Dallas County Commissioners Court awards three New Directions in Public Safety Grants

Yesterday, the Dallas County Commissioners Court approved of three New Directions in Public Safety Grant Program awards totaling $3 million. The City of DeSoto was awarded $1,893,654, the City of Rowlett received $206,346 and southeast Dallas County cities were awarded $900,000 in funds to support these cities’ efforts to implement strategies to reduce police intervention in certain mental health, substance abuse and homeless calls. This grant program was established to support Dallas County’s Working Group on New Directions for Public Safety & Positive Community Change, which was formed at the request of Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins in June 2020. 

Award recipients will be required to report progress regularly to Dallas County, and cities must share relevant data and information with The Institute for Urban Policy Research at The University of Texas at Dallas, which received funding from Dallas County to design an evaluation tool to monitor the effectiveness of the cities’ programs. 

Dallas County cities and groups of cities were invited to submit applications beginning on Nov. 9, 2020. After the Dec. 14, 2020 application deadline, submitted proposals were evaluated based on the following criteria by a committee comprised of representatives from Dallas County’s Criminal Justice Department, Public Defender’s Office, District Attorney’s Office, Sheriff’s Office and Office of Strategy Management.

  1. Ability to significantly improve the quality, scope or delivery of 911 responses to mental health, substance abuse and homeless calls.
  2. The degree of experience the submitter has in providing the intended services.
  3. Ability to meet reporting requirements and timelines for completion as set forth by the Dallas County.
  4. The administrative and programmatic capacity to manage the volume of work.
  5. Ability to sustain program and services beyond grant term.
  6. Other factors determined to be in the best interest of the county in the county’s sole discretion.

“I look forward to supporting these cities as they execute their thoughtful proposals,” Dallas County Administrator Darryl Martin says. “It is our hope that this grant funding will allow participating cities to successfully implement sustainable alternative-response models intended to better serve Dallas County residents.”