December 2022 Newsletter

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Newsletter  |  December 1, 2022

District Attorney Gascón, Public Health Director Ferrer Announce Collaborative Effort To End Fentanyl Crisis

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With fentanyl overdose deaths soaring, District Attorney George Gascón joined with Department of Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer, LAPD, LA County Police Chiefs, LA County Office of Education, LAUSD, Drug Policy Alliance, Drug Awareness Foundation, and other advocates to announce the creation of a working group to address the fentanyl crisis through prevention, education and enforcement.

“I’m proud to announce that we are leading a multifaceted and collaborative effort to save lives,” District Attorney Gascón said. “The proliferation of fentanyl-related deaths poses one of the gravest challenges of our times. We are bringing together the county’s public health experts, education leaders, community advocates and law enforcement professionals to support and utilize evidence-based and effective approaches to stopping the toll fentanyl is taking.”

The seriousness of this crisis was highlighted by the release of the Department of Public Health’s report on fentanyl deaths in Los Angeles County, which reports that accidental fentanyl overdose deaths ballooned 1,208% from 109 in 2016 to 1,504 in 2021.

Read the press release here.

The Return of the Courage Awards:
Gascón Recognizes Everyday Heroes

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A woman who stopped an international kidnapping, another who risked her job to hold a company accountable for wage theft, and a neighbor who sheltered a family under attack from their father were honored by Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón.

“The extraordinary and selfless acts of these three individuals speak to what it means to support your community,” District Attorney Gascón said. “Finding the strength to speak truth to power, protect our neighbors from harm and help the most vulnerable among us – Linda McKeown, Edith Lopez and Martin Santillan, serve as inspirations to us all.”

The honorees were a volunteer in a Virginia airport who helped stop a man from kidnapping his children and taking them to Russia; a woman who stood up to her bosses at a company that was stealing from its employees; and a man who sheltered a family on the run from their father armed with a chainsaw and later disarmed him.

District Attorney Gascón recognized the three honorees at the Courage Awards ceremony hosted by the LA5 Rotary Club of Los Angeles.

Watch it on TikTok.

Statement on Wrong-Way Crash
That Injured 25 Law Enforcement Recruits


D.A. Gascón Unites Against Hate


Renowned leaders from diverse racial and cultural sectors of the community gathered to kick off the annual United Against Hate Week, which ran from Nov. 13 to 19.

D.A. Gascón; Robin Toma, executive director of L.A. County Commission on Human Relations, L.A. County Board of Supervisors Chair Holly Mitchell; Superintendent of Schools Dr. Debra Duardo; Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Maria Salinas and other L.A. leaders stood together to kick off L.A.’s United Against Hate Week.

LADA takes hate crimes very seriously and treats them with tremendous care—our filing rate is far above the state average (86% versus 54%).

But prosecution only comes after harm occurs. We must do more to prevent them.

Need to report a hate act? Dial 2-1-1 to get connected to help 24/7.

LADA and LGBTQ+ Unite Against Hate


Thanks for joining our virtual United Against Hate LGBTQ+ Town Hall in which D.A. Gascón and panelists discussed how to identify, report and help prevent acts of hate.

Shout out to our panelists Bamby Salcedo, President/CEO of the TransLatin@ Coalition; Ari Gutiérrez Arámbula, co-founder and board president emerita of Latino Equality Alliance, both LGBTQ+ Advisory Board members; and Asst. U.S. Attorney Matthew Barragan!

If you missed it, watch here.


LADA's AAPI Advisory Board
Hosts Hate Crime Workshop


Thank you to LADA’s AAPI Advisory Board for bringing the community together to discuss how to prevent and battle against hate crimes and empower community members.

Read and share the LADA AAPI Board Members’ anti-hate crime guide here. The guide, available in nine languages, helps to recognize, report and prevent hate crimes.


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D.A. Gascón Receives
President's Award From HAPCOA


D.A. Gascón had the honor of delivering a keynote speech and receiving the President’s Award at Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association’s 49th National Training Symposium.

Thanks HAPCOA for hosting a great and educational event!

LADA Celebrates Native American Heritage Month


We celebrate the Native American community during Native American Heritage Month in November and every day.

We recognize your important contributions to society, including the ongoing fight for social justice for the Indigenous community and beyond.

Resources for Native American crime victims are available at the Department of Justice here.

LADA Honors Veterans


In honor of Veterans Day, LADA’s Bureau of Investigation and District Attorney Gascón, a U.S. Army veteran, recognized LADA’s veterans during a ceremony at the Hall of Justice.

We appreciate and thank all veterans who have served our country!

Watch it on TikTok.

Resources for veterans can be found here.


D.A. Talks to Fifth-graders About
His Military Service

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D.A. Gascón had an amazing time hanging out with our Project LEAD fifth-graders at Breed Street Elementary School in East Los Angeles, where he talked about his own service in the military.

Watch it on TikTok.

Resources for veterans can be found here.


National Bullying Prevention Month


Cyberbullying is a common form of bullying and affects people of all ages. If you are experiencing cyberbullying, we encourage you to report it to online service providers.

Giving Community Support


LADA joined Skipp Townsend, co-founder and executive director of 2nd Call, a gang intervention nonprofit, at the Flintridge Center for a support group.

Support networks are critical to healthy and safe neighborhoods. None of us can flourish alone.

Thank you to 2nd Call for your great work bringing information and resources to our communities to help them thrive.

Watch it on TikTok.

LADA Welcomes Vietnamese Delegation


D.A. Gascón, Communications Director Tiffiny Blacknell and LADA's LGBTQ+ Advisory Board were happy to welcome the Vietnamese delegation at the Hall of Justice!

The delegation discussed best practices related to the LGBTQ+ community and the criminal legal system.

D.A. Gascón and LADA Execs Meet
With New Orleans D.A. Office


D.A. Gascón, Director of Communications Tiffiny Blacknell and Specialized Prosecutions Director Larry Droeger had the pleasure of meeting with New Orleans Assistant District Attorney Rachel Hurd and her partner Jennifer Schwehm at the Hall of Justice!

Child Abuse Prevention


Thanks to our panelists and all who joined our Bureau of Victim Services’ forum on child abuse prevention.

We appreciate hosts BVS’ Loren D’Silva and Shari Farmer, and panelists Lara A. Drino, director of Child Abuse Policy and Prevention at the L.A. City Attorney’s Office; Iris Cruet-Rubio, founder of Miracles Counseling Center; Kendra Tankersley-Davis, VP of External Affairs at Crittenton Services; attorney Michael Carrillo and others!


Bureau of Victim Services
at Family Wellness Resource Fair


Bureau of Victim Services representative Shari Farmer recently staffed a LADA booth at a Family Wellness Resource Fair hosted by Board of Supervisors Chair Holly Mitchell.

Thank you, Chair Mitchell for a wonderful community event!

Constitutional Rights Foundation Event


Thank you to nonprofit Constitutional Rights Foundation for hosting a wonderful annual celebration and congrats to all honorees!

LADA’s law-related education program, Project LEAD, developed in partnership with the Constitutional Rights Foundation, focuses on the social and legal consequences of crime.

Southwestern Law School Visit


Great time at Southwestern Law School Public Interest Fair! Assistant Head Deputy District Attorneys Mario Haidar and Guillermo Santiso, and Deputy District Attorneys Tina Hooks, Scott Dominguez and Ben Forer enjoyed speaking with students about careers at LADA.

LADA Sr. Investigators Receive Awards From POALAC


D.A. Gascón and LADA Bureau of Investigation Law Enforcement Liaison Tony Miranda had the honor of attending the Peace Officers Association of L.A. County’s Centurion Awards at USC.

We're proud of BOI Sr. Investigators Arthur Choi and Emily Ladino, who were awarded Excellence in Investigations for their outstanding work!

Watch it on TikTok.

Family Violence Division Gives to Shelters


LADA’s Family Violence Division stood up to domestic violence by raising funds for shelters at Harvest Home L.A. and Triangle Services.  

FVD hosted a bake sale at the Hall of Justice, where employees donated to the cause.

Serving Food to Unhoused People


A big thanks goes out to Sgt. Jenelle Meier, Sr. Investigator Jody Little and Secretary V Kristine Cariño from LADA’s Bureau of Investigation and Assessing Clerk Karen Haldeman from City of Ludington Assessor’s Office in Michigan for volunteering to serve food to unhoused individuals at the Union Rescue Mission.

Los Angeles accounts for three percent of the total United States population, but is home to seven percent of all people experiencing homelessness. About 58,000 people in Los Angeles County experience homelessness on any given night.

LADA is proud to help unhoused people see a brighter future in L.A.

LADA Volunteer on the Importance of Mentorship


Southwestern Law School student Nathalie Garcia speaks about the mentoring she has received while volunteering at the office as she navigates a future career in law. Watch the video here.

We appreciate our volunteers!

Apply to volunteer at LADA.

LADA Volunteer Program Appreciation


Congrats to Felopateer Labeeb for receiving a Certificate of Appreciation from D.A. Gascón for his exceptional work as Volunteer Program Coordinator II!

Felopateer has gone above and beyond to advance and implement new tools to modernize LADA's internship experience and operations.

Bureau of Investigation Congratulates
Sgt. Robinson and Sgt. Estevez


We commend LADA Bureau of Investigation Sgt. Mike Robinson and Sgt. Janet (Yaneysi) Estevez on their graduations from the Sherman Block Supervisory Leadership Institute!

Welcome New DDAs!


D.A. Gascón had the pleasure of swearing in 12 new Deputy District Attorneys at the Hall of Justice.

Congratulations on this next chapter and welcome to the LADA family!



Three strikes laws make Californians less safe, not more safe


Sentenced to life for stealing $14: ‘I needed help, but was given jail’