San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan was honored at a ceremony Wednesday with the United States Attorney General’s Award for Meritorious Public Service — the top public service award granted by the U.S. Department of Justice. It is designed to recognize the most significant contributions of citizens and organizations in support of justice.
U.S. Attorney General, Merrick Garland, announced the recipients for the 71st Annual Attorney General’s Awards in December.
“I’m grateful for the Attorney General’s award and recognize that this national award speaks to the entire team’s dedication at the DA’s Office to pursue fair and equal justice,” DA Stephan said. “I’m honored to lead and work alongside them and appreciate this extraordinary recognition of our work. Serving the public through protecting the most vulnerable is my calling in life and I am grateful to be able to carry out this important work on behalf of San Diegans. I was so moved by the accomplishments of so many deserving recipients from across our beloved nation in other award categories. Several U.S. Attorney’s Offices, including the local office of U.S. Attorney Tara McGrath, were recognized for incredible work protecting our democracy from domestic and foreign criminals.”
District Attorney Stephan was selected in recognition of her leadership and collaboration with federal law enforcement on multiple large-scale operations to combat fentanyl trafficking, elder fraud, and violent crime.
The Attorney General’s award recognizes that DA Stephan has furthered the mission and goals of Department of Justice by implementing a protocol to identify and investigate school threats, tripling hate crime prosecutions, embracing community policing and criminal justice reform, leading law enforcement de-escalation training, and creating and expanding diversion programs for substance users, juveniles, veterans, and those struggling with mental health issues.
The award is also in recognition of DA Stephan’s leadership in prevention and messaging campaigns, focused on reducing sexual assaults on college campuses, raising awareness about human trafficking, and using social media to warn the public about counterfeit pills and prevent fentanyl overdoses.
“This award reflects on the collaboration and partnership with the dedicated team at the U.S. Attorney’s Office along with federal, state and local law enforcement all working together to keep our neighborhoods safe,” DA Stephan said.
The award ceremony was Wednesday afternoon at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.