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People News: BART, Lochner

Written by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor
Kevin Franklin has been appointed as BART Chief of Police.

Kevin Franklin has been appointed as BART Chief of Police.

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) appoints Kevin Franklin as Chief of Police. Also, John Tipton joins Lochner’s Transit & Rail practice as Senior Program Manager.

BART General Manager Bob Powers on Oct. 2 announced the hiring of Kevin Franklin as Chief of Police and tasked him with “marshaling every available resource to bolster the BART Police Department’s visible safety presence in the system and maximizing recruiting efforts to fill vacant officer positions.”

The selection of Franklin, who was appointed as Interim BDP Chief in May and quickly established his commitment to “ensuring BART is the safest way to travel around the Bay Area,” is the result of a thorough, nationwide search process involving a collaboration between BART, the Police Citizen Review Board, and BART’s Independent Police Auditor, according to the transit agency.

Franklin will join General Manager Powers during an upcoming Safe and Clean Plan Listening Tour at BART stations to meet with riders and get feedback about BART’s efforts to regain ridership and provide the best service yet.

“Chief Franklin is a life-long BART rider with an intimate knowledge of the system and its police department,” said General Manager Bob Powers. “Kevin was instrumental in BPD’s new deployment strategy that has significantly increased the presence of uniformed police personnel on trains and in stations. He is not only detail-oriented, but a creative thinker with a deep commitment to our community. I am confident his leadership will help BART continue to improve the safety of our riders.”

GM Powers introduces Chief Franklin at news conference at Lake Merritt Station.

According to BART, recent BPD accomplishments for rider safety spearheaded by Franklin include:

  • 349 felony arrests through July, the highest year-to-date total since the pandemic.
  • Average response times to Priority 1 calls at approximately 4 minutes, among the fastest in the Bay Area.
  • Working with the BART Board to ensure BPD is offering competitive salaries to attract qualified officer candidates.
  • Earned advanced certification from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), ensuring BPD is meeting and exceeding the industry’s highest standards.

Franklin is a 27-year veteran of the BPD, an Oakland native, and an East Bay resident. He began his law enforcement career at the Oakland Police Department where he served as a Police Cadet and Police Officer before transferring to the BART Police Department in 1996.

Franklin’s BPD career includes serving as Interim Chief since May, Deputy Chief of both the Operations and Support Services bureaus, leading BPD’s Internal Affairs division, and serving as Manager of Security Programs, as well as extensive patrol experience as he worked his way up the chain of command after starting as a Police Officer.

A University of California, Berkeley graduate, Franklin also holds a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice from California Coast University and has graduated from the FBI National Academy and the Police Executive Research Forum Senior Management Institute for Police.

Franklin has had a connection to BART from its very first day of service. As a three-year-old toddler, he and his family attended the opening day of the regional transit system on Sept. 11, 1972, taking the train from Lake Merritt Station to Fremont Station and back.

Lochner, a provider of infrastructure planning and engineering services, announced Oct. 4 that John Tipton, the former Interim Chief Engineer for the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (Trinity Metro) and Program/Project Manager and Technical Advisor to major transit and rail initiatives throughout Texas and Arizona, has joined the company’s Transit & Rail practice.

Serving in the role of Senior Program Manager, Tipton brings to Lochner more than four decades of experience managing the successful completion of major light rail transit and commuter rail projects and programs. Additionally, Tipton has specialized technical expertise in the development and rehabilitation of passenger rail infrastructure including aerial and at-grade stations, rail maintenance facilities, grade crossings, bridge structures, Federal Transit Administration (FTA) New Starts grant support services, and design and construction quality initiatives.

Some of the representative projects Tipton has worked on throughout his career include TEXRail, the 27-mile commuter rail line between downtown Fort Worth and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport; Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s (DART) North Central Line Sections NC-3, NC-4, NC-5, encompassing 12.5 miles of the regional transit agency’s phase one expansion; DART’s Northwest Corridor 30-mile phase two expansion; Trinity Railway Express/DART’s 1.55-mile section of new double track that increased capacity for commuter, freight, and intercity trains; Denton County Transportation Authority’s 21-mile commuter rail project that extends from Carrollton, Texas to Denton, Texas; and Valley Metro Rail’s 4.3-mile line section for Phoenix’s light rail starter system.

“I am honored and excited to be working again with John,” said Lochner’s Transit & Rail Director Gary Thomas. “His vast technical knowledge of the transit and rail industry, his proven leadership and problem-solving capabilities, and his unwavering commitment to quality and excellence will provide great value for our public transportation clients.”

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