Department Operations Updates: November 8, 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:
- Small Business Enterprise (SBE)
- Public Defender’s Office
- Pretrial Services
- Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences (SWIFS)
- Veteran Services
Small Business Enterprise (SBE)
Director: Jesse Crawford
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.
The Office of Small Business Enterprise (SBE), in collaboration with the Beck Group and City of Dallas, successfully graduated 13 small, minority, woman-owned businesses through the inaugural Beck School of Construction Program.
The recipients completed nine technical assistance and business development training courses to understand Dallas County’s purchasing practices, while expanding their capacity-building efforts.
The program prepared the small businesses to increase their operational efficiencies, becoming more competitive to win more contracts. Beck and Dallas County committed to track and monitor the participants up to three years to gauge their growth and capacity-building efforts post-graduation. The following firms completed the program, with graduation commencement held on September 13, 2022.
|Allana Buick & Bers, Inc.||Alliance Geotechnical Group, Inc.|
|Contractors Plus Roofing & Construction, LLC||JITAOL Engineering, PLLC.|
|Koryente LLC||MEXZIM Corporation|
|Mezquite Installations||Nervi’ Strategic Solutions, LLC.|
|Newhouse Construction Services||Smith Interiors Construction|
|Stiff’s 5 Star Energy Conservation Services||TinMan Enterprises|
|Titan & Associates Construction|
We want to again thank the County Judge, Commissioners, County Administrator, and all our Dallas County personnel who have energetically supported this initiative through their time, expertise, and outreach support.
Our department continues to successfully leverage our time and resources through our memberships/sponsorships with 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.
We actively 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.
SBE participated in several outreach events.
- Harry Hines Pre-Project Meeting was held on June 9, 2022. This collaboration between SBE and Public Works enabled the departments to reach out to large, small, and diverse contracting firms to promote business opportunities at Dallas County. This project addressed bicycle and pedestrian transportation safety and connectivity needs from Webb Chapel to Manana Drive. Participants were given access to the project information and SBE participation requirements.
- The Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce Quarterly Business Connection was held on August 10, 2022. Jesse Crawford was invited to provide an overview of the Dallas County SBE program and contracting opportunities. This networking event provided access for small businesses to connect with the SBE team and understand the processes of conducting business with Dallas County.
- North Central Texas Regional Certification Agency (NCTRCA) 30th Anniversary Gala was held on August 11, 2022. The NCTRCA’s 30th Anniversary Gala celebrated their history of providing third-party certifications in the region and service to the small and diverse business communities. We look forward to 30 more years and wish them continued success!
- 2022 Leadership Southwest (LSW) Series hosted by Commissioner Price (Dallas County Day) on August 17, 2022. The LSW is a collaborative effort between the Cedar Hill, DeSoto, Duncanville, and Lancaster Chambers with a mission to promote and enhance leadership through education in civic and community affairs, while encouraging volunteerism in Southwest Dallas. Leaders from Dallas County conducted presentations on their specific departments, and Jesse Crawford provided an overview of Dallas County’s SBE program during the half-day event which was well attended.
- Build Fort Worth Expo was held on August 19, 2022, at Will Rogers Memorial Center to celebrate its sixth anniversary of providing business-to-business networking opportunities in Tarrant County. The expanded event provided participants with increased networking opportunities, additional training and the opportunity to meet the Hispanic and minority contractors who are helping to build Fort Worth. More than 125 exhibitors, including Dallas County Office of Small Business Enterprise, Hispanic contractors, DFW public and private entities participated to network and educate the contracting community about upcoming project/procurement opportunities.
- Regional Black Contractors Association Walk-through held on September 16, 2022. John Proctor (Regional Black Contractors Association Chairman) invited SBE (Jesse Crawford) and Purchasing (Michael Frosch) for a walk-through tour of their Second Chance Program in conjunction with Dallas College, housing/apartment complex, and Homeward Bound hospital facility (with Director Douglas Denton).
RBCA’s Second Chance Program is a comprehensive workforce development model that attentively addresses the needs of program participants. To combat recidivism, the RBCA emphasizes technical skills training, job placement assistance along with wrap-around services. The program is staffed with seasoned professionals who have experience working with the criminal justice involved population.
The Second Chance Program includes a dedicated case manager to assist the participants with reinstating their driver licenses, childcare, financial literacy, life skills coaching and other critical success initiatives.
Dallas County’s advocacy and support of these programs provides our community with the resources to address our growing needs, while also contributing to the overall welfare of our citizens.
- North Texas Chapter of the Texas Association of Assessing Officers (TAAO) invited Jesse Crawford to present at their monthly meeting on September 26. The TAAO is comprised of property tax professionals, including those from Dallas County Tax Office, Dallas Central Appraisal District, various collection firms, and property tax agent organizations.
Small Business Enterprise attended the American Contract Compliance Association (ACCA) National Institute Training Conference, August 22-27.
ACCA provides training, standardization of practice, networking, and support to the many affirmative action, contract compliance, equal employment, and human rights workers across the country.
ACCA partnered with Morgan State University, and members receive 2.1 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for their successful completion of 21 hours of training. Upon completing the first certification, a member will be recognized as a Certified Contract Compliance Administrator (CCA).
In addition, if a member completes 84 hours of training (8.4 CEUs) they will achieve their certification as a Master Compliance Administrator (MCA). A member requires four years of training to receive this prestigious ACCA certification.
SBE is participating in several FY2023 Q1 outreach events:
|Dallas County||Informational Seminar for the Replacement Housing Program||10/26||10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.||Hybrid|
|National Association of Minority Contractors Dallas Fort Worth Chapter||2022 Golden Shovel Awards||10/27||7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.||Globe Life Field|
|Tarrant County Agencies||7th Annual Tarrant County Business Opportunity Fair||11/3||9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.||Will Rogers Memorial Center|
|Women’s Business Council-Southwest||WBSC Harvesting Partnerships Business Expo||11/11||9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.||Hurst Conference Center|
|Dallas/Fort Worth Minority Supplier Development Council||2022 E Awards Gala||11/18||7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.||Hilton Anatole|
Public Defender’s Office
Director: Lynn Pride Richardson
The Dallas County Public Defender’s Office (DCPDO) remains committed to building meaningful relationships with our clients and the Dallas community by practicing client-centered/holistic representation.
We recently expanded our partnership with Unlocking Doors, a statewide reentry brokerage network that is committed to reducing crime through coordinated collaboration, partnership, and more.
The office is now utilizing our community satellite rooms at the South Dallas Community Center as a hub for clients wishing to successfully reintegrate into society. Through this partnership, motivated clients will be introduced to their intake process and provided resources such as housing, employment, and medical/mental health treatment.
DCPDO is continuing our relationship with Volunteers of America Texas, the Resolana Program, and the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office by hosting and teaching art-based workshops with women in jail.
Resolana is a program supported by Volunteers of America Texas, and provides gender-specific programming to female offenders beginning inside the Dallas County jail and continuing through their reentry into the community. The DCPDO works with women in the Resolana Pod twice a month, hosting creative writing, theater, and other arts-related workshops. The goal is to increase self-esteem and positive thinking while the women are inside the jail and to facilitate readiness for change on the outside with the hope of reducing recidivism.
We are also in the planning stages of implementing art-based curriculum with the youth housed in the Dallas County Juvenile Detention Center.
The Dallas County Juvenile Detention Center is one of the largest juvenile departments in Texas. Youth receive rehabilitative services from in-house programs, school campuses, and community partnerships. Our mission is to provide a safe environment and tools for self-reflection and personal growth. Art programs foster an environment where participants can use their imagination for change.
We are forming working groups composed of justice professionals and diverse community partners to address existing racial, ethnic, and socio-economic disparities, and we are proud to explore partnerships that will benefit the Dallas community.
Our office is working diligently to create a new vision of justice, and collaboration is at the forefront.
DCPDO recognizes Chief of the Capital Division and Appellate Attorney Christina Dean for her dedication to facilitating great outcomes for clients and presenting thorough and thoughtful oral arguments.
Christina Dean serves as the Chief of the Division and as an appellate attorney. She obtained her law degree from the University of Texas and has been practicing law for nearly 25 years. She worked for the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office for eight years. She also worked as a staff attorney with the 5th Court of Appeals. She has been working for the Public Defender’s Office for nearly 10 years.
Christina is one of the three founding attorneys of the Capital Murder Division of our office. The Capital Murder Division carries a docket of 20-30 cases in various stages of litigation through direct appeal. The division has represented approximately 150 clients charged with capital murder at the trial stage and 20-25 clients on appeal.
As an appellate litigant, she regularly files and argues novel motions, argues legal objection, files and argues interlocutory appeals, and more. She has argued repeatedly in the Dallas Court of Appeals and the Court of Criminal Appeals in Austin. She has litigated issues including pre-trial determination of intellectual disability in the death penalty context, First Amendment issues related to pre-trial inmate communications, and denial of bond reduction.
She recently completed an oral argument with the 5th Court of Appeals on a Fourth Amendment issue relating to geofencing. The arguments are an opportunity for the judges to ask questions directly of the attorneys representing the parties to the case and for the attorneys to highlight arguments that they view as particularly important. After Christina’s argument she received stellar remarks on her briefing. The judges were appreciative of the thoughtful briefings that come from our office.
Director: Michael Frosch
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.
The Purchasing Department is actively involved in the design and implementation process of the County’s new financial system which is expected to a “best in class” financial system.
Our department continues to implement contracts to support the client departments’ operational needs. To date for FY2021-22, the Purchasing Department has submitted 179 Court agenda items in the estimated amount of $212M, releasing 21 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:
- September 20, 2022 – Five-year master agreement for the purchase of mattresses and pillows for Dallas County detention facilities.
- September 6, 2022 – Four-year service price agreement for radiology services for Dallas County Health and Human Services.
- September 6, 2022 – Thirty-one-month service price agreement for fleet management and Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking software for Dallas County Consolidated Services Department.
- August 16, 2022 – Five-year service price agreement for firearms and weapons destruction and disposal, IFB 2022-024-6939, for the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department.
- August 2, 2022 – Five-year master agreement for janitorial supplies, sanitary paper, trash bags, and related products.
- August 2, 2022 – Four-year agreement for ongoing license, software maintenance, and services agreement for the ballot on demand system.
- August 2, 2022 – Three-year master agreement for the purchase of food trays for Dallas County Sheriff’s Department.
Our department continues to work in collaboration with the Office of Small Business Enterprise to educate, promote awareness and competition, and create a more transparent public-procurement process.
Our department welcomed two new employees during this quarter.
- Carlos Martinez, Buyer (August 29, 2022)
- Suman Bhardwaj, Buyer (August 29, 2022)
Congratulations to Marvin Kines, Buyer, for his recent promotion (August 1, 2022) to Contracts Specialist within the Purchasing Department.
Director: Duane Steele
Our department congratulates Supervisor Daniel Jackson for being selected to participate in the Leadership and Management Program Class of 2023.
Our office recognized National Pretrial, Probation, and Parole Supervision Week, July 17-23.
We celebrated all the hard-working staff by participating in Spirit Week.
Our department recognizes our employees of the month for their exceptional work.
- August: Matthew Barker – Matthew is an Electronic Monitoring Officer with impressive knowledge and wisdom regarding ELM cases and is often assigned high-risk defendants. His communication style with defendants and how he handles agitated or upset clients is outstanding. He communicates effectively while helping defendants understand the issues/problems at hand. He is quick to assist his co-workers in both ELM and General Pretrial and has put his own work aside to assist those in need. He is a great team player and his demeanor boosts morale within the group.
- September: Steven Barron – Steven started with the Pretrial Services Department as Part-time Intake Assessment Technician in February and recently became full time. He has a positive attitude and has constantly gained more knowledge and skills. He has earned the respect from his peers and supervision. When our department went through various staffing changes and adjustments, he became a vital member of our team by helping us maintain our good standing in intake. He assisted in working other shifts and other days of the week to help us in this area. The assistance he provided was clearly beneficial, and it allowed him to gain a better understanding of other shifts and his teammates’ processes. He has exceeded our expectations and is an asset to the Intake Assessment Unit, to Pretrial Services and to Dallas County as a whole.
- October: Tiffany Harden – Tiffany’s approach to the supervision of her clients and their families is remarkable. She often takes time out of her day to understand her defendants’ needs and to build strong bonds with family members and attorneys involved in their cases. She works hard to gain rapport with all parties involved and takes pride in working with each individual defendant. She is a team player who often assists others and goes above and beyond to celebrate her co-workers and boost morale.
Our department recognized Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October by wearing pink to show support for the fighter, admire the survivors, and honor the taken.
Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences (SWIFS)
Director: Jeffrey J. Barnard, M.D.
Our department completed another significant milestone for an ambitious Key Result included in the FY22 County Objectives and Key Results program that calls for the publication of toxicological data on five drugs of interest (later expanded to six for fentanyl inclusion) to better understand local drug trends and the corresponding demographics.
Brittany Casey, Ph.D., Chief of Forensic Chemistry, Sara Dempsey, Ph.D., Deputy Chief of Forensic Chemistry, and Lindsay Glicksberg, Ph.D., Forensic Chemistry Technical Manager, published data and findings on two more “drugs of interest” selected for retrospective analysis. Their article, “Heroin and fentanyl in Dallas County: A 5-year retrospective review of toxicological, seized drug, and demographical data” was e-published by the Journal of Forensic Sciences in October 2022 and is scheduled for inclusion in the January 2023 issue of JFS.
SWIFS collaborated with the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office and the Dallas Police Department to utilize newly available forensic genealogy analysis (investigative genetic genealogy) to retest cold case evidence samples from a 1989 unsolved homicide.
Using the new technology, the profile generated from the evidence held by SWIFS “matched” to an existing profile in the genealogy database, providing a contemporary, critical investigative lead. Based on the results of the testing, charges have been filed against a suspect in the crime.
In August 2022, our Forensic Anthropologist, Chief Medicolegal Death Investigator, and Deputy Chief Medicolegal Death Investigator participated in training hosted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Dallas Evidence Response Team at the Texas State University Forensic Anthropology Research Facility (FARF). One purpose of the training was to forge partnerships between federal law enforcement agencies and subject matter experts in the fields of forensic anthropology and entomology.
Deborrah Pinto, Ph.D., Steven Kurtz, and Casey Gould traveled to San Marcos, Texas, to attend the two-day training course at FARF, a 26-acre outdoor human decomposition research laboratory at Texas State’s Freeman Ranch. The facility is used by the forensic science community to better understand the human decomposition process and to assist with development of methods for determining how long a decedent was dead before the remains were discovered. The facility opened in 2008 and has conducted research on an estimated 650 donated decedent remains. Skeletal remains from the donors become part of the permanent Texas State Donated Skeletal Collection.
Our department welcomed Sara Dempsey, Ph.D., as the Deputy Chief of Forensic Chemistry during mid-FY2022.
Dr. Dempsey previously served as the Toxicology Laboratory Supervisor for the Houston Forensic Science Center, where she started her career as the Technical Supervisor of Toxicology. She holds a Ph.D. in pharmacology and toxicology from the Virginia Commonwealth University, where she also received a master’s degree in forensic science.
Dr. Dempsey is one of the authors of the recent publications by SWIFS forensic chemistry management regarding Dallas County observations of local drug trends. She also has an additional 10 peer-reviewed publications and more than 20 abstracts to her credit. She is a member of the American Academy of Forensic Science and the Society of Forensic Toxicologists.
Our department was happy to have Cynthia Hernandez join our staff as a Program Manager III in October 2022.
Cynthia has been with Dallas County since 2016, where she first interned with the County Auditor’s Office and later accepted a position in Accounts Payable. Cynthia was then promoted to an accountant position with the County Treasurer, and for the past four years she has served as the Fiscal Services Manager for Facilities Management. She received her Master of Business Administration from the University of North Texas, where she also earned a BBA in accounting. Cynthia is a member of the 2021-2022 class of the Dallas County Leadership Management Academy and is certified in Lean Six Sigma.
Director: James T. Henderson Jr. (U.S. Army, Retired)
Our department remains committed to the core mission of “assisting eligible Veterans and/or their survivors in obtaining benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the State of Texas. Our primary focus is to ensure that all Dallas County Veterans and dependents receive every federal and state benefit to which they are entitled.”
Veteran Services, in conjunction with the County forensics lab and Casey Anderson-Gould, have identified 11 remains as Veterans this quarter.
The deceased indigent or homeless Veterans will always receive recognition and proper burial in Dallas County, and each identified Veteran will be interred at the DFW Nation Cemetery with honors for their military service.
Our department is diligent in ensuring that the Veterans in Dallas County are aware of programs and resources available for physical and mental health support, including the Buddy Check program.
Partnering with the American Legion, the Buddy Check program was established to connect with Veterans who need assistance but don’t know where to go or who to ask.
Our department continues to keep the Veteran community updated and aware of changes associated with the Department of Veterans using any means available.
Veteran Services participated in the following events and presentations:
- 5/25/22: Presentation to leadership of VA Hospital Recovery Center for Mental Health – Explaining necessity for Veterans with mental health issues to seek assistance and file disability claims.
- 5/27/22: Military recruiting station presentation – Understanding military discharges and how they affect benefit eligibility.
- 5/30/22: Memorial Day Ceremony Observance – Desoto, Texas, annual city event to recognize service and sacrifice of all Veterans.
- 7/21/22: Department conducted Women Veterans Event – Recognizing mental health issues associated with Military Sexual Trauma (MST).
- 8/20/22: Tri-City presentation for benefits – Presenting information about Veteran benefits for the cities of Desoto, Cedar Hill, Duncanville, and Lancaster.
- 9/17/22: Reserve Component Resources Fair – Conducted at the Grand Prairie Armed Forces Reserve Complex Installation. Presented benefit information to over 670 Reserve and National Guard members.
Veterans injured while on active duty and requesting assistance with filing disability claims can be a very frustrating endeavor. The Veteran Services Department is proud to service the needs of our 109,000 Veteran population in Dallas County and is eager to boast our 95% monthly success rate in awarded claims.
The department services approximately 500-600 Veterans request each month, and we take pride in helping each Veteran requesting assistance.
The following chart gives a monthly snapshot of operations within the department:
Our department congratulates Lavette Domineck, Lead Assistant Veteran Services Officer, on several accomplishments this past quarter, including being elected as the State Women Veteran Representative for the Veteran County Services Officers Association of Texas (VCSOAT).
This past quarter, Lavette also graduated from the second annual Dallas County Leadership Management Academy, received state recognition for her assistance to the Veteran community of Texas, and was appointed to the Texas Veterans Commission Veteran Advisory Board. Congratulations on a job well done!
Our department congratulates Angelica Lewis, Assistant Veteran Services Officer, on completing certification training and testing within only four months of joining our team!