Dallas County establishes Working Group on New Directions for Public Safety & Positive Community Change

On May 30, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins requested a meeting with local faith leaders, representatives from a variety of community organizations, Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax and others to discuss what could be done in Dallas County to address citizens’ heightened concerns about police brutality and equality following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25.

Following the meeting, 10 participants drafted a document with a range of recommendations and sent it on June 1 to Judge Jenkins, City Manager Broadnax and Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson. That document, titled 10 New Directions for Public Safety and Positive Community Change, described new approaches to changing policing and reallocating funding for broader initiatives to enhance the safety, housing and living conditions of people in Dallas. 

In response, Judge Jenkins invited the authors of the document to join a group of public officials that he assembled to form a Working Group on New Directions for Public Safety & Positive Community Change. County Administrator Darryl Martin was asked by Judge Jenkins to moderate the working group and will facilitate a series of meetings for six weeks beginning today. 

During the meetings, participants will discuss criminalization/alternatives to police response (July 8), alternatives to incarceration/mental health as a crisis point (July 15) and homelessness/investments to address poverty (July 22) in addition to proposing corresponding solutions and budgets. In a June 30 memo, Judge Jenkins expressed it is his “hope that this opportunity for honest and difficult dialogue will lead to meaningful and lasting change that strengthens our community.” 

Working-group participants include:

  • Rev. Dr. Frederic Haynes III, Friendship West Baptist Church
  • Rev. Dr. Michael Waters, Abundant Life AME Church 
  • Imam Dr. Omar Suleiman, Faith Forward Dallas
  • Sara Mokuria, Mothers Against Police Brutality
  • Kristian Hernandez, DSA North Texas 
  • Jodi Voice Yellowfish, American Indian Heritage Day
  • Maria Yolisma Garcia, North Texas Dream Team
  • Brittany White, Faith in Action
  • Mercedes Fulbright, In Defense of Black Lives 
  • John Fullinwider, Mothers Against Police Brutality
  • Susan Cluse, City Manager, Balch Springs
  • T.C. Broadnax, City Manager, Dallas
  • Brandon Wright, City Manager, Dallas
  • Brandon Wright, City Manager, DeSoto
  • Chris Hillman, City Manager, Irving
  • Opal Mauldin-Jones, City Manager, Lancaster 
  • Cliff Kehely, City Manager, Mesquite
  • Honorable John Creuzot, District Attorney 
  • Darryl Martin, County Administrator, Dallas – Moderator