SAN FRANCISCO - The city of San Francisco has a new district attorney. Brooke Jenkins took the oath of office shortly after noon on Friday and laid out her priorities.
The new district attorney said she will balance accountability for offenders, while continuing to strive for criminal justice reform. Jenkins believes that balance can be struck, and announced to the people of San Francisco that those efforts start today.
Jenkins said she's heard the message that many San Franciscans don't feel safe in their own city, and declared she's taking action against open air drug markets on day one.
"Starting today, drug crime laws will be enforced in this city," said Jenkins.
Jenkins said her office will take hate crimes, property crimes, and so-called victimless crimes seriously. She vowed to make sure repeat offenders are prosecuted. At the same time, she said she wants to pursue alternatives to jail for offenders who actually show they want to change.
"Responsible reform does not have to come at the expense of public safety, and public safety does not have to come at the expense of reform," she said. "As your District Attorney, I vow to balance both."
After the swearing in, Mayor London Breed said that Jenkins is the right woman for the job. Breed said now San Francisco residents have to take a moment to see the impact the new district attorney will make on crime in the city.
"The problem wasn't created overnight, and so the expectation that all of a sudden one person is going to wave a magic wand and this is all going to be better is not the case. It is going to take time," said Breed.
Jenkins is already facing the proverbial clock. Voters will decide in November whether to keep her as the city's district attorney until November 2023, when she would face another election.
"What I want voters to understand about me is that I represent balance," said Jenkins. "I'm going to, like I said, do my best to provide them with public safety and reform at the same time."
She resigned from her position in the district attorney's office under Chesa Boudin. Jenkins was one of the most vocal backers of the recall effort.
She said that she has been in communication with outgoing Boudin and spoke with him Thursday.
Boudin said he is committed to working on a smooth transition.
Jenkins could be facing him in an election for district attorney as soon as November.