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Community Outreach - Home

Community Outreach - Home

 

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California dedicates significant resources to collaborating with the community to prevent crime, enhance public safety, and improve the quality of life.  Acting United States Attorney Randy Grossman feels strongly that our office must continually connect with stakeholders to better understand and respond to community needs.  Our prosecutors and engagement team members often work directly with local police officers, agency officials, residents, schools, nonprofit organizations, and others to develop comprehensive solutions to emerging public safety problems.  The office is committed to taking on leadership roles in prevention organizations, building bonds of trust in the community, investing time in mentoring programs, and enhancing public safety through increased awareness and education. 

Community Outreach

USAO staff and SDPD hosted a drive by graduation for 5th graders who completed the Success Agents mentoring program.

  Events/Training

Upcoming Events:

  • San Diego Regional Anti-Hate Crime Coalition Meeting -  July 6, 2022 
  • SRO Traing - August 24, 2022

Past Events:

  • Responding to Rising Hate Crimes: Best Practices for Law Enforcement - March 9, 2022

  • Hate Crime Forum in Spanish - April 8, 2021

  • Law Enforcement Awards Ceremony - May 13, 2021

  • AAPI Hate Crime Community Forum - May 24, 2021

  • Youth Outreach and Education Program at Barona Recreation Center - July 14th and July 21st

  • Common Scams & Frauds Against Seniors- October 27, 2021

  • Western States Opioid/ Stimulant Summit - November 4-5, 2021

Hate Crimes Awareness and Prevention

Where to report hate crimes

We are working to ensure that every person who is subjected to a hate incident understands why and how to report it. In law enforcement, there are other important steps we can take, in addition to prosecutions. At DOJ, we are working to make sure law enforcement agencies collect accurate data so that we understand the scope of hate crimes. At DOJ our primary goal is to keep our community safe by ensuring that those who commit hate crimes are placed behind bars. Over the past 10 years, the Department of Justice has charged more than 200 defendants nationwide with hate crimes offenses. Our office is committed to educating, prosecuting and educating the public about hate crimes. Due to the lack of awareness, confusion about reporting avenues and fear, many hate crimes go unreported. This past year during the pandemic we have seen an increase of violence and harassment to specific groups. Our office has collaborated with other law enforcement agencies, and community partners to educate the community on the importance of reporting hate incidents and crimes. Toward that end, the office co-chairs the San Diego Regional Anit-Hate Crime Coalition, which coordinates outreach, education and dialogue regarding bullying, hate incidents and hate crimes in the San Diego Region. We have also hosted several Hate Crime forums to educate the community and encourage them to report hate crimes.

On 5/24/21, AUSAs Connie Wu and Alicia Williams hosted an AAPI Hate Crime Community Forum.
On 5/24/21, AUSAs Connie Wu and Alicia Williams hosted an AAPI Hate Crime Community Forum.

Project Safe Neighborhood

Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a nationwide federal initiative that brings together federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and community leaders to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in a community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  In the Southern District of California the cases prosecuted under the PSN banner include firearms offenses, bank robberies, Hobbs Act robberies, narcotics distribution, and other federal offenses when the defendant is gang related and/or an individual with a documented violent history. In addition to the enforcement piece the Southern District of California (SDCA) has provided grant funding to local NGOs to help reduce violence, foster safer neighborhoods and utilize research to measure effectiveness.  The PSN taskforce has representatives from many agencies that take part in executing the grant strategy. The following agencies are represented on the PSN Team: USAO; San Diego City Attorney’s Office; Imperial Valley Law Enforcement Coordination Center, San Diego County District Attorney’s Office; SANDAG; United States Probation Department, and the San Diego County Probation Department. The selection committee is made up of retired Chiefs of Police from the District and a retired Assistant U.S. Attorney. As of today, the SDCA has awarded grant funding for FY 2018 and FY 2019. The award recipients consist of:

  • Boys & Girls Club of Oceanside
  • Education COMPACT
  • El Centro Pal
  • Imperial County Gang Intelligence Coalition
  • Inner City Athletics
  • Reality Changers
  • Rise Up Industries
  • Star Pal
  • UPAC
  • Vista Community Clinic
  • Youth Empowerment

Opioid and Meth Awareness

The U.S. Attorney’s Office is actively involved in raising awareness about the growing opioid and stimulant epidemic, which is devastating and taking lives. Our fentanyl and methamphetamine prosecutions have increased exponentially over the past five years, as have our cases against those who cause overdoses. But we recognize that we cannot prosecute our way out of this challenge. Our office holds leadership roles in coalitions that bring together dozens of stakeholders to address enforcement, prevention, and treatment issues.

In November, Outreach Director Cindy Cipriani planned a Western States Opioid/Stimulant Summit, which convened regional and national leaders to share emerging trends and best practices. More than 700 people registered for the no cost virtual event, which focused on effective law enforcement investigations; reducing stigma; reaching diverse communities; connecting public health, public safety and prevention; facilitating treatment; and implementing harm reduction strategies. Keynote speakers included NIDA Director Nora Volkow, Director Nick Jarecki, and author Sam Quinones, who discussed his new book The Least of Us: True Tales of America and Hope in the Time of Fentanyl and Meth.

The event, which also featured many individuals with lived experience, received rave reviews and has already spurred increased dialogue and new collaborations. The presentations for the 2021 Western States Opioid/ Stimulant Summit can be accessed through this link: https://www.sandiegorxabusetaskforce.org/basic-01.

 

Targeted Violence Prevention

Our Constitution protects our right to worship freely. We are working to ensure that all houses of worship are adequately protected so their congregants can worship in peace. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has cosponsored two workshops to make religious leaders aware of critical government and community resources, including infrastructure grants and security assessments, including the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services’ Nonprofits Security Grant Program. Many of our district’s religious institutions successfully applied for these funds in the past and they are safer today as result.

Protecting Houses of Worship

 

Tribal Liaison Program

United States Attorney Randy Grossman and Tribal Liaison AUSA Kim-Thoa Hoang have met with the Board Members of the Southern California Tribal Chairmen’s Association (SCTCA) and also visited several reservations around the district including meetings with the tribal leaders.

We also work with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Office of Justice Services, the California Attorney General’s Office of Native American Affairs, the Sheriff’s Department, and the District Attorney's Office in thriving to make concrete and concerted efforts to enhance relations with the tribes and create opportunities for improved communications and training.

Our tribal liaison participates in meetings of the California Tribal Police Chiefs Association (CTPCA) which operates with the support of the California Indian Legal Services (CILS).

U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman and AUSA Kim-Thoa Hoang with Pala Tribal Member Chris Nejo at Pala’s Cupa Cultural Center

U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman and AUSA Kim-Thoa Hoang with Pala Tribal Member Chris Nejo at Pala’s Cupa Cultural Center

 

Tribal Crime Prevention Work

Tribal Liaison AUSA Kim-Thoa Hoang and Community Outreach/Prevention Coordinator Shastity Urias, in collaboration with the Barona Recreation Center and the Youth Center & Learning Center at Pala, offered a youth program for 5th through 12th graders at Barona and Pala. The sessions focused on preparing the students for planning their future, and teaching kids the importance of positive decision-making and refusal skills.

Youth at Barona Recreation center interacting with Deputy Sheriff Douglas Downes and Shastity Urias, Community Outreach Coordinator with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Youth at Barona Recreation center interacting with Deputy Sheriff Douglas Downes and Shastity Urias, Community Outreach Coordinator with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

 

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Initiative

In response to issues concerning Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons (MMIP) in Indian Country, the Attorney General launched a national strategy to address Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons (MMIP Initiative).  The MMIP Initiative is a coordinated effort involving creating a Task Force on Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives (also known as "Operation Lady Justice") that broadened the federal government's response to MMIP issues.

There are 11 MMIP Coordinators in U.S. Attorneys’ Offices with Indian Country who, working with the FBI and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, are developing MMIP best practices and investigative protocols.  These Coordinators will support and coordinate with every U.S. Attorney’s Office on MMIP issues and investigations.  Each office also designates a MMIP Point of Contact (POC) to receive information about MMIP issues, respond to inquiries about specific MMIP investigations, and coordinate with law enforcement in the district. 

AUSA Hoang serves as Tribal Liaison and is the MMIP Point of Contact for the U.S. Attorneys’ Office in the Southern District of California.

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