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San Francisco officials have unveiled a new initiative that aims to make the city’s Tenderloin and Mid-Market neighborhoods safer and more welcoming for both visitors and residents.

The Mid-Market Vibrancy and Safety Plan will include the addition of extra police officers in the area to deter criminal activity and a community ambassador program that will oversee cleaning services and connect people in need with resources.

Although rampant drug dealing and other criminal activity are not new to the area, the COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on those and other issues.

“All of our residents and workers deserve to feel safe, and this area of the city continues to face a number of challenges that need to be addressed,” Mayor London Breed said in a statement.

“With this plan, we’re focusing on both addressing the illegal activity that is unacceptable and will not be allowed to continue, while also building up our community presence so that this area is more welcoming, friendly, and accessible to everyone who lives, works, and visits the area. This effort is really a collaboration with support and guidance from the community, especially the many families with children, workers, and senior communities that live and work here,” she said.

“All of our residents and workers deserve to feel safe, and this area of the city continues to face a number of challenges that need to be addressed.”

Mayor London Breed

The increased police presence, which began Wednesday, will consist of extra officers on foot, motorcycles, bicycles and horseback, patrolling areas like Market Street, United Nations Plaza and the Tenderloin.

“Mayor Breed’s Mid-Market Vibrancy and Safety Plan is another bold step that makes good on our shared civic commitment to come back even stronger than before,” Police Chief Bill Scott said. “We’re thankful for our city and community-based partnerships in this endeavor, and I look forward to saying hello to our Civic Center, Mid-Market and Tenderloin neighbors while I’m on my own foot beat patrols there in the coming weeks.”

The Community-Based Safety Ambassadors program will consist of ambassadors stationed at every block from Powell Street to the west; Market Street to the south; Larkin Street to the east; and Eddy Street to the North; for up to 12 hours daily. The ambassadors plan to engage with residents and visitors, support cleaning services and connect people in need with resources starting on June 15.

The program is being funded through private sources, as well as $3 million in state funding provided by the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. In addition, Breed has proposed an additional $5 million in funding in the city’s upcoming budget.