California Gov. Gavin Newsom directed the National Guard to assist in combating San Francisco’s fentanyl crisis.
Newsom announced on Friday that both agencies would be assisting local authorities in combating the rising use of fentanyl.
The Democratic Governor’s Office said that the agreement would focus on “dismantling the fentanyl trade and disrupting supply of the deadly drugs in the city” by holding operators of large-scale trafficking operations responsible.
Newsom said in a press release that “two truths” can exist at once: San Francisco’s violent crimes rate is lower than comparable sized cities such as Jacksonville [Florida] or Fort Worth [Texas] – and we also need to do more to address public security concerns, particularly the fentanyl epidemic.
CHP will provide assistance to the San Francisco Police Department in the areas of drug trafficking and enforcement, namely the Tenderloin. This includes assigning personnel, training, and enforcing the law.
Newsom has directed the National Guard (CalGuard) to identify personnel and other resources that can help break up fentanyl trafficking ring.
Tenderloin, a neighborhood in the city, has been called epicenter of homelessness and the drug crisis.
In 2021 Mayor London Breed declared a state-of-emergency for the area in order to combat drug overdoses. In the city, overdose deaths increased by 40% between January and March.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco had in 2020 the second highest overdose rate and death rate due to fentanyl in the country.