A look at San Francisco's fentanyl crisis crackdown 1 month after receiving Gov. Newsom's aid

Tara Campbell Image
Monday, June 5, 2023
A look at SF's fentanyl crisis 1 month after receiving state aid
It has been one month since Gov. Newsom's decision to send in CHP and the National Guard to help crackdown on San Francisco's open-air drug markets.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It has been one month since Gov. Gavin Newsom's decision to send in the California Highway Patrol and National Guard to help crackdown on San Francisco's open-air drug markets.

Saturday we hit the streets to get a look at the impact and what comes next in the battle against the fentanyl crisis.

CHP is teaming up with SFPD to target the Tenderloin and South of Market districts, while the National Guard works behind the scenes analyzing intelligence.

RELATED: Mixed reaction to Gov. Newsom's plans to combat San Francisco's fentanyl crisis

Tara Campbell: "Supervisor Dorsey we're in your backyard here, and this is one of the areas CHP was going to be or has been really paying attention to. Have you seen a difference out here?

Sup. Matt Dorsey: "You know, I would say not really. We're in a situation right now where we're seeing a level of drug use and drug dealing that's unprecedented."

San Francisco is seeing two drug overdose deaths a day -- on pace for the deadliest year yet, amid the drug overdose crisis.

And Dorsey says it's going to take more time and resources before seeing an impact. Right now, he says just six CHP officers are on the streets but believes more support is on the way.

"I did talk with the chief of police today. He feels it is helpful having CHP lending some support in a uniformed presence, because that's giving San Francisco police -- at a time when it's significantly understaffed -- the ability to deploy those resources to narcotics operations," Dorsey said.

RELATED: Here's a look at SF 'Wellness Hubs' plan, which could include safe consumption sites

And it's opening up resources to start arresting drug users.

The supervisor confirmed that SFPD arrested 16 people using drugs in the past week for public intoxication.

"I think it is an approach that I will support, so long as we're making an intervention that's more than just jail," Dorsey said.

"What's that going to do, it's just going to create more problems?" said Randal, who is addicted to Fentanyl and says arresting people like him isn't the answer.

"We get out and we're worse. What does that do? It teaches us to be sneakier and bigger criminals. We don't need that. We need compassion," he added.

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