Monday, June 5, 2023 12:45 a.m.
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — A month has passed since Governor Gavin Newsom’s decision to send in the California Highway Patrol and National Guard to help crack down on San Francisco’s outdoor drug markets.
On Saturday, we took to the streets to see the impact and what comes next in the battle against the fentanyl crisis.
The CHP partners with the SFPD to target the Tenderloin and South of Market neighborhoods, while the National Guard works behind the scenes to analyze the intelligence.
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Tara Campbell: “Supervisor Dorsey, we’re in your backyard here, and that’s one of the areas that CHP was going to or really paying attention to. Did you see a difference here?
Supper. Matt Dorsey: “You know, I would say not really. We’re in a situation right now where we’re seeing an unprecedented level of drug use and trafficking.”
San Francisco is seeing two drug overdose deaths a day — in the deadliest year yet amid the drug overdose crisis.
And Dorsey says it will take more time and resources before we see an impact. At present, he says only six CHP officers are on the streets, but believes more support is on the way.
“I spoke with the Chief of Police today. He thinks it’s helpful for the CHP to provide uniformed presence support as it gives San Francisco police – at a time when they are significantly lacking of personnel – the ability to deploy those resources for narcotics operations,” Dorsey said.
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And that opens up resources to start stopping addicts.
The supervisor confirmed that the SFPD arrested 16 drug users last week for public intoxication.
“I think that’s an approach that I will support, as long as we do an intervention that goes beyond just jail,” Dorsey said.
“What’s it 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 go out and we’re worse. What does that do? It teaches us to be sneakier, bigger criminals. We don’t need that. We need compassion,” he said. he adds.
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