SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - San Francisco supervisors unanimously passed an ordinance to create a Street-Level Drug Dealing Task Force during Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting.
The task force would advise supervisors, the mayor and city departments on policies to eliminate drug dealing in the city's Tenderloin, Civic Center, Mid Market and South of Market neighborhoods.
"This will bring together department leaders, impacted individuals, residents to put forward a more comprehensive strategy that gets to the roots of this crisis," Supervisor Matt Haney said.
Haney, whose district covers most of the downtown area, introduced the ordinance.
Haney said $200,000 has already been secured to fund the task force. Haney's spokesperson confirmed the ordinance goes before the mayor next, though there was no specific timetable.
Additionally, Haney introduced a resolution to declare a public health crisis in the city due to drug use and increasing opioid overdose deaths.
"The open drug use and overdose deaths in our city are absolutely devastating, and are increasing at a terrifying rate," Haney said. "People in our city are dying from fentanyl and heroin overdoses at the highest rates ever.
"But the response from city departments and the mayor has been mostly business as usual," he said. "We need emergency response now."
The resolution would require the San Francisco Department of Public Health to present a comprehensive emergency plan to improve street level crisis response; increase access to Narcan; expand street outreach; line up emergency responders and public safety personnel; identify and
establish emergency detox and drop-in facilities; request local, state and federal support; and coordinate efforts to stop drugs from reaching the Tenderloin and SoMa neighborhoods.
According to Haney's office, 259 people died in San Francisco last year from drug overdoses.
Haney said he plans on reaching out to the office of Gov. Gavin Newsom for emergency assistance.
KTVU's Andre Torrez contributed to this story.