As part of a multi-agency effort to reduce street-level drug activity, California Governor Gavin Newsom has sent CHP officers to San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood.
CNN stated that since May 30th, highway patrol police had made 100 arrests for drug-related crimes. For example, a highway patrol officer seized 33 grams of fentanyl, enough to kill 16,500 people, from a narcotics dealer.
Since the new policies were implemented, local officials have arrested 300 alleged drug traffickers.
Since sending police to the Tenderloin region on May 1, the California Highway Patrol has confiscated enough fentanyl to kill 2.1 million people or three times the population of San Francisco, according to the governor’s office.
Pounds of methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin were confiscated in the first six weeks of the operation, and 92 people were arrested on felony and misdemeanor charges, such as fentanyl possession, illegal gun possession, DUI, and domestic violence.
Brooke Jenkins, the district attorney elected in 2022, claims that many people caught on drug trafficking and drug usage charges are released back into the streets as soon as their case is filed. Her department has reportedly initiated detention plans for 200 dangerous drug offenders while their trials progress. Only 17 indicted were detained by the courts, releasing the others back into the community.
Jenkins said the judge’s failure to do their role must be made public because she will not take the heat for them.
Reports say that although crime is down 1% over the same time ending in 2022, drug crimes are up 36%.
The number of inmates in a U.S. jail hit 1,000 for the first time in years last month, even though authorities are releasing the vast majority of those convicted of drug dealing and usage. A prison shuttered for three years due to being “seismically hazardous, obsolete, and in disrepair” is now up for debate.
Arrests for public drug usage have been criticized as a “Band-Aid” solution.
A No New SF Prisons Coalition member, Diana Block, said that we shouldn’t “load the prisons” with people to feed the political ambitions of a few politicians.