When he became San Francisco Police Chief last year, George Gascón vowed to clean up the Tenderloin, a 20-block triangle of downtown San Francisco where drug dealers openly peddled their wares, including OxyContin, crack cocaine, and heroin, on the sidewalk as tourists wandered through and schoolchildren walked home, says Governing magazine. Police officers drove by, not stopping to address the obvious criminal behavior.
Last September, a police crackdown began with classic undercover buy-and-busts. The first night of the operation, police arrested eight people for dealing drugs. The last night of the operation, 30 days later, police arrested the exact same number of dealers, despite nearly continuous nightly operations. In March, police began another cycle of buy-and-busts to maintain the successes of the fall.