A three-week sweep targeting Tenderloin drug dealers is the beginning of a tough-on-crime era dawning on the gritty neighborhood, authorities promised Wednesday.
"Let's get it really clear," San Francisco police Chief George Gascón said at a Tenderloin Station news conference. "We're not talking about a war on poor people or a war on the homeless. We're talking about a war on drugs and organized crime."
From Aug. 13 to Sept. 2, police arrested 302 people in the neighborhood. Most of the arrests were undercover narcotics stings, in which suspects sold crack-cocaine, heroin and prescription painkillers to police. Nearly half the people arrested were on felony parole or probation, police said. Dealers commuted to the open-air drug market from as far away as Stockton, Fresno and Santa Rosa.