San Diego, California - Being a Deputy District Attorney is not just about prosecution, but also about protecting the communities we serve and live in through crime prevention and education. Deputy District Attorney Andrija Lopez was recently recognized for her tireless dedication on prevention against cyber bullying and school threats, by the San Diego County Juvenile Justice Commission during their Community Recognition Ceremony. The annual awards ceremony recognizes community leaders, organizations and law enforcement for their dedication and work in the juvenile justice system.
“I am so proud to have Deputy District Attorney Andrija Lopez on our team. Her recognition is very well-deserved and her creative and proactive approach is an excellent example of the kind of crime prevention we embrace at the DA’s Office,” said District Attorney Summer Stephan. “During her 15 years as a prosecutor, Andrija has spent nearly half of those years in the Juvenile Division, where she noticed a pattern between cyber bullying and an increase in school threats. With that information she helped create an important education and prevention campaign as well as a county-wide School Threat Protocol.”
With the support of DA Stephan and Juvenile Division Chief Lisa Weinreb, Deputy DA Andrija Lopez spear-headed the creation of the first-ever county-wide School Threat Protocol providing law enforcement, all 42 school districts and the District Attorney’s Office with a step-by-step approach to identifying and assessing the hundreds of reported school threats in our county each year. Lopez also created and leads the School Threat Assessment Team, a multi-disciplinary team of experts, including mental health professionals, state and federal law enforcement officers and educators who work together to map out how to intervene and assist a juvenile in need that has started down the pathway to violence.
“Being part of the Juvenile Division allows me to focus heavily on prevention,” said DDA Andrija Lopez. “It is my hope that by addressing bullying and cyber bullying head-on as well as mental health issues, that we will foster healthier school climates and reduce the risk of a tragedy happening in our county.”
Lopez also created an education campaign in San Diego schools to educate students, teachers and administrators about the dangers of cyber bullying, created tips on how to report it and training on how to respond to it on school campuses. She created several presentations for children of all ages and compiled a team of prosecutors throughout the county who provide approximately 20 to 25 presentations per year on this topic.