June 29, 2023 – As part of the joint public safety partnership with the City of San Francisco, today Governor Gavin Newsom announced he is directing the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to expand its operational footprint — doubling the number of officers deployed — and authorizing the CHP to conduct targeted surges with law enforcement partners to fight crime and further crackdown on the fentanyl crisis gripping San Francisco. Personnel assigned to the expanded operation are expected to include some of the more than 100 new CHP officers slated to graduate from the CHP Academy this week, as well as active officers within the CHP’s Golden Gate Division.
WHAT GOVERNOR NEWSOM SAID: “CHP’s recent results in San Francisco are nothing short of extraordinary — in just six weeks, the agency’s hardworking officers seized enough fentanyl to potentially kill the city nearly three times over, multiple firearms, and stolen goods. Today, I’m authorizing a 100% increase in personnel to bolster the impact of this proven operation, as well as authorizing targeted surges to crack down on crime in the city. Working alongside our local, state, and federal partners, we’re committed to cleaning up San Francisco’s streets.”
WHAT MAYOR LONDON BREED SAID: “Over the last several weeks, we’ve welcomed the California Highway Patrol and National Guard working collaboratively alongside our local agencies to disrupt the drug trafficking and drug markets harming our neighborhoods. To be successful in the long term we need to sustain and expand this work at the local, state, and federal levels. I want to thank Governor Newsom for sending more support to our City and for his continued commitment to the safety of San Francisco.”
WHAT SFPD CHIEF BILL SCOTT SAID: “The San Francisco Police Department welcomes the assistance from our state partners in combatting this deadly drug crisis. Our residents, business owners, and visitors to our city deserve to feel safe, and we are making progress in disrupting the drug markets that are causing so much misery on our streets. Working collaboratively with the CHP, we’ve seized an unprecedented amount of fentanyl and other deadly narcotics in recent weeks, and I look forward to building on our success.”
In addition to doubling the number of uniformed officers assigned to this operation in the city, as part of today’s announcement the Governor has also authorized CHP to work with local law enforcement partners to conduct targeted counter-crime surges in key crime hotspots in the city. The joint task force operations, which will be unannounced, are expected to target illicit drugs and weapons and lead to arrests of drug dealers and others engaging in various types of criminal activity. Additional details, including surge results, will be made available in the coming weeks.
Separately, the Governor has directed the California National Guard (CalGuard) to increase staffing in San Francisco to facilitate the development of the city’s strategic plan that will address challenges with open-air drug markets and the broader effects those markets have on San Francisco. Multiple strategists have been assigned to assist San Francisco with this effort. Additionally, the Governor has directed CalGuard to identify ways to further increase staffing in San Francisco in support of the Northern California High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program. Throughout the joint operation, CalGuard has provided critical analysis and technical support to law enforcement to shut down drug trafficking operations in the city and the surrounding region.
Since the joint public safety operation began on May 1, 2023, the CHP has seized 8.1 kilos of fentanyl and made 115 felony and misdemeanor arrests in the Tenderloin and the surrounding area. The operation in San Francisco serves as a collaborative effort between multiple agencies, including CHP, CalGuard, the California Department of Justice, the San Francisco Police Department, and the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office (SFDA). The joint effort is focused on improving public safety, targeting fentanyl trafficking, disrupting the supply of the deadly drug in the city, and holding the operators of drug trafficking rings accountable. The operation builds on the Governor’s Master Plan for Tackling the Fentanyl and Opioid Crisis, which includes an expansion of CalGuard-supported operations that last year led to a 594% increase in seized fentanyl and historic levels of funding — $1 billion statewide — to crack down on the crisis.
B-roll footage of CHP’s operation in San Francisco is available for download and use by producers and members of the media here.