DA critical of San Francisco mayor's plan to beef up police in Tenderloin

District Attorney Chesa Boudin has now joined a chorus of others, criticizing San Francisco Mayor London Breed’s plan to add police to the city's beleaguered Tenderloin neighborhood to crack down on drug dealers and users who openly shoot up in public spaces. 

On Monday, during a news conference, Boudin said he is "outraged" at the human suffering and those who flout the law. 

But he also said, "We can’t arrest and prosecute our way out of problems that are afflicting the Tenderloin. Arresting people who are addicted to drugs, jailing people who have mental health struggles, putting folks who are vending hot dogs or other food on the streets in cages will not solve these problems, and they are certainly not the only tools available." 

His comments come after Breed announced a series of initiatives last week, including asking for overtime spending for police, seeking more social workers and public toilets for the Tenderloin, and declaring a state of emergency there. 

MORE: San Francisco mayor declares state of emergency in Tenderloin over overdose crisis

Breed said the city will continue to offer services and housing to people on the street and those struggling with addiction but will get tough on those who refuse shelter and treatment.

She said the emergency declaration would allow the city to bypass certain laws to quickly address the crisis of people dying of drug overdoses on the street in the neighborhood.

She said the most important job she has as mayor is to ensure that people feel safe walking on the streets of San Francisco.

"They shouldn't have to look over their shoulders," she said last week. "They shouldn't be punched in the face randomly. They shouldn't have to see someone sticking a needle in various parts of their bodies, laying out in the streets and wondering what can I do to help them."

Boudin wasn't the only one who didn't support Breed's plan.

Board of Supervisors President Shamann Walton and Public Defender Mano Raju also called the mayor's plan problematic because she should instead be focusing on providing solutions, like offering addiction treatment and harm-reduction services such as housing, education and jobs.