Continuing to Change the Dallas Sheriff’s Department
Lupe Valdez has worked hard and successfully over the last eight years to turn the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department around. Sheriff Valdez has made the department accountable to the families and taxpayers of Dallas County.
As Sheriff, Lupe Valdez has worked tirelessly to reform her Department, addressing longstanding issues and implementing new and expanded programs to increase public safety.
• Sheriff Valdez continues to work daily to address the systemic problems in the jail system left to her by her predecessors. These new guards allow the Sheriff to keep the Jail within legal prisoner-to-guard ratio guidelines.
• During Sheriff Valdez’s term, major progress has been made towards bringing the jail into compliance with all state and federal laws, after years of underfunding and neglect.
• Sheriff Valdez has worked with Parkland Hospital and other county agencies to bring the health care provided to inmates in the Dallas County Jail System in line with national and state standards. Sick individuals are no longer placed in jail, where they can present a health risk to the inmate population and the public, but instead are treated first.
• The Sheriff has led her Department in partnerships with the Dallas County District Attorney, the County Probation Department and the Dallas County Constables to increase the enforcement of warrants and to locate probation absconders, thus removing dangerous individuals from Dallas neighborhoods.
• Sheriff Valdez has overseen the expansion and improvement of programs conducted by the Department, such as the Courtesey Patrol to aid stranded motorists and the County’s DWI task force.
• In the fall of 2008, the Sheriff’s Department began a Sheriff’s Citizens Academy. The first class had 15 students participating. Each class has 15-20 students who participate each session. Students learn about crime scene investigation, traffic enforcement, tour the court system and jail operations, and attend demonstrations involving the department’s K-9 unit and SWAT team. Students also get to try their hand at the Kenneth “Ken” Mitchum Gun Range after some training by the certified Range Master.
• The Citizens Support Team is the next level of department participation once graduating from the Sheriff’s Citizen Academy. They must complete the necessary requirements. Once all the requirements have been met, a CST is ready to assist the Dallas County Reserves and deputies at various events. A CST then becomes part of the Sheriff’s Department Reserve Team.