SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — City officials joined together Wednesday to detail efforts targeting the open-air drug market in San Francisco.
“The fact is, we have so many people who are publicly using drugs without any consequences whatsoever, and that’s what we have to stop,” said Mayor London Breed.
“My approach to dealing with the open-air drug market has been that we have to have consequences,” said SF District Attorney Brooke Jenkins.
“So, if we are all in agreement, we should be all in agreement to do something about it, and that is what we are committed to doing,” said San Francisco Police Department Chief Bill Scott.
San Francisco’s top public safety officials presented a unified front at a press conference vowing to work together like never before. Together, they are prioritizing narcotics, arrests, prosecutions and expanding drug services and treatments.
“San Francisco has to draw a firm line at behaviors that harm, that injure, and cost neighborhoods piece of mind, a quality of life. Part of that means we have to be more aggressive with arrests and prosecutions,” Breed said.
According to SFPD, so far in 2022, officers have made 600 arrests for narcotics sales and possession citywide. In the Tenderloin, 68 kilos of drugs were seized, including 42 kilograms of fentanyl.
“I promised the public the day that I was sworn in. that I was committed to doing something to eradicate the open-air drug markets in San Francisco, said Jenkins.
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However, a former drug dealer and current San Francisco anti-open-air drug market advocate, Ricci Wynne, has doubts the city’s plan will work. “If they stick to the script of what they’re putting out there, the headline you just read me, absolutely. If they fall back into the rhetoric of harm reduction, I don’t think so,” said Wynne.
However, these city leaders said they are committed to leading with services for drug addicts. “Our officers when they come into contact with people who need help, they are directed to try to get them to help,” said Scott.