California Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered state police and the California National Guard to partner with local law enforcement agencies to tackle San Francisco’s drug problem and disrupt fentanyl trafficking.
The move comes after city officials requested state and federal assistance to address issues of the outdoor drug trade.
The governor announced the plan Friday, just days after he toured the Tenderloin District with California Attorney General Rob Ponta and London Mayor Pride’s chief of staff as the trio assessed for themselves and saw how bad the fentanyl crisis was in the city. Become.
The California Highway Patrol, the California National Guard, the San Francisco Police Department, and the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office will now team up to help the city tackle the drug problem.
California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a partnership between the California State Police and the National Guard to disrupt fentanyl trafficking in San Francisco.
The trio assess the situation for themselves and see how bad the fentanyl crisis is in the city. California Governor Gavin Newsom, waving far right, California Attorney General Rob Ponta, center in a navy jacket, far left, Sean Elsbernd, Chief of Staff of San Fran Mayor London Bridge
The governor announced the plan on Friday, days after he toured the Tenderloin District
Governor Newsom directed the California Highway Patrol to identify ways to assist local police, including hiring personnel and resources, technical assistance, training, and drug-trafficking enforcement in key areas, particularly the Tenderloin District—an area of the city known for its high crime rate and drug activity. illegal.
In addition, the governor has directed the California National Guard to identify specialized personnel and resources to analyze drug trafficking operations, with a focus on dismantling fentanyl trafficking rings.
“Through this new collaborative partnership, we are providing more law enforcement resources and personnel to eliminate crime associated with the fentanyl crisis, hold poison peddlers accountable, and increase the law enforcement presence to improve public safety and public confidence in San Francisco,” Newsom said.
The governor said the partnership “will not seek to criminalize those who struggle with drug use and instead focus on holding drug suppliers and traffickers accountable.”
But the announcement drew mixed reactions from San Francisco residents and business owners: While some believe cracking down on drug dealers will help solve the city’s drug crisis, others worry that criminalizing those who struggle with drug use won’t solve the problem.
The area most affected by the city’s drug and homelessness crises is the Tenderloin and South of Market area, with people dealing and using drugs openly on the sidewalks.
A homeless man is seen at the Tenderloin District in San Francisco, California
Progressives argue that the city is simply replicating a failed war on drugs, while moderates want more prosecutions for drug dealers and increased action to address the issue.
The area hardest hit by the drug and homelessness crises in the city is the Tenderloin and South of Market area, with people dealing drugs and using them openly on the sidewalks.
New statistics reveal a 41 percent increase in overdoses in San Francisco in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period last year, with 200 deaths in the year through March.
Recently, politicians in San Francisco have been looking to outside sources to help manage the problem.
Aaron Peskin, chair of the Board of Supervisors, sent letters to the governor and Representative Nancy Pelosi last week asking for federal and state aid to help improve street conditions.
On Wednesday, JJ Smith, an activist who documents the horror he sees on the streets of San Francisco, said when the governor walked by, he asked, “What are you going to do about this fentanyl epidemic?”
The Governor, who only seconds before had extended a theatrical wave to the people watching him walk out, asked Smith a question and said, “What should I do JJ?… I want you to tell me what we should do.”
Recounting back and forth later, Smith said that the governor “ignored me in (sic)” and did not answer the question.
I am a citizen, I pay taxes. said Smith, whose online videos often document the torturous lives of fentanyl addicts and the living. in the streets.
He added that Newsom and his entourage walked down the street during a bright, sunny hour of the day, when they were not likely to see any wrongdoing occurring.
He said, “I’m in the streets, I know what’s going on in the streets.”
The people from City Hall can’t tell you what’s going on in the streets, because they don’t know.
Smith confronted Newsom, who said he was in town to discuss political solutions to the ongoing fentanyl crisis that Smith documents regularly
Smith said he saw the governor again some time later and asked him the same question, to which the governor replied, “I’m here to work on that now.”
Last month, Mayor Pride wrote to the new US Attorney for Northern California asking for help curbing open drug markets in the city. In addition, Board of Supervisors Chairman Aaron Peskin recently called for the creation of a joint task force with the Police Department to address the crisis.
“We have the police department and our county attorney partnered to address this issue and increase enforcement, but our local agencies could use more support,” Mayor Breed said.
It had promised crackdowns on the drug trade since December 2021 after a three-month state of emergency was declared in the Tenderloin.
More cops took to the streets in March 2022 with another batch in February after business owners complained.
While some, like Superintendent Matt Dorsey, are grateful for the help from the state, others, including Public Defender Manu Raju, argue that resources should be directed toward treatment for people who use drugs and alternatives for drug dealers.
The unnamed woman had to have her feet amputated because she did not seek medical treatment for the flesh-eating disease
Homeless men are seen on a sidewalk near City Hall in San Francisco, where lawmakers dream of more relaxed policies that fail to protect any part of the city’s vulnerable population.
San Francisco public policy has consistently allowed the homeless, drug addicts, and the mentally ill to walk the city streets.
The city also faces a rising problem of violent crime. Tech executive Bob Lee became one of the city’s latest murder victims last week.
San Francisco’s homeless count in February of last year was nearly 8,000, the second-highest number of any year since 2005, according to the official government count that occurs every three years.
It has almost certainly ballooned since last count.
Many liberal politicians and city leaders have tried to implement many policies to reduce the many issues that have arisen due to the swell population of homeless people and drug addicts.
One specific harm reduction policy that failed was the opening of a Tenderloin Center last year that was intended to help alleviate the drug crisis and homelessness in the city.
It cost taxpayers $22 million and was intended to be a “safe place” for addicts to “high without getting mugged” and without fear of a fatal overdose.
It was also meant to direct users to help centers, though during its first four months of operation it referred only 18 people out of more than 23,000 welcomed to the site.
Overall, less than one percent of visits ended up being “fully engaged” with behavioral health programmes.
Despite their efforts, 2022 saw over 500 people die of overdoses in San Francisco. In 2021, that number was 641.
Many of those who live on the streets suffer from serious illnesses that are often exacerbated by drug use.
Homeless people have been seen in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District
Last month, a homeless woman was photographed having her feet amputated following an illness for which passersby had begged her to be treated.
On February 6, JJ Smith filmed the shocking first clip of a woman who refuses medical help for her damaged feet.
In a heartbreaking follow-up posted March 30, the woman apparently didn’t heed his advice as she showed up in a wheelchair with her trunks up.
In the video from February, the wild-eyed woman, who appears to be frothing at her mouth, declines the videographer’s offer to take her to the hospital for treatment of the infection on her feet.
He says, “Let me take you to the hospital.”
“No, no, no,” she replies, going to sit on a pile of dirty stuff.
‘You’ll have your feet cut off, if you don’t fix them,’ said Smith.
“It will be fixed, I promise,” she insisted.
No further details of the cause of the woman’s illness have been published.