Home>Articles>Governor Newsom Announces New Multi-Agency Operation Tackling Fentanyl Crisis In SF

California Governor Gavin Newsom speaking at the State of the State address in Sacramento, CA, Mar 8, 2022. (Photo: Sheila Fitzgerald/Shutterstock)

Governor Newsom Announces New Multi-Agency Operation Tackling Fentanyl Crisis In SF

Newsom criticized for grandstanding and not supporting recent anti-fentanyl bills

By Evan Symon, April 28, 2023 12:34 pm

Governor Gavin Newsom announced details of the new multi-agency operation to curtail fentanyl and improve public safety in San Francisco on Friday, coming nearly a week after first announcing that he would be directing the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and the California National Guard (CalGuard) to assist the city.

Under the new operation, the CHP, CalGuard, the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD), the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office (SFDA), and the California Department of Justice (CADOJ) will focus on targeting fentanyl trafficking, disrupting the supply of the deadly drug in the city, and holding the operators of drug trafficking rings accountable in San Francisco. Specifically, the new operation will have a team of CHP help enforce the law in high drug-use parts of the city, including the Tenderloin district, as a supplemental law enforcement unit, with some CHP officers also helping with regular patrol duties. Investigation support to help bring about criminal cases and disrupt trafficking will also be part of the CHP’s duties in the city, as will providing more training on alcohol and drug -relates crimes.

Meanwhile, CalGuard will help with drug trafficking operation analysis and going after fentanyl and other drug rings. In addition, CalGuard will also help stretch out law enforcement in the city by administering non-patrol tasks. Under the operation, CADOJ will help with legal matters, including assisting in prosecuting complex and multi-jurisdictional cases.

The additional help in the city has been needed for years, with an officer shortage and a growing fentanyl problem only further worsening the situation in the city. To date, San Francisco has been mixed on how to respond to this issue. Mayor London Breed has called for a state of emergency in the city due to the high number of overdoses, with former DA Chesa Boudin opposing major crackdowns on the drug. San Francisco has also brought the matter to court, even winning a lawsuit against a pharmaceutical agency for around $25 million last year.

In the last few years, however, fentanyl deaths and related crimes have skyrocketed in San Francisco. Last year, over 600 people died of fentanyl overdoses in San Francisco. This year so far, the average the number of overdoses is already 40% more than normal. Other reports found that fentanyl killed more people in the city than COVID-19. Many businesses have also been leaving or are nearly dead thanks in part to the crisis.

In a statement on Friday, Governor Newsom noted that “Those who traffic drugs, guns, and human beings are not welcome in our communities. That’s why we’re launching this operation. This is not about criminalizing people struggling with substance use – this is about taking down the prominent poison peddlers and their connected crime rings that prey on the most vulnerable, and harm our residents. While it’s true that San Francisco is safer than many cities its size, we cannot let rampant crime continue.”

Mayor London Breed thanked both Newsom and Attorney General Bonta for the additional help and new operation, explaining that “The fentanyl crisis is impacting our residents, workers, and businesses, and it requires all of us working together to disrupt the flow of drugs in San Francisco while also making sure we have treatment for those struggling with addiction. I want to thank Governor Newsom for his support for San Francisco through this partnership between our state and local law enforcement agencies. Our Police and District Attorney have been working hard to enforce against open-air drug dealing in our City, and this partnership with the California Highway Patrol and CalGuard will help them make more progress and deliver results for our City.”

Opposition against Newsom

However, while few were opposed to the help the city will receive, many opponents accused Newsom of grandstanding on the issue and being a hypocrite, as he didn’t crucially weigh in on several fentanyl bills in a special committee meeting on Thursday, in which three pushing for more penalties and enhancements were not moved forward in the legislature.

“I’m sorry. But if Newsom really gave a rip about fentanyl he would have engaged before the hearing yesterday,” tweeted Assemblyman James Gallagher (R-Yuba City) on Friday. “You know, the one where all the important bills were killed or punted?”

“No one is denying that San Francisco needs the help. They do,” added Bay Area Security consultant and former policeman Frank Ma to the Globe on Friday. “But the day after measures that would have helped the problem throughout the state, including in San Francisco, Newsom just moved forward with the San Francisco plan and presented it like he was a savior to the city.”

“It’s just rubbing people the wrong way. This isn’t about him. This is about taking down fentanyl. This is about going after the dealers and the suppliers and stop it from coming into the state. Between him, Breed, and Bonta, it’s just a pat on the back session and thinking that this will solve everything. It won’t. It’s a good step, but it’s far from done, and again, he’s only focusing on San Francisco. Those bills would have helped the entire state.”

“I wish we heard from some of the people on the ground level or helping lead this operation, but you never do in these situations. Instead, it’s Newsom and the others dismissing bigger punishments on those making the fentanyl problem worse and instead just bolstering one city. The Southern end of the state isn’t Candlestick Point, and San Francisco needs more of a plan than “Let’s just sink state law enforcement resources here under the same city and prosecuting restrictions” that helped doomed the city to where it is now.”

The new operation is set to begin on May 1st.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Evan Symon
Spread the news:


7 thoughts on “Governor Newsom Announces New Multi-Agency Operation Tackling Fentanyl Crisis In SF

  1. Upon extensively reading that serious life trauma, notably adverse childhood experiences, is very often behind the addict’s debilitating addiction, I began to understand ball-and-chain self-medicating:

    The greater the drug-induced euphoria/escape one attains from its use, the more one wants to repeat the experience; and the more intolerable one finds their sober reality, the more pleasurable that escape should be perceived. By extension, the greater one’s mental pain or trauma while sober, the greater the need for escape from reality, thus the more addictive the euphoric escape-form will likely be.

    Lasting PTSD mental pain is very formidable yet invisibly confined to inside one’s head. It is solitarily suffered, unlike an openly visible physical disability or condition, which tends to elicit sympathy/empathy from others. It can make every day a mental ordeal, unless the turmoil is prescription and/or illicitly medicated.

    Fortunately, the preconceived erroneous notion that drug addicts are simply weak-willed and/or have committed a moral crime is gradually diminishing.

    Also, we know that pharmaceutical corporations intentionally pushed their very addictive and profitable opiates — I call it by far the real moral crime — for which they got off relatively lightly, considering the resulting immense suffering and overdose death numbers.

    Typically societally overlooked is that intense addiction usually doesn’t originate from a bout of boredom, where a person repeatedly consumed recreationally but became heavily hooked — and homeless, soon after — on an unregulated often-deadly chemical that eventually destroyed their life and even those of loved-ones.

    Either way, neglecting people dealing with debilitating drug addiction should never have been an acceptable or preferable political option. But the more callous politics that are typically involved with lacking addiction funding/services tend to reflect conservative electorate opposition, however irrational, against making proper treatment available to low- and no-income addicts.

    It’s like some people, however precious, are considered disposable!

    Even to an otherwise relatively civilized nation, their worth(lessness) is measured basically by their sober ‘productivity’ or lack thereof. Those people may then begin perceiving themselves as worthless and accordingly live their daily lives and consume their substances more haphazardly.

    Sadly, many of the chronically addicted don’t really care if they overdose and never wake up. It’s not that they necessarily want to die; it’s that they want their pointless corporeal hell to cease and desist.

    Meanwhile, I’ve suffered enough unrelenting ACE-related hyper-anxiety to have known, enjoyed and appreciated the great release upon consuming alcohol and/or THC. Yet, I once was one of those who, while sympathetic, would look down on those who’d ‘allowed’ themselves to become addicted to alcohol and/or illicit ‘hard’ drugs.

  2. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a news source that took all the fake news media headlines and articles and just translated them into plain english? For this headline: “Governor Gavin Newsom announced details of the new multi-agency operation to curtail fentanyl and improve public safety in San Francisco” the translation would be: “Marxist and narcissistic California ruler Gavin Newsom announced a new government scheme to ensure fentanyl use increases in San Francisco while public safety deteriorates in order to help his corrupt Democrat cabal to continue to enrich themselves!”

    1. Exactly, Belkabeast.
      This is the usual nonsense we’ve come to expect from Gov Gruesome, of course.
      He thinks he’s the Creator Himself, however, or more like a cartoon version such as the Great and Powerful Oz, thus everything he does has to be puffed up and BIG BIG BIG, even though we know his attention on whatever-problem-it-is will never make it better but will only worsen it. And of course all we need to know is that he hasn’t deigned to support any of the legislative bills that were meant to get a handle on the daily-worsening fentanyl crisis. That’s beneath him, he thinks. It’s too small, too orderly, too effective.

      By the way, something that always ticks me off is that the California Highway Patrol is again being inappropriately shunted over to this latest Gruesome Grand Phony Plan. The CHP is not meant to be engaged in these matters; it’s not their function. But Gruesome, of course, treats CHP (because they are a state agency) like his own personal slaves.

  3. The fentanyl dealers are tagged as “informants” in the DA’s computers and work on a catch-and-release basis. They share their profits with SF Law Enforcement.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *