BART pulling the plug on decoy cameras

(SF Examiner file photo)

BART is moving to outfit all trains with working cameras, replacing decoys found on some trains, a BART spokesperson announced in a statement Wednesday.

“BART has committed to install a working camera system on each and every train car as quickly as possible,” Alicia Trost said in the statement, “Staff is already working on funding options, a procurement plan, and deployment strategy.”

The decision to scrap the decoy cameras comes after a passenger was fatally shot at the West Oakland BART station Jan. 9. As the Examiner previously reported, BART police sought the public’s help in identifying the shooter at a press conference shortly after.

When BART police released an image of the suspect, it was also revealed that some cameras aboard the trains were decoys.

“However, the ability of decoy cameras to deter crime depends on the principle of uncertainty,” Trost said. “Once that uncertainty was removed, our strategy was rendered ineffective.”

Along with the decoy cameras, BART also relies on cameras located in train cars, platform stations and on police officers for surveillance, according to the agency.

BART’s Fleet of the Future trains are already fully equipped with working cameras – trains which arrive in BART’s fleet in 2017. These trains will be phased into the fleet over a period of 20 years, according to BART.

There’s no word yet on how long the surveillance update for BART’s original fleet, first built in the 1970s, will take.

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