Department Operations Updates: July 13, 2022

This post includes a summary of recent Dallas County department operations updates relevant, specifically, to members of the Dallas County Commissioners Court.

Team updates include:

Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences (SWIFS)

Director: Jeffrey J. Barnard, M.D.

Jeffrey J. Barnard, M.D., Director and Chief Medical Examiner of SWIFS

After conducting a four-day on-site assessment with a team of eight assessors in March 2022, the ANSI National Accreditation Board renewed our department’s accreditation in the Field of Forensic Testing & Calibration under ISO/IEC 17025:2017, ANAB Forensic Testing & Calibration AR 3125:2019, and FBI Quality Assurance Standards for Forensic DNA Testing Laboratories: 2020.

The department satisfied ANAB that we meet or exceed the accreditation requirements and those of our own documented management system. The decision to renew our accreditation was based on documentation provided in the assessment report and in accordance with the recommendation of the Lead Assessor. Accredited forensic service providers are expected to continuously maintain the standards that were required to achieved accreditation. The primary means of monitoring ongoing conformance to the requirements is through surveillance activities, proficiency testing reports sent to ANAB by qualified test providers, and self-disclosure by the laboratories of significant events and nonconformities. Information received by ANAB from the monitoring activities is a consideration for confirming continued accreditation between full assessments.

Our department completed a significant milestone for an ambitious Key Result included in the FY2022 County Objectives and Key Results program. Brittany Casey, Ph.D., Chief of Forensic Chemistry, and Lindsay Glicksberg, Ph.D., Forensic Chemistry Technical Manager, published data on one of five “drugs of interest” selected for retrospective analysis. Their article, “Phencyclidine in Drivers and Decedents in Dallas County: A 5-Year Retrospective Review of Toxicological and Demographical Data” was published by the Journal of Analytical Toxicology in June 2022.

Brittany Casey, Ph.D., and Lindsay Glicksberg, Ph.D., with a liquid chromatograph quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometer in the SWIFS Toxicology Laboratory.

Our department developed reports and a process to partner with Dallas County Health and Human Services to assist with their surveillance efforts and Heat-Related Illness Surveillance Report. Our contribution is to provide timely heat-related death information for Medical Examiner inquest cases to support their efforts.

We are currently tracking 11 possible hyperthermia deaths through June 30, 2022. During 2021, we reported a total of six hyperthermia deaths in Dallas County for the entire year, four hyperthermia deaths in 2020, and 13 hyperthermia deaths in 2019. 

Small Business Enterprise (SBE)

Director: Jesse Crawford 

Jesse Crawford, Director of Small Business Enterprise

Our department remains committed to our core mission of creating level playing fields on which small businesses can compete fairly through our ongoing outreach and capacity building efforts.

SBE continues to develop and refine our successful collaboration on the School of Construction with the Beck Group and City of Dallas by delivering impactful training content to help small businesses improve their chances of success…both operationally and with future contract awards!

The Office of Small Business Enterprise (SBE), in collaboration with the Beck Group and City of Dallas, successfully launched the 2022 BECK School of Construction training in January. The workshops were originally designed to strengthen effective working relationships with the small, minority and women owed businesses (SMWBEs) in the North Texas area. Additionally, this initiative’s curriculum created an opportunity for participating SMWBEs to receive intensive technical assistance and business development training through their interactions with local industry experts. A total of 17 recipients were tasked with completing a nine-month program which includes workshops and micro-classes centered on the key operational facets of business development assistance with the participating SMWBEs. As we quickly approach the end of the program (which concludes in September), we want to again thank all our Dallas County personnel who have energetically supported this initiative through their time, expertise, and outreach support.

To date, the following classes and curriculums are scheduled for the remainder of the program:

Session 5 – Project Management (Ray Banks – Public Works and Charles Taylor – Beck)
Location: Beck Group, 1601 Elm Street, 28th Floor, Dallas, TX 75202
Date: June 14, 2022 (completed)
Time: 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

  • Staffing, keeping the right people on your projects
  • Using technology to track and manage the project
  • Document control
  • Project closeout

Session 7 – Safety (Charles Taylor – Beck and Noe Villareal)
Location: Beck Group, 1601 Elm Street, 28th Floor, Dallas, TX 75202
Date: July 12, 2022
Time: 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

  • Pre-Construction review
  • Training requirements
  • Leading vs Lagging indicators
  • Supervision/field organization
  • How we use technology
  • Certifications     

Session 8 – Accounting
Location: Beck Group, 1601 Elm Street, 28th Floor, Dallas, TX 75202
Date: August 9, 2022
Time: 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

  • Financial Literacy
  • Funding

Graduation
Location: TBD
Date: September 13, 2022
Time: 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Dennis Abraham, Senior Project Manager, Public Works, presenting on Preconstruction & Estimating for Session 3.
Ray Banks, Senior Project Manager, Public Works, presenting on Project Management for Session 5

The Office of Small Business Enterprise continues to be fully engaged with the County’s implementation efforts for the new Oracle financial system. As a result, we anticipate an improved, efficient, and robust system with a shared commitment to ensuring enterprise-wide solutions for all of our internal and external customers.

Our department continues to invest our time and resources through our membership in and sponsorship of local minority chambers of commerce, contractors associations, and our certification agency partners—Dallas/Fort Worth Minority Supplier Diversity Council (DFWMSDC), North Central Texas Regional Certification Agency (NCTRCA), and Women’s Business Council-Southwest (WBC-SW)—to further support our shared goals of increasing small and diverse supplier inclusion.

Through our outreach initiatives, we have successfully partnered, networked, and educated the small business community on the best practices for seeking and winning contracts with Dallas County.

These strategic partnerships ensure that Dallas County is recognized as a great public entity/citizen in the community, with an inclusive culture that extends to our supply chain.

The following are highlights from recent outreach events:

  • Women’s Business Council – Southwest – Connections to Contracts was held on April 12, 2022.  This procurement-focused event connects women-owned businesses (WBEs) with corporations and with other WBEs. The event featured a networking reception, corporate roundtable procurement discussions, a c-suite executive keynote address, corporate industry-focused sessions, WBE success stories, and a closing networking reception. Special thanks to Kim Gould from Purchasing for her support during the corporate roundtables.
  • The Regional Hispanic Contractors Association (RHCA) recognized and awarded Dallas County Commissioner Dr. Elba Garcia with the President’s Award at their Pillar Awards event. The event was held on April 19, 2022, at the Irving Convention Center and brings together local small, minority and women-owned businesses to celebrate their outstanding accomplishments and annual successes. 
  • ACCESS 2022 (Dallas/Fort Worth Minority Supplier Development Council) was held on May 3, 2022.  Access is the flagship business expo and procurement roundtable event for the council and one of, if not THE, largest in the metroplex. Making connections is a critical business development initiative for any business, and our support of this event allows us to meet the best vendors/suppliers that our region has to offer…in one setting. SBE participated in corporate roundtable sessions (special thanks to Nancy Martinez, Stephen Cordova, and Kim Gould from Purchasing), where we explained the types of products and services we procure and shared our requirements. We also manned our SBE booth on the exhibitor tradeshow floor and connected with attendees who shared their business cards, capabilities statements, collateral, etc.

FY2022 Upcoming Events:

Host OrganizationEventDateTimeLocation
Dallas County
Beck Group
City of Dallas
Beck School of Construction | Dallas County Program7/12/20224:00 – 6:00 p.m.Beck Group
     
Dallas County
Beck Group
City of Dallas
Beck School of Construction | Dallas County Program8/9/20224:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.Beck Group
North Central Texas Regional Certification Agency30th Anniversary Gala8/11/20227:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.The Globe Life Stadium
Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Regional Hispanic Contractor’s Association
Build Fort Worth Expo 20228/19/20228:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.Will Rogers Memorial Center
Greater Southwest Black Chamber of Commerce2022 Women in Business Conference8/24/202211:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.TBA
Regional Black Contractors Association2022 Chairman’s LuncheonTBATBATBA
     
Dallas County
Beck Group
City of Dallas
Beck School of Construction | Dallas County Program9/13/20224:00 p.m.  – 6:00 p.m.Beck Group

Our department recently welcomed Kecia Rogers as a new SBE Compliance Officer.

Kecia’s role is critical in supporting our efforts to improve our data accuracy in preparation for the upcoming Disparity Study, while ensuring that our Primes are meeting their SBE utilization and contractual goals. She will also assist us with implementing a best-in-class compliance tracking and reporting process for Dallas County. Kecia comes to Dallas County by way of Denver, Colorado, where she worked in contract compliance for the City and County of Denver at the Denver Airport. She is a graduate of Metropolitan State College in Denver, with a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice. Kecia is Green Belt Certified and a self-proclaimed “compliance lover.”  Please join us in welcoming her to Dallas County!

Kecia Rogers, Compliance Officer

Purchasing

Director: Michael Frosch

Michael Frosch, Director of Purchasing

Our department remains committed to delivering timely service to its clients through strategic and competitive purchasing while working diligently to maximize purchasing power and establishing business opportunities for local, small and minority communities. 

Purchasing is actively involved in the design and implementation process of the County’s new financial system which is expected to be a “best in class” financial system.

Our department continues to implement contracts to support the client departments’ operational needs. To date for FY2021-2022, Purchasing has submitted 129 Court agenda items in the estimated amount of $187M, releasing 20 requests for proposals, and authorizing nine separate public auctions. 

In collaboration with key stakeholders, we would like to highlight a few significant contract awards approved by the Commissioners Court to date:

  • June 21, 2022 – One-time construction contract for a Major Capital Improvement Plan (MCIP) No. 40810 Wildlife Parkway Pavement and Drainage Improvements.
  • June 21, 2022 – One-time construction contract for the Frank Crowley 8th & 9th floor renovation and improvement package.
  • May 17, 2022 – One-time service contract for the replacement of multiple generator units and an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) unit at the Frank Crowley/Lew Sterrett Complex.
  • May 3, 2022 – One-year service contract for license subscription for Bentley Select Services for the Public Works Department.
  • May 3, 2022 – One-time construction contract for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Project No.6-CD03-Q2 Cockrell Hill Dempster and Ogden Avenue Water Main Improvements.
  • April 19, 2022 – One-time purchase of a Liquid Chromatography-Ultraviolet/Mass Spectrometry (LC-UV/MS) System for the Drug Analysis Laboratory at the Dallas County Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences (SWIFS).
  • April 5, 2022 – Five-year service price agreement for a Jail Management System.

Our department continues to work in collaboration with the Office of Small Business Enterprise to educate, promote awareness, competition, and create a more transparent public-procurement process.  

The following event was held during the reporting period:

  • On April 12, 2022, Kim Gould, Nancy Martinez, and Stephen Cordova represented the Purchasing Department at the Women’s Business Council Southwest Connections to Contracts round table event.

Michael Frosch represented Dallas County at the inaugural NACo Procurement Advisory Committee meeting this quarter. The NACo Procurement Advisory Committee will continue to meet quarterly to discuss the three committee pillars: supplier diversity & sustainability, data & tracking, and training. 

Our department welcomed new employee Benedict Parks, Buyer, on May 16, 2022.

Congratulations to Ron Babineaux II, Fixed Assets Specialist, for his recent promotion to Lead Fixed Assets Specialist within the Purchasing Department! 

Public Defender’s Office

Director: Lynn Pride Richardson

Lynn Pride Richardson, Chief Public Defender

Our department has implemented business process improvement strategies to ensure effective management and application of our resources.

  • We received Texas Indigent Commission/ARPA funding to add 19 additional employees which include lawyers, investigators, paralegal, case managers and support staff to reduce the caseloads for the misdemeanor attorneys in 11 Dallas County criminal courts.
  • We are fully staffed and operating in the backlog/disposition felony and misdemeanor courts. Those positions are paid for with Dallas County American Rescue Plan funding.
  • We continue to work with Dallas County IT and our case management vendor, Journal Tech, on the implementation and training on the new case management system.
  • We continue to conduct office-wide trainings for all employees, which includes orientation for new staff.
  • We continue to monitor employee workloads to track effectiveness and efficiency.
  • We continue to develop and maintain relationships with our internal stakeholders, including the District Attorney’s Office, Community Supervision, Criminal Justice, County IT and our community partners like Unlocking Doors and NTBHA. 
  • We submitted our FY2023 budget in compliance with County directives.

Our department’s implementation of a new public defense case-management system is on track to be completed by May 2023.

Our department’s administrative and executive teams continue to meet regularly internally and with other Dallas County leaders and court stakeholders:

  • University of North Texas School of Law
  • Southern Methodist University
  • Dallas County Administration
  • City of Dallas South Dallas Drug Court
  • North Texas Behavioral Health Authority (NTBHA)
  • Behavioral Health Leadership Team (BHLT)
  • Criminal Justice Advisory Board (CJAB)
  • Dallas County Criminal Justice Department
  • Dallas County District Attorney’s Office
  • Dallas County Criminal Courts
  • Dallas County Sheriff’s Office
  • Unlocking Doors
  • TORI (Potter’s House)
  • Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Association
  • Gideon’s Promise
  • National Association of Public Defenders
  • Churches and community-based organizations

We submit quarterly reports detailing our operations to current funders and submitted proposals quarterly to existing funders. We expect that these proposals will result in a continuation of our programs.

Our office continues to work diligently to provide effective legal representation to all clients post-pandemic.