Gavin Newsom Calls On National Guard To Shut Down San Francisco Drug Markets

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Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom has called upon the state’s National Guard to assist the California Highway Patrol, the San Francisco Police Department and the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office in shutting down the city’s ongoing fentanyl crisis.

Newsom announced a partnership between the four agencies Friday afternoon in hope that their collaboration can dismantle fentanyl trafficking within San Francisco by holding those responsible for large-scale trafficking operations accountable, a press release from the governor’s office stated.

“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,” Newsom stated in the release. (RELATED: ‘You Better Find Another Place To Deal Fentanyl’: Fed Up Officials Arrest Almost 500 In Months-Long Drug Bust)

Newsom’s announcement comes just days after he made an unannounced visit to San Francisco’s Tenderloin district, an area of downtown San Francisco that has become synonymous with crime, drugs and homelessness, according to The San Francisco Standard. While there, Newsom met with members of his cabinet and toured the area as they discussed the city’s ongoing problems with homelessness and addiction, a spokesperson for the governor told the outlet. (RELATED: Blue City Reconsidering Sanctuary City Status Amid Staggering Fentanyl Overdoses)

So far in 2023, San Francisco has seen a 40% increase in overdose deaths, mostly concentrated in the Tenderloin district and South of Market neighborhoods of the city, the release stated. In an analysis of large urban U.S. cities in 2020, San Francisco was listed as the second-highest in the nation for fentanyl overdose deaths.

The four-agency partnership will not seek to criminalize those struggling with addiction but will rather work to hold those who deal in illicit substances accountable, according to the release.

“The CalGuard is seeing significant success supporting multiagency task forces interdicting fentanyl across our state,” Major General Matthew P. Beevers of the California National Guard stated in the release. “We expect to achieve the same success working with our partners in San Francisco.”