the trains but at stations and in parking lots.
Alvarez noted that in December, a BART officer helped accused of sexually assaulting a toddler in a Dollar Tree store.