San Francisco has been struggling with a drug crisis for many years. In recent years, the crisis has worsened, with more people dying from overdoses and more open drug use on the streets.
Some people have blamed the city's liberal policies for the crisis, arguing that they have made it easier for people to get and use drugs.
Open-air drug use is a major problem that in recent years has gotten worse. This is due in part to the city's lenient drug laws, which make it difficult to prosecute drug dealers and users. As a result, open-air drug use is rampant in many parts of the city, particularly in the Tenderloin neighborhood.
On April 21, 2023, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a new public safety partnership with the City of San Francisco to disrupt fentanyl trafficking. The partnership will involve the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and the California National Guard (NG) providing personnel and resources to assist the city in combatting fentanyl trafficking.
Governor Newsom said, "The fentanyl crisis is a public health emergency that is taking lives across California. This new partnership will help us crack down on the drug dealers who are poisoning our communities and save lives."
The new public safety partnership will build on the work that is already being done by the City of San Francisco to combat fentanyl trafficking. The partnership will include the following elements:
- Increased law enforcement presence: The California Highway Patrol (CHP) and the California National Guard (NG) will deploy additional personnel to San Francisco to help crack down on fentanyl trafficking. The CHP and NG will also work with the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) to conduct joint operations and investigations.
- Enhanced intelligence sharing: The CHP, NG, and SFPD will share intelligence and information about fentanyl trafficking to help identify and target traffickers.
- Increased prosecutions: The San Francisco District Attorney's Office (DA's Office) will prioritize the prosecution of fentanyl trafficking cases. The DA's Office will also work to ensure that those convicted of fentanyl trafficking receive stiff sentences.
- Public education and outreach: The City of San Francisco will launch a public education and outreach campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of fentanyl. The campaign will target young people and their families, as well as people who are at risk of using fentanyl.
The new public safety partnership is a critical step in the fight against fentanyl trafficking in San Francisco. Mayor London breed said "I want to thank Governor Newsom for this critical support to help break up the open-air drug dealing happening in our city. Our Police Department and District Attorney have been partnering to tackle this issue and increase enforcement, but our local agencies can use more support".