Tag Archive for: Summer Stephan

District Attorney Summer Stephan Honored with U.S. Attorney General Meritorious Public Service Award

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.

DA Partners with Mexican Consulate to Provide Services at One Safe Place

San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan announced today the partnership between the Consul General of Mexico in San Diego and the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office for the Mexican Consulate to locate at the DA’s One Safe Place: The North County Family Justice Center and provide services. The partnership was solidified during the first anniversary celebration of the opening of One Safe Place in San Marcos, with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

“This collaboration with the Mexican Consulate helps strengthen the bridge with the Latino community and will help enhance their trust in reporting and seeking help when victimized. We know from experience, that domestic violence and human trafficking victims are often threatened by their abusers with deportation which keeps them trapped in the cycle of violence,” said DA Stephan. “Together we can work to ensure that victims who seek services at One Safe Place, where the Mexican Consulate will now be an onsite partner, receive culturally sensitive help in their native language, that will focus on safety, justice and healing.”

[See video of signing ceremony here]

Since opening last summer, One Safe Place has served 2,845 individuals, provided legal services to 781 people, and received more than 6,800 calls to their helpline. One Safe Place provides support services all under one roof to anyone who has experienced child abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence, hate crime, elder abuse, human trafficking, violent loss, family violence, or other abuse or victimization. This is all in collaboration with over 90 community organizations and agencies like the Mexican Consulate.

Together, the Mexican Consulate and One Safe Place have hosted events on wellness, have promoted first generation students with college connections and provided Consulate services at One Safe Place to meet the needs of our North County community and alleviate those with transportation barriers who are unable to travel to the Consulate main office in downtown San Diego. The MOU further creates opportunities for collaboration between the Mexican Consulate and One Safe Place in outreach and prevention work, including the Consulate’s participation in the free informative community events “Cafecito Con La Comunidad” that take place the second Friday of every month at One Safe Place.

“I am here today to send a clear message to our community: Victims should not remain silent when abused just because they fear deportation,” Consul General Carlos González Gutiérrez said. “The Mexican Consulate in San Diego has an extensive reach into the immigrant community in the county and will continue to invite immigrants to raise their voice, as there is no reason why they must live with abuse.  We truly value our partnership with One Safe Place and hope, with their help via this MOU, to expand our reach of services and empower those victimized in our community.”

The signing ceremony of the MOU coincided with the one-year anniversary celebration of the opening of One Safe Place that featured a breakfast and program with community partners, including San Marcos Mayor Rebecca Jones, Carlsbad Police Chief Mickey Williams, Escondido Police Chief Ed Varso, CEO of Palomar Health Diane Hansen, among others.

One Safe Place: The North County Family Justice Center is located at 1050 Los Vallecitos Blvd., San Marcos, CA 92069. It is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8 p.m. to 12 p.m.

DA’s Office Adds Identity Theft Resource Center ‘Live Chat’ to Help Crime Victims

San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan announced today that her office is partnering with San Diego-based Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC) to provide a live chat box on the DA’s public website in an effort to support victims of identity crimes.

In adding the ability to live chat with the ITRC’s expert advisors to the DA’s website, victims can receive instant assistance on issues related to identity theft, identity fraud and data breaches. The ITRC identity theft advisors will also provide preventative information and customized plans to address identity concerns.

“We are always looking for ways to prevent crime in San Diego County and by adding this service to our website, in partnership with the Identity Theft Resource Center, we are providing real time support to would-be victims of identity theft,” DA Stephan said. “Identity theft can financially devastate people and businesses, so we want the public to use resources that are available to help them make smart decisions and protect their personal identifying information.”

The ITRC, which was founded in 1999, is a nationally recognized nonprofit organization established to support victims of identity crime. It was established to empower and guide consumers, victims, businesses and the government to minimize risk and mitigate the impact of identity compromise and crime.

“We are thrilled to join with the San Diego DA’s office to help identity crime victims in San Diego County,” said Eva Velasquez, President and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center. “Our partnership allows us to reach more people in San Diego County who need help recovering from or preventing identity theft or fraud. Victims of identity crimes require unique support to recover from having their personal information misused. It is our mission to provide that.”

More than 7% of the ITRC’s total cases in 2022 are from victims who live in California who have sought help about compromised personally identifiable information due to scams, and the misuse of personal information through existing account takeover. The Google Voice scam is the ITRC’s top reported scam from California this year.

When using the chat, ITRC advisors will:

  • Ask what happened
  • Ask a series of questions to help determine the scope of the problem
  • Provide a custom plan of action and steps to take

Advisors will assist victims live in English or Spanish during business hours or through direct follow-up when contacted after hours and on weekends. The ITRC is also committed to providing access to everyone seeking help. Read the accessibility initiative here. Anyone can contact an advisor toll-free by using the ITRC live-chat on idtheftcenter.org or by calling 888.400.5530.