At April 2, 2019’s City Council meeting, Milpitas Police Chief Armando Corpuz addressed the City Council in regard to a request from the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) for supplemental law enforcement at the upcoming Milpitas and Berryessa BART stations.
Milpitas’ new BART station is scheduled to open this coming December.
At present, VTA is contracted with the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office to provide supplemental law enforcement services for VTA properties, which include the Light Rail and bus stations, as well as the Milpitas and Berryessa BART stations. That contract, however, is set to expire on June 30, 2019.
Through its research, the Milpitas Police Department has come to expect that the BART station’s presence will have a public safety impact, as well as an accordant impact on public resources. If the Milpitas PD gets the VTA contract for Milpitas’ station, they’ll get added funding from the VTA for resources including equipment and personnel.
Whereas the BART Police Department is responsible for the interior of every BART station, what’s at stake here is the surrounding area and property, which is controlled by the VTA. The VTA will decide which applicant to award the contract to.
While Bernice Alaniz, Director of Business Operations and Communications for BART Silicon Valley, told The Milpitas Beat that the other applicants are confidential, she did emphasize that “Safety for the public, passengers, and our employees is first and foremost. Safety has been a priority from the minute those shovels hit the ground and will continue as we deliver service.”
Councilmember Carmen Montano offered Chief Corpuz her blessing, along with whatever help the Council might be able to offer. Councilmember Bob Nuñez echoed Montano’s sentiments, making the key point that “When the calls come out, you’re the first one on the scene anyway.”
In other words, incidents around the new BART station requiring a law enforcement presence will first and foremost spur the presence of the Milpitas PD, so it only makes sense for them to go after the contract.
Council unanimously approved the Chief’s request to apply.