BART Police Department Partners with Swords for Veterans-Only Info Session

December 6, 2016

On Monday, November 28, BART Police held a special veterans-only informational session, organized by Swords to Plowshares. The event covered an overview of Swords to Plowshares Employment and Training services, including case management, job development, and special projects. All attendees were able to gain a broader understanding of the opportunities available to them within the BART Police Department. As Special Projects Case Manager Lizzie Knox presented to the veteran attendees, “Today is not just about getting you started with the application, but about getting you employed.”

Richard Jacobson, BART Police Officer and Background Investigator, Richard Nagata, BART Police Community Service Officer, and Herson Enerio, Bart Police Officer, were all present to cover the ins and outs of working for BART Police, as well as the application process it is a great opportunity with continual recruitment and 35 open positions.

BART Police has one of the most rigorous application processes around, and the event was designed to help veterans correctly apply to show their skills, and ultimately get hired. “It’s a position of great responsibility, and we want to make sure we’re hiring qualified people,” said Richard Jacobson.

The BART team covered common issues among applicants, and addressed how to ensure the best chance of making it through the lengthy application. “We’re not looking for a perfect candidate, but we expect perfect honesty,” said Jacobson. Frequently, it is the omitting of small infractions that leads to disqualification. As the team explained, those infractions themselves will not disqualify a candidate, but hiding them shows cause for concern. Enerio clarified, “Integrity starts right now.”

The veterans who attended are prepared to correctly address the 27-page application, as well as see the relevance of their military service to the BART position. Walter Locke, one of the attendees, was grateful for the information from the event. “The personnel here today is knowledgeable. It was clear and easy to follow the format.” He believes the informational session will make a significant difference for him and for other veterans applying to BART. “It gives us the confidence and ability to move forward. It helps ensure it’s worth the time,” he said.

Enerio believes that veterans can do well in the BART PD positions. “Veterans have more situational awareness than many people.” As he shared, the information that was covered at the informational session is useful not only for applying to BART PD, but to police departments anywhere. He encourages those interested to go for a “Ride-Along” where they can shadow a police officer, learn more about the day-to-day work, and see if they will fit in with the demands and the environment. Further, he explained that this provides a unique way to prepare for the competitive panel interview.

Enerio, a veteran himself, was supported by one of our collaborative partners in Southern California 15 years ago. “I participated in something like this. I was 22 and had no plan, but was able to get help and direction. This is coming full circle, and it feels good.”

Veterans who attended the BART informational session will be prepared to move forward with the application, take the exam, and hopefully become employed by BART Police over the course of the next few months. Swords to Plowshares provides assistance with mock interviews, resume techniques, and cover letter and application advice.

To get connected with our expert employment team, contact employment@stp-sf.org

Feature image: Officers Enerio, Nagata, and Jacobson from BART Police Department lead a presentation to veterans at a special Swords to Plowshares event. They discussed the BART Police application process and helped set up these veterans for success.