In 3 Days, BART Police Arrest 27 Drug Users At Civic Center Station

BART police are cracking down on drug use inside Civic Center station.

On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, police conducted a three-day sting inside the station, using plainclothes officers and surveillance cameras. Once suspects were identified by the plainclothes officers, BART’s Critical Asset Protection team moved in to make the arrests.

In all, 27 people were arrested for narcotics use. BART police said they are working with the San Francisco District Attorney’s office to build cases against the more than two dozen suspects.

Photo: Franco Folini/Flickr

Open drug use, particularly of intravenous drugs, has become a common sight inside Civic Center station, especially in the outer hallways and stairwells.

A Twitter search for "needle Civic Center" surfaces numerous reports of used needles inside the station, and the surrounding area at UN Plaza is known as a needle hotspot.

BART says this week's crackdown is the second such sweep to occur in recent months. They intend to use lessons learned during these two efforts to inform similar operations in collaboration with the SFPD going forward, including in other BART stations. 

“We want to send a clear message that drug use at our stations will not be tolerated,” acting BART police chief Jeff Jennings said in a press release.

The targeted efforts in the Civic Center Station come under a month after an anti-drug joint law enforcement effort in the nearby Tenderloin came to a close, after evidence of racial bias emerged. BART police were not involved in that operation, which focused on street-level drug dealers.

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In 3 days bart police arrest 27 drug users at civic center station