SFPD Night Operations Leads to 23 Arrests 24-011

San Francisco Police Officers arrested 23 people during two nighttime operations around UN Plaza as the city intensifies enforcement efforts to combat the drug crisis in the mid-Market area, Chief Bill Scott announced Monday.  

“Open-air drug markets will not be tolerated in San Francisco,” said Chief Bill Scott. “We are making progress in combatting this problem, and we are committed to sustaining the effort. I want to thank our officers for their tireless work. They are working long hours, often on overtime, to make our streets safer for everyone.”   

SFPD officers also assisted Public Works and the Department of Public Health in enforcing illegal vending in the area during the night operations. 

Public Works crews issued seven notices of violation, impounded seven sets of goods, removed 11 sets of abandoned items from the public right of way, and issued 287 verbal warnings. 

The two recent operations, which took place on Wednesday and Friday nights, are part of the latest phase of the city’s Drug Market Agency Coordination Center (DMACC) efforts in the Tenderloin and South of Market neighborhoods. 

The SFPD has shifted limited resources to address the challenges at night around UN Plaza after making progress in areas like 7th and Market streets. The recent nighttime operations will continue on a consistent basis.  

Since Mayor London Breed launched the DMACC in May 2023, the SFPD and Sheriff’s Office have arrested 2,351 people for possession with the intent to sell, public drug use, and outstanding warrants charges.  

The SFPD has also seized over 135 kilos of narcotics, including over 70 kilos of fentanyl during the same period.  

"Shutting down our open-air drug markets requires sustained commitments from our law enforcement agencies so we can continue to improve the conditions in our neighborhoods," said Mayor London Breed. "While we've made strides during the daytime, the nighttime activities require new strategies, additional resources, and strong partnerships with all of our agencies at the local, state, and federal levels. This is just the start of what we need to do."    

The SFPD has been working closely with city partners on a coordinated approach to the city’s fentanyl crisis. Outreach workers with the Department of Public Health, Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, and Fire Department are offering services to individuals in need while Public Works crews are working diligently to keep our streets clean. 

At the same time, local state and federal law enforcement are assisting the SFPD in enforcing the law, which led to an unprecedented number of arrests and drug seizures last year.  

The District Attorney’s Office has been a valuable partner in this work that is continuing to expand in 2024. 

In 2023, the District Attorney’s Office was presented with and filed the most felony narcotics cases since 2018 with 998 cases presented and 867 cases filed.  In 2023 there were 323 convictions or guilty pleas to another felony charge in felony narcotic cases, including two convictions after trial by jury. 
Through February 1, 2024, the District Attorney’s Office has been presented with 83 felony narcotics cases and filed 79 cases.  Year to date there have been 50 felony narcotics convictions or guilty pleas to another felony charge in felony narcotics cases including one jury trial conviction.    

"Effectively shutting down open-air drug markets that plague our city will continue to be law enforcement's North Star," said District Attorney Brooke Jenkins.  "We will continue our sustained efforts while remaining flexible and adapting to evolving situations on the ground.  We will pursue drug dealers who are wreaking havoc on our neighborhood at all times with continued resolve and determination to protect our communities and make our streets livable." 

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