Dem Governor Creates Task Force To Tackle San Francisco’s Drug Problem — Again

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Lillian Tweten Contributor
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Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Friday that he intends to partner with local government officials in San Francisco to create a new law enforcement task force that will investigate fentanyl overdose deaths.

The task force will include members of the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) and the San Francisco district attorney’s office as well as several statewide law enforcement agencies, according to a press release from the governor’s office. The task force will investigate opioid deaths with the same protocols as homicide scenes, and will gather evidence to find drug dealers who will potentially be prosecuted as murderers. (RELATED: Liberal Mayor Pivots To Save Her Job As Residents Are Fed Up With Rampant Crime, Drug Use)

“The opioid crisis has claimed too many, and fentanyl traffickers must be held accountable including, as appropriate, for murder,” Newsom said in the press release. “This task force is fighting for those affected by this crisis — for victims and loved ones who deserve peace. Working together, we will continue providing treatment and resources to help those struggling with substance use — and secure justice for families who have lost loved ones.”

Members of the task force will work to find drug distribution “networks” that may source the majority of fentanyl in the city and will be part of a larger effort to tamp down “large crime syndicates” in the area, the press release said. The task force will become fully operational by 2024.

“The California Highway Patrol is proud to be part of this innovative law enforcement collaboration happening in San Francisco to map out the crime rings fueling the fentanyl pipeline — and ultimately crush them,” Sean Duryee, the commissioner of the California Highway Patrol, said in the press release. “Our skilled investigators are unmatched in their commitment to serve the people of California, solve crime, and bring justice.”

San Francisco first started partnering with the California government in May because of the high number of overdose deaths in the city, according to the press release. Officials have made 364 felony and misdemeanor arrests related to fentanyl overdoses and have recovered 18.5 kilos of the drug since May.

But residents of the Tenderloin district and other drug-ridden areas of San Francisco claimed that the efforts have done little to actually solve the ongoing problem.

“The streets are the same,” Amin Hadwan, who runs a restaurant in the Tenderloin district, told The San Francisco Chronicle in September. “I see the same faces doing the same things.”

At least 620 people in San Francisco have died from drug overdoses since January, while 506 of those deaths occurred because of fentanyl, data from the city’s government showed. The city is on track to have a record-high number of 850 deaths related to drug use by the end of 2023.

Newsom declined to comment further on the matter. The mayor’s office and the SFPD did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.

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