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Orange County District Attorney’s Office Creates Crimes Against Peace Officers Unit

Orange County District Attorney’s Office launched the Crimes Against Peace Officers Unit on May 15 in response to the deaths of law enforcement officers. This new unit aims to combat the increasing risks law enforcement officers face by ensuring that the victimization of law enforcement faces great consequence and prosecution to its fullest, lawful extent. 

The OC District Attorney’s Office has prosecuted 1,000 cases related to the victimization of on-duty police officers in the last three years, with 53 of these cases involved the deaths of Orange County peace officers. In the past year, there have been 135 deaths of law enforcement officers in the United States.

Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer attributes defiance against peace officers to the increasing number of released criminals. 

“Law enforcement has become increasingly dangerous as social justice advocates continue to campaign for reduced incarceration and reduced consequences for those who break the law,” Spitzer said in a press release. 

Special Prosecutions, an elite array of units within the District Attorney’s Office dedicated to providing the most-specialized resources for high-profile cases, will manage the Crimes Against Peace Officers Unit with prosecutors who specialize in these cases. The unit will ensure rightful prosecution in any case that involves an on-duty peace officer stationed in the field, in jails and in detention facilities. 

“We are glad the District Attorney has listened to our concerns and taken the steps to form a unit to vertically prosecute those who attack our peace officers,” Juan Viramontes, president of the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs, said.

Kaitlin Hwangbo is a Staff Writer. She can be reached at hwangbok@uci.edu.