Department Operations Updates: August 30, 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:

Consolidated Services

Director: Christopher Hooper

Christopher Hooper, Director of Consolidated Services
Christopher Hooper, Director of Consolidated Services

Fleet Operations hired a new Lead Automotive Technician and successfully onboarded two Automotive Technicians after a thorough interview and selection process. 

Full strength staffing helps the Fleet Operations Center maximize its ability to keep up with customer demands for maintenance and repairs of all County vehicles, while striving to maintain fiscal constraint, high wrenching time, and safety.

Fleet Operations Center Manager Jose Guzman and Lead Technician Robert Elliott earned their initial Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certifications.

Jose is now an ASE Certified Service Consultant, and Robert is now an ASE Certified Steering and Suspension Technician. The addition of these two ASE certifications brings the total number of certified ASE employees at the Fleet Operations Center to three, with two additional technicians signed up to test for ASE designation in September.

Fleet Operations introduced a new safety management program and has begun tracking employee PPE, conducting weekly safety meetings, and implementing new safety protocols. The department is also keeping their Lean Six Sigma 5s program up to date and ensuring that all team members are doing their part to stay disciplined, accountable, and safe in the workplace.

Fleet Operations launched an oil analysis program for Dallas County’s fleet.

The data collected from this program will identify the best preventive maintenance (PM) intervals while maintaining focus on fiscal and environmental responsibility. Updates to PM intervals will be done based on this analysis and an in-depth look into the replacement of parts to reduce downtime on major repairs. 

Fleet Operations-led green and ecofriendly initiatives have been launched in partnership with several partner departments.

Dallas County recently completed the purchase of three all electric Model 3 vehicles for pilot testing with fire marshals, constables, and the department’s shared vehicle services program.

Dallas County Fire Marshal vehicle

The department also placed orders for 10 Ford F150 Lightning all electric pickup trucks and 10 Ford MachE all electrics SUVs. The pilot program will play an important role in the development of the County’s plan for a transition to electric vehicles, including infrastructure placement, utility rate structure, cost analysis, and integrations with other systems.

The department would like to thank the Commissioners Court, County Administration, Office of Budget and Evaluation and the Purchasing Department for their support and collaboration to add these zero emission vehicles to the County’s fleet.

Longobart/Ross Consulting Group will engage with Fleet Operations to conduct an overall analysis and data cleanup of the existing Fleet Maintenance System software.

The firm will also develop best-practice recommendations for rightsizing the fleet and replacement forecasting. This is the precursor to developing a data-driven electric vehicle and infrastructure establishment strategy. Completion of this phase one plan is estimated before the end of 2022.

One of the Law Library Objectives and Key Results for this fiscal year is to publish an informational customer-focused article once per quarter on Law Library website to showcase and strengthen County and community awareness of the role and value of the Law Library.

The fourth article for FY2022, Dallas County Law Library Local Organizational Resources, Summer 2022, was published on the library’s website on Aug. 1. It was also distributed to all Dallas County Judges, court coordinators and personnel, and Dallas Bar Association communications and legal aid stakeholders.

Records Management is pleased to announce the promotion of Rick Nulisch to Records Compliance Officer.

Rick is a long tenured Dallas County employee and has previously held positions at the County Clerk’s Office and Records Management storage facility, in addition to serving as Records Analyst and in the newly created Records Compliance role. His background in County operations and records management allows him to focus on improving processes and increasing performance for customer service delivery.

Congratulations, Rick!

Dallas County’s Household Hazardous Waste Program continues to help residents reuse, recycle, or responsibly manage residential hazardous waste in an environmentally friendly way.

Dallas County’s Household Hazardous Waste Program appreciates the partnership and collaboration with its 16 member cities (Towns of Addison and Highland Park, and Cities of Garland, Rowlett, Dallas, Sachse, DeSoto, Irving, Seagoville, Duncanville, Mesquite, Sunnyvale, Farmers Branch, Richardson, University Park, and Wilmer) who contribute significantly to the continued success of this service for Dallas County residents. For those Dallas County cities that are not members and would like to join, please contact Program Manager Earle Blakney via email at or at 214.553.1765.

Dallas County is pleased to announce the commencement of planning for the construction of a southern sector household hazardous waste collection facility to be positioned near the County’s new fire station.  

General design, engineering, and facility modeling is underway for the location at 2801 S. Belt Line Road, Dallas. Progress reports on the development of this facility will be provided in future operations updates. 

Planning and Development

Director: Luis Tamayo

Luis Tamayo, Director of Planning and Development
Luis Tamayo, Director of Planning and Development

During the past quarter, Katie Christman joined the Dallas County Planning and Development team as the new Open Space Coordinator.

In this role, Katie will stand up a volunteer program for the Parks & Open Space Program. Prior to joining Dallas County, Katie worked at Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center managing their academic and public programs as well as their live animal collection. A certified Indian Trail Master Naturalist and North Central TX Master Birder, you can find Katie enjoying the outdoors as much as possible.

Katie Christman, Open Space Coordinator, pictured outdoors.
Katie Christman – Open Space Coordinator, Parks & Open Space Program in Planning and Development

A Request for Proposals for the next Dallas County Open Space Plan was released June 30.

The plan will prioritize projects in the Parks & Open Space Program for the next 10 years, considering the needs of each preserve and surrounding communities as well as address equity in access and amenities across the County. The last plan was published in 1991. The deadline to submit a proposal is Aug. 25 at 2:00 p.m.

Cover of the 1991 Dallas County Open Space Plan
Cover of the 1991 Dallas County Open Space Plan

Each quarter, the Planning and Development department reports on projects in review that request incentives to locate in the County, expand their existing facilities, or create and/or retain jobs in Dallas County. This last quarter five new projects started review or consideration for incentives.

While one project was updated (to start later due to pandemic-related construction delays), during this last quarter no new projects under consideration were brought to Court for Dallas County assistance.

During the third quarter, the Replacement Housing Program substantially advanced the two home projects in the cities of Balch Springs and Wilmer that were started in the previous quarter.

These two homes are slated to be delivered in early September.

This year, Planning and Development awarded $226,554 in HOME funding to Builders of Hope, a certified Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO), for the construction of the five homes under its West Dallas affordable housing Homeownership Project of Los Altos Neighborhood. This construction now has a start date of September 2022.

During the last quarter Planning & Development, in coordination with grantee cities, oversaw the completion of several projects and advanced many others.

These projects include:

  • Balch Springs – Street reconstruction (Cochise Drive & Rustic Trail) – substantially completed
  • Cockrell Hill – Water project for Dempster Street and Ogden Avenue – substantially completed
  • Combine – Water project – design underway
  • Duncanville – Sidewalk reconstruction project (Forest Hill) – substantially completed
  • Farmers Branch – Hollandale water/sewer project – substantially completed
  • Glenn Heights – Neighborhood survey to assess viability of a project – survey completed; city to submit project concepts by October 2022
  • Hutchins – Senior Center rehabilitation – design underway
  • Lancaster – Touchless entry and water fountains – substantially completed
  • Sachse – Sidewalk installation project – city to design by January 2023 and begin construction by summer 2023
  • Seagoville – Drainage project and street reconstructions – reconstruction is underway
  • Wilmer – Adams Street water project – design substantially completed

Planning and Development has continued to progress on achieving its OKR goals.

These include:

  • OKR 4.2: 1,000 of 2,600 linear feet of installed water / sewer lines. These lines were built and tested during the quarter and will be closed out by the end of September for the next phase of the project to start.
  • OKR 4.3: Completed: Design and bid of 5,500 linear feet of water / sewer lines.
  • OKR 4.4: 800 of 1200 linear feet of street reconstruction was completed in Balch Springs. This phase was worked on during the quarter and will be completed by the end of September.

Facilities Management

Director: Greg Gray

Greg Gray, Director of Facilities Management
Greg Gray, Director of Facilities Management

Dallas County is moving forward with the construction of a new parking structure on Jackson Street, across the street from George Allen.

This new garage will alleviate the parking woes currently experienced in the downtown Kennedy Garage and the Records Garage. The new garage will feature over 1,200 parking spaces with 700 of those strictly for the use of Dallas County employees and visitors. The garage will feature state-of-the-art technology as well as electric car chargers for customers.

An overhead view of the construction of a parking garage

Facilities recently managed a renovation of the sanitary plumbing system that serves the single cells in the detention facility.

This system was original to the building (1984) and had been a source of leaks. The project included installing new toilets, resurfacing the shower floors, and the replacing the domestic water lines. These single cells are now available for use by the Sheriff’s Department.

In the near future, renovations will begin on the elevators of the parking garage located next to the Frank Crowley Courts Building.

Elevators will be decommissioned one at a time and renovated with new equipment to ensure safe and efficient operation. Once completed, the flow of pedestrian traffic between the levels of the garage and the plaza level will be greatly enhanced.

The Richardson Immunization Clinic will soon open in what used to be the Richardson Sub Courthouse located on Belt Line Road.

The existing building was gutted and then reconstructed with exam rooms and office space that will be manned by Health and Human Services (HHS) staff. This clinic joins several other clinics in operation across the county that provide low-cost immunization services to the citizens of Dallas County.

Our department recognizes Berenise Bustamante for her inquisitive and reliable work ethic with the Dallas County Facilities Management Department since 2019.

Berenise was born and raised in Dallas and is a graduate of W.H. Adamson High School in Oak Cliff. She hired on permanently in October 2019 after only a short period of temporary staffing. She worked initially as the Facility Dispatch Operator where she processed county-wide work orders and dispatched emergency work orders to the appropriate building managers. At the onset of 2021, when the new CMMS system was implemented, she helped in training and answering questions from outside departments as the system rolled out.

Then, in fall 2021 she was promoted to a Clerk VI within the Fiscal Services Unit. She is responsible for entering department-wide requisitions including emergency requests, resolving AP invoicing issues, processing pick-up purchase orders, and coordinating request for payments after court approvals. Berenise is valued for being a committed, hard-working employee with excellent autonomy in the workplace. She has expressed her ambitions in continuing her career path with Dallas County and taking on a supervisory role in the future.

Outside of work, she enjoys playing basketball and volleyball with friends and spending time with her two pet Chihuahuas, Camila and Mateo. We appreciate all that Berenise does for the department and wish to recognize her for her outstanding performance.

Berenise Bustamante
Berenise Bustamante

Fire Marshal’s Office

Director: Robert De Los Santos

Robert De Los Santos, Dallas County Fire Marshal
Robert De Los Santos, Dallas County Fire Marshal

Fire Marshal’s Office Abatement Division recently completed the Texas Commission on Fire Protection fire investigation certification training.

This certification will allow the office to maximize staff response to fire investigation requests. Fire investigators in our office are on call 24/7, and after-hour response to fire scenes for cause/origin of fires is mandated under the local government code. Fire Investigators in the County Fire Marshal’s Office are also available to municipalities in Dallas County as mutual aid and as a primary investigative resource should the city not have an assigned Fire Marshal.  

Since June 1, Dallas County Fire Rescue personnel have responded to 46 grass and wildland fires, including 8 mutual aid requests from neighboring municipalities.

Unincorporated Dallas County business partners, in response to the urgent drought conditions and in support of Dallas County Fire Rescue, donated water and sports drinks. 

Dallas County Fire Rescue extends a gracious thanks to Dallas Hunting and Fishing Club and Nature’s Eye for the generous donation and support.

Fire Marshal’s Office gained an additional Green Belt trained staff member: Stacey Kretz completed the Lean Six Sigma (LSS) Green Belt (GB) training sponsored by Dallas County.

The Lean Six Sigma Green Belt training approach is designed to help improve performance and business processes by removing waste and reducing variation. Stacey’s project focused on reducing cycle time for the contract security monthly pay application. Having the ability to implement these performance initiatives internally at the department level allows the department to drive the Dallas County mission statement: Deliver exceptional services that promote a thriving community.  

Our department welcomes our new Assistant Chief Marshal Zack Masri.   

Assistant Chief Masri is no stranger to Dallas County or the Marshal Service. Starting his service with Dallas County in 2003 with the Dallas County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management / Dallas County Fire Marshal’s Office and Dallas County Sheriff’s Department, Assistant Chief Masri served as a cross-trained first responder assigned the Tactical Medic Program, Counter Terrorism Unit and Hazmat Unit, in addition to his regular duties in county law enforcement, fire service, and emergency management.

Starting with the Dallas County Marshal Service in 2020 as a Patrol Sergeant, he hit the ground running by supervising approximately 20 personnel, including deputies, security officers and dispatchers. Daily, he assisted all personnel with learning and growing in their roles within the department. His style of servant leadership immediately earned the respect and loyalty of the Marshal Service staff, and he was described by his supervisors as “a charismatic leader who the troops love follow.” Because of his help and support, all personnel began to see improvements and positive changes in their roles and the department overall. Another officer shared that “Assistant Chief Masri is the leader we need. He hasn’t just taken over and given us orders and directives, he gave us ownership and pride in our department. We are excited every day and look forward to how WE are going to drive the County forward.”

Zack Masri, Assistant Chief Marshal
Zack Masri

Public Works

Director: Alberta Blair, P.E.

Alberta Blair, Director of Public Works
Alberta Blair, P.E., Director of Public Works

Dallas County Public Works has implemented efforts to support a growing Inland Port District, including two planning projects focused on the area. These include a $7.24 million flood protection study funded by a grant from the Texas Water Development Board, and a signing study intended to better define the extents of the district and point unfamiliar drivers toward key destinations.

The Southern Dallas County Inland Port is an intermodal and logistics district that encompasses 7,500 acres and six municipalities. It is responsible for over 17,000 jobs, including 7,200 in the trade, transportation and utilities sectors.

In 2012, Dallas County partnered with NCTCOG and the cities of Dallas, Ferris, Hutchins, Lancaster, and Wilmer to undertake the Southern Dallas County Infrastructure Analysis intended to identify transportation and other needs of this sub-region in order to produce a high‐quality, well‐integrated inland port. A March 2021 update of this study revisited these recommendations, taking into account recently completed road projects and changing socio-economic trends, including the Plaquemines Port Harbor & Terminal District container terminal in Louisiana, which is planning for a rail connection to the Inland Port.  Some of the study’s recommendations appear in the MCIP 7th Call for Projects.

Additionally, the Inland Port Transportation Management Association (IPTMA) was formed in 2019 to help coordinate transportation services for member organizations. NCTCOG’s Transit Connectivity Project was an outgrowth of this regional cooperation, and was awarded a 2021 Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Grant for $8,218,080. This project includes in part the procuring of eight small electric buses and the upgrading of 41 traffic signals to improve efficient traffic and transit vehicle flow.

A map of southern Dallas showing the Inland Port boundary and significant employers in the area.
An overhead view of a Dallas freeway

Dallas County Public Works Transportation and Planning Division Sign Shop stripes an average of 450 road miles per year for cities and 179 road miles for unincorporated areas within Dallas County. 

Each year, 16 cities within Dallas County identify Type B (i.e., roadways of cross-county significance) and Type E (i.e., streets and alleys local to cities) roadways that need striping. The County, through its Master Agreements with these cities, develops Project Specific Agreements (PSAs) that identify the responsibilities, schedules, and costs for these projects. The total value of 2020 PSAs handled by the Sign Shop was $673,979. The Sign Shop also performs striping on Type A Roadways (i.e., in unincorporated portions of the county), as well as for some parking lots for rural county parks. Their new striping rig paints County roadways and is contracted by multiple cities as well.

In addition to striping roads, the Sign Shop also performs monthly inspections for 26 bridge-class culverts, inspects four dams, conducts traffic studies (i.e., traffic counts and speed limit studies), and inventories and maintains traffic signs on all County-maintained roads. The Sign Shop recently acquired fabricating equipment that allows them to make custom signs.

Three people stand in the Transportation and Planning Division Sign Shop, with a variety of traffic signs in the background.