SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — San Francisco Supervisor Matt Dorsey announced plans Tuesday to introduce a resolution seeking federal support to combat fentanyl trafficking in SF. The resolution is in support of a recent request from Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland asking that the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration designate San Francisco for “Operation Overdrive.”
Operation Overdrive is a federal initiative introduced by the Biden-Harris administration that “focuses law enforcement resources on communities where criminal drug networks are causing the most harm,” according to a press release from Dorsey. There are currently 34 cities designated for the initiative. San Francisco is not among them.
“SF isn’t currently among the 34 cities designated for Biden-Harris Administration’s OD and violence reduction initiative,” wrote Dorsey in an extensive Twitter thread. “But last Friday’s report that puts 2023 on pace to be the deadliest year for drug ODs in SF history is why we need to be.”
Dorsey is citing the latest report from the SF Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. There have been 268 overdose deaths in the first four months of 2023, according to that report, with nearly 80 percent of them attributed to fentanyl.
Late last month, Speaker Emerita Pelosi, whose home district includes San Francisco, sent a letter to AG Garland requesting designation for Operation Overdrive for San Francisco.
“Time is of the essence,” Pelosi’s letter read in part. “People are dying from fentanyl and violence. We hope to hear soon about a designation of Operation Overdrive for San Francisco to combat the cartels.”
“I strongly share Speaker Pelosi’s view that fentanyl trafficking by drug cartels is causing the unprecedented level of drug overdose deaths and related harms that San Francisco is now facing,” Dorsey wrote on Twitter, “and that federal help is urgently needed.”
“Sadly, SF has become a destination city for street-level drug markets and public drug use,” Dorsey added, “and more support from our state and federal partners is urgently needed to put an end to it.”
Dorsey’s resolution also notes that San Francisco’s street-level drug market is “demonstrating increasingly troubling anti-Black disparities in drug overdose deaths.” Black San Franciscans account for 30 percent of accidental drug fatalities over the first four months of 2023. That’s up from 28 percent in 2022, according to the OCME report.