(The Center Square) – To deal with the fentanyl crisis in San Francisco, California is bringing in the National Guard.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced an agreement between California Highway Patrol, California National Guard, San Francisco Police Department, and the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office to help combat the city’s fentanyl problem.
The agencies will collaborate to stop fentanyl trafficking and large-scale drug dealing operations in the city.
“Two truths can co-exist at the same time: San Francisco’s violent crime rate is below comparably sized cities like Jacksonville and Fort Worth — and there is also more we must do to address public safety concerns, especially the fentanyl crisis,” Gov. Newsom said in a press release issued by his office. “We’re taking action. 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.”
Critics dispute the characterization that San Francisco has less violent crime due to policies that differentiate incidents and number of victims involved.
Major General Matthew P. Beevers of the California National Guard expressed confidence that the National Guard would help fix this problem endured by San Francisco.
“The CalGuard is seeing significant success supporting multiagency task forces interdicting fentanyl across our state,” Beevers said in the release. “We expect to achieve the same success working with our partners in San Francisco.”
And San Francisco Mayor London Breed praised Governor Newsom for helping to make the partnership a reality.
“I want to thank Governor Newsom for this critical support to help break up the open-air drug dealing happening in our city,” Breed said in the release. “Our Police Department and District Attorney have been partnering to tackle this issue and increase enforcement, but our local agencies can use more support. With the Governor’s leadership and clear direction, our state enforcement agencies can partner with us to make a difference for our residents, businesses, and workers who are living with the impacts every day.”
Governor Newsom has directed the state’s highway patrol to find ways to work with the San Francisco police, including assigning personnel to help in combating the problem via technical assistance, training, and drug trafficking enforcement, including in the Tenderloin.
Newsom directed the CalGuard to “identify specialist personnel and resources to support analysis of drug trafficking operations, with a particular focus on disrupting and dismantling fentanyl trafficking rings,” according to the release.
Newsom’s office reiterates that the operation will seek to hold drug suppliers and traffickers accountable, not those using the substances.