Kenton Rainey was sworn in as the new chief of BART’s 296-member police force at a ceremony at the transit agency’s board meeting Thursday morning.
Rainey, 51, was police chief in Fairfield from April 2007 to September 2009 and most recently had been the commander of San Antonio’s airport police division. He assumed his duties as BART’s police chief on June 16.
He was sworn in Thursday in front of his family and many community leaders.
Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, who presided over the ceremony, described Rainey as “a young man I’ve had the great pleasure of knowing for many years.”
Rainey takes over a Police Department that has been under scrutiny since former BART officer Johannes Mehserle killed unarmed train rider Oscar Grant III at the Fruitvale station in Oakland on Jan. 1, 2009.
Closing arguments are being presented Thursday in Los Angeles County Superior Court in Mehserle’s trial on a murder charge stemming from the shooting.
Oakland community leaders and police are bracing for the possibility of civil unrest when the verdict is announced, and Rainey told reporters after Thursday’s ceremony that “we’re doing the things that other agencies are doing” to prepare for protests.