Date: September 25, 2017
OCDA CHIEF OF STAFF RECEIVES COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD FROM KOREAN PROSECUTORS ASSOCIATION
SANTA ANA, Calif. – Chief of Staff Susan Kang Schroeder of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) was recognized by the Korean Prosecutors Association (KPA) with the Community Service Award for her extraordinary dedication and service to protecting the public, especially in the area of human exploitation and trafficking. The award was presented at KPA’s 2017 Awards Dinner at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown hotel on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. The event recognized the hard work of female prosecutors throughout the world, and speeches were delivered by Prosecutor General of the Republic of Korea Moo-il Moon, Chairwoman Michelle Steel of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, and Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey.
KPA is a global non-profit organization of public prosecutors, of Korean descent, formed for the purpose of networking, information sharing, mentoring, and serving the community by providing information and education on matters concerning the public and public safety.
Acting Prosecutor Grace H. Park of Union County, New Jersey, was awarded Prosecutor of the Year by KPA, and the Trailblazer Award was given to Hee Jin Cho, Chief Prosecutor of Seoul Eastern District Prosecutor’s Office, as well as to Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley.
In 2013, District Attorney Tony Rackauckas tasked Schroeder to devise a plan to help combat the problems of modern day slavery occurring in our backyard. During his announcement of the new Human Exploitation and Trafficking (HEAT) Unit, District Attorney Rackauckas stated the OCDA will utilize “a tactical plan called PERP – Prosecution, Education, Resources, and Publicity.” Since its inception, the OCDA HEAT Unit has obtained over 230 felony convictions, 220 prison sentences (including six life sentences) and currently has an active caseload of over 116 cases.
Over the years, Schroeder has worked diligently to better the community through programs such as OC GRIP as well as co-supervising the HEAT Unit, which targets predators who traffic and sexually exploit women. Schroeder currently serves as the OCDA’s representative for the Human Trafficking Committee to the California District Attorney’s Association.
OCDA Tony Rackauckas stated, “Susan’s dedication to the pervasive issue of human trafficking in this county has given a platform for OCDA’s HEAT Unit to be an example for prosecutorial agencies throughout the country.”
“I humbly accept this award on behalf of District Attorney Tony Rackauckas for his vision and dedication to fighting modern day slavery and the OCDA HEAT unit and the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force who have worked so hard to fight these evil people and save the vulnerable victims,” stated Schroeder.
In addition to her dedication to anti-human trafficking advocacy, Schroeder serves as senior advisor and strategist to Marsy’s Law for All, a law which ensures equal constitutional rights for victims of crime throughout the U.S. She also volunteers her time with Nicholas Academic Centers, an after-school tutoring and mentoring program that provides high school students with a safe and nurturing place to seek academic services, emotional support, mentoring and social services. She and Sasha, her rescue Golden Retriever, volunteer many hours each month with PAWS (Pets Are Wonderful Support), bringing comfort to senior citizens, children with autism, and youth at Orangewood Children’s Home. On July 17, 2017, Schroeder received the Heroes & Living Legends Gala Award from Open Gate International for her leadership and service against human trafficking. Schroeder has been a prosecutor for 22 years.