The California National Guard and other organizations will participate in a new strategy unveiled by Governor Gavin Newsom on Friday to address the fentanyl issue in San Francisco.
“It’s definitely a move in the right direction,” said Mayor London Breed. “I have reached out to our governor, I reached to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and others and in fact, our governor has responded with what I think is going to be some tremendous support.”
The California Highway Patrol, California National Guard, San Francisco Police Department, and San Francisco District Attorney have all agreed to cooperate in addressing the ongoing situation in exchange for that help.
The collaboration between all four agencies will focus on “dismantling fentanyl trafficking and disrupting the supply of the de@dly drug in the city by holding the operators of large-scale drug trafficking operations accountable.”
“Help from the National Guard and the CHP coordinating and working with our police department and our DA to help us address the challenges around our open-air drug dealing mostly in the Tenderloin and South of Market neighborhoods in San Francisco,” said Breed.
The statement was made two days after the governor unexpectedly stopped in the Tenderloin to assess the situation firsthand.
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“We’re taking action,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “Through this new collaborative partnership, we are providing more law enforcement resources and personnel to crack down on crime linked to the fentanyl crisis, holding the poison peddlers accountable, and increasing law enforcement presence to improve public safety and public confidence in San Francisco.”
“We make arrests day in and day out but it’s really hard to hold ground and we need to get it under control and that’s exactly what we plan to do. So we will do it in a San Francisco way with San Francisco values but the help is much needed,” said San Francisco Police Department Chief Bill Scott.
He described the challenges facing authorities and provided guarantees regarding the intended victims. “I want to ensure the public that we are going to police the way we police and that is with dignity and respect and work with our community,” said Scott.
According to Newsom, the initiative would focus on drug suppliers and traffickers rather than criminalizing people with substance use disorders. There haven’t been many specifics regarding how and when the extra troops would be utilized made public.
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