Newsom doubles CHP deployment in San Francisco to crackdown on fentanyl crisis

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that he is doubling the number of California Highway Patrol officers deployed to San Francisco as part of efforts to crackdown on the city's fentanyl crisis.

The governor also expressed plans to expand the mission of the CHP officers and reinforce what he views as a successful program.

Since the program began May 1, CHP officers have been conducting patrols on San Francisco streets in collaboration with the city's police officers. Newsom said in that time the CHP has successfully seized 18 pounds of fentanyl and made a total of 115 arrests for both felony and misdemeanor offenses.

"We want to build on the early success because we recognize the scale and the opportunity and the responsibility to do more to help cities like San Francisco address quality of life issues," said Newsom.

Mayor London Breed said the additional officers are welcome.

"It's making a significant impact in terms of the amount of drugs they've been able to confiscate, the weapons, the people that have had warrants and really addressing a lot of the challenges around crime," said Breed.

San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott agreed with the mayor. He said the CHP officers on patrol have allowed his officers to focus on the drug trade.

"Their enforcement efforts is helping us disrupt. And it's allowing us to free up some of our officers to concentrate on the very things that we're talking about, arresting drug dealers and enforcement around people who are using in public," said Scott.

Supervisor Matt Dorsey, who represents the South of Market neighborhood, which is adjacent to the Tenderloin, expressed gratitude for the increased deployment of CHP officers to assist in battling what has been an evolving problem.

"It does make a difference," said Dorsey. "One of the things I would say to everybody is please be cognizant. We didn't get here overnight and we're not getting out of here overnight. It's going to be a process of coming back and turning the tide on this."

Residents in the Tenderloin neighborhood said they seen CHP officers on patrol.

Rusty Deatherage said, I've seen them bust down the doors in my building..."

However, residents have noticed that the increased enforcement efforts may be leading to a displacement of the drug trade from one street corner to another.

"But I feel like they're just kind of pushing it, they're always pushing people to different areas of neighborhood," said Deatherage. "So this is a little more cleaned up, but then there are some areas that seem to still have some issues."

The governor also teased another operation in the upcoming months that will involve federal agencies like the DEA and FBI.