Governor Newsom directs the National Guard to help fight San Francisco’s fentanyl crisis


California Gov. Gavin Newsom has directed the National Guard and the California Highway Patrol to help combat the fentanyl trafficking crisis in San Francisco.

On Friday, Newsom announced efforts to get both agencies to help local authorities deal with the rise in fentanyl use.

The agreement will focus on “shutting down the fentanyl trade and disrupting supplies of the deadly drug in the city by holding accountable those operating large-scale drug trafficking operations,” the Democratic governor’s office said.

“Two truths can exist simultaneously: San Francisco’s violent crime rate is lower than cities of comparable size like Jacksonville [Florida] and Fort Worth [Texas] — and we also need to do more to address public safety concerns, particularly the fentanyl crisis,” Newsom said in a release.

CHP will assist the San Francisco Police Department by assigning staff and training to drug trafficking enforcement in specific areas of the city, particularly the Tenderloin area.

The National Guard, or CalGuard, has been directed by Newsom to identify personnel and resources that will help take down fentanyl trafficking rings.

The Tenderloin neighborhood has been called the epicenter of the area’s homelessness and drug crisis.

Members of the California National Guard on the steps of the House of Representatives on Capitol Hill on March 11, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Los Angeles Times via Getty Imag

holds a piece of foil infused with fentanyl while spending time on McAllister Street in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco, California on Friday, June 21, 2019.
A man holds a piece of foil with fentanyl on June 21, 2019 on McAllister Street in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco, California.
Hearst Newspapers via Getty Imag

In 2021, Mayor London Breed declared a state of emergency for the neighborhood to tackle drug overdose deaths. The city saw a 40% increase in drug overdose deaths from January to March.

San Francisco had the second-highest overdose rate in the country, as well as the second-highest death rate from fentanyl overdose, according to the San Francisco Chronicle in 2020.

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