SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The City of San Francisco will be opening a new command center near Civic Center that will target open air drug markets, the SF Department of Emergency Management confirmed Friday. The center is related to a targeted initiative that’s a joint effort involving the Department of Emergency Management (DEM), the San Francisco Police Department, and the Department of Public Health.
The targeted initiative was launched on April 17, “in order to more closely coordinate and direct resources to better understand and disrupt open air drug markets,” the DEM told KRON4. The new command center will officially be known as a “Drug Market Agency Coordination Center (DMACC),” that’s intended to “enhance existing unified command efforts by moving from a virtual to an in-person environment,” the DEM said.
The command center is intended to “formalize the communications and operational coordination already in progress with state and federal partners, and incorporating data collection strategies that are capable of producing monthly reports on outputs and outcomes related to disrupting San Francisco drug markets,” the DEM added.
The command center’s mission will also be to coordinate engagement, enforcement and treatment, while “disrupting and reducing the severity and number of open air drug markets” in the area. The center’s ultimate goal will be to find paths to recovery “for those sick with substance use disorder.”
Open air drug markets in and around the Civic Center have been the subject of much public scrutiny as the city grapples with its fentanyl crisis. In April, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that National Guard and CHP units would begin patrolling the Tenderloin in an effort to help combat the city’s deadly fentanyl epidemic.
SF Supervisor Matt Dorsey called Friday’s announcement about the unified command center “a welcome step in the right direction, adding that, “open-air drug markets are largely to blame for driving all the law-abiding businesses out of the Mid-Market neighborhood.”