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Tipsheet

Newsom Is Finally Taking Action Against the State's Deadly Fentanyl Crisis

AP Photo/ Aaron Kehoe

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif) has announced that he will finally take action against the state's deadly fentanyl crisis by deploying the National Guard to assist in the policing and cleanup of Democrat-run San Francisco.

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The governor is collaborating with the California Highway Patrol (CHP), California National Guard (CalGuard), San Francisco Police Department (SFPD), and the San Francisco District Attorney's Office (SFDA) to put a stop to the crisis that is plaguing the city, which has been overrun by homeless. 

Newsom said his administration will focus on "dismantling fentanyl trafficking and disrupting the supply of the deadly drug in the city by holding the operators of large-scale drug trafficking operations accountable."

"We're taking action," said Newsom. "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."

It wouldn't be Newsom if he didn't bash Florida, his rival and arch-enemy. According to the Democratic governor, San Francisco is safer than Jacksonville, Florida. However, according to Neighborhood Scout, San Fran's crime index ranks two while Jacksonville ranks 8— the higher the number, the safer the area is. 

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San Francisco Police Department Chief Bill Scott assured residents that the city is taking action to remove the deadly drug. 

"We make arrests day in and day out, but it's really hard to hold ground, and we need to get it under control, and that's exactly what we plan to do. So we are going to do it in a San Francisco way with San Francisco values, but the help is much needed," Scott said.

However, Newsom said the effort would be not to criminalize those struggling with substance abuse issues but instead zero in on drug suppliers and traffickers. 

The city's fentanyl crisis spiked during the Covid-19 pandemic, with 625 accidental drug overdose deaths in 2021; in 2023, there were 200 deaths. 

"The city's drug crisis is more fatal than COVID-19. San Francisco has become synonymous with open-air drug markets and increasing rates of fentanyl addiction," wrote TogetherSF Action, a civic engagement group. "The drug crisis is wreaking havoc."

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