Inside LADA

June 22, 2017: LADA Receives National Recognition for Public Education, Training Initiatives

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has been recognized by the National Association of Counties (NACo) for its mental health awareness training program for law enforcement personnel and fraud education initiative for seniors. 

Each year, NACo presents its achievement awards to notable county agencies whose programs have provided valuable and innovative services to residents.    

In 2016, District Attorney Jackie Lacey created a Mental Health Awareness Training Program to improve the manner in which first responders interact with individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. The free two-day training course is offered twice a month in locations across Los Angeles County. During its first year, 650 first responders attended the trainings and learned how to successfully de-escalate situations involving mentally ill people. 

The program has received positive feedback. One first responder wrote, “Thank you for finally providing us with good, useful information that will help me do a better job out there.”

The District Attorney’s Office also received recognition from NACo for its #FraudFriday campaign.

District Attorney Lacey set a goal of educating seniors about financial scams after her elderly mother nearly fell victim to one.

Assistant District Attorney Joseph Esposito, who oversees the Bureau of Fraud and Corruption Prosecutions, worked with prosecutors and the Bureau of Communications to launch the wide-ranging public education initiative which underscores prevalent and emerging scams. 

“The goal is to empower and protect Los Angeles County constituents through fraud education, thereby keeping financial predators at bay,” Esposito said.

Since the campaign’s inception in 2015, more than 45 “Fraud Alerts” have been produced. The biweekly alerts are distributed on the office’s website, via email to more than 500 reporters and editors and on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #FraudFriday.

In addition, paper copies of the Fraud Alerts are sent out across Los Angeles County to agencies serving older adults. Highlighted for its widespread media interest, both locally and nationally, the #FraudFriday alerts have been featured in more than 55 news articles in the past two years.