Safe injection sites could be coming to San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco Board of Supervisors President London Breed joined city leaders and advocates Monday on the steps of City Hall to launch a task force which will look at possibly creating safe injection sites for drug users in the city. Advocates say it's about harm reduction, but not everyone is on board.

In 90 days this Task Force plans to issue a report analyzing the potential for what's known as "safe consumption services" in San Francisco - places where people could use drugs without being stigmatized.

San Francisco Board of Supervisor's President London Breed sponsored legislation that created the Task Force.

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"I don't want to make it easy for people to use drugs but I also would have liked for my sister to be able to have a place that could have saved her life," said Breed.

"Enough is enough, no more deaths," chanted advocates while holding signs that said facts are greater than fear.

"The reason we're here is because our friends are dead, our family members have passed on the streets, in bathrooms, in alleys," said Holly Bradford, Program Coordinator of the San Francisco Drug Users Union.

Similar sites are in other countries including Canada.

Here locally, Park Station law enforcement officials have concerns.

"If this can save lives we're all for that but again we're concerned what happens after these individuals inject drugs when they go back out into the neighborhood," said Park Station Captain John Sanford.

"Are they going to become more aggressive or violent," questioned Park Station Officer Therese Deignan who is the community liaison.

They say balancing harm reduction with public safety and officers' safety can be difficult.

"Everyone has mixed feelings about it," said Officer Deignan.

While the conversation is far from over, many say this is a step in the right direction.

"This is the San Francisco I heard about back in the day where they actually stepped up to the plate and did something around public health and public policy," said Bradford.
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