Dallas County was facing their 4th referendum for a new law enforcement center. To address the challenge, as part of our pre-referendum services, we presented an operational analysis/life cycle cost study to the county indicating over time, it would cost more to do nothing than to build a new facility. With this knowledge we developed a communications plan to help educate and inform the taxpayers on the needs and proposed solutions, the referendum, and the impact of building and not building. Our main goal was to encourage voting on May 2, 2017. The campaign included a website, Facebook, printed brochures and posters, direct mail, radio and newspaper announcements, interviews, and community involvement meetings. The result was a successful referendum (77.61% Yes) with all 34 precincts voting yes! The success was largely due to Dallas County, Design Alliance, and The Samuels Group working together to educate and keep the tax payers informed so that they could make their decision on vote day.
The new 56,679 square foot facility will have 61 general population cells (two beds each) and 8 special needs cells (one bed each) for a total of 130-beds. The law enforcement center includes jail, jail services, jail administration, Sheriff’s administration, patrol, investigations, civil department, and an initial appearance courtroom. Other support spaces include rooms for interviews, evidence, records, storage, and a sally port. From a safety perspective, the facility design and new surveillance technologies will enhance safety by providing more-effective supervision and inmate transfers will be minimized.
"It was such a rewarding experience being part of this communication plan! I was able to work with a lot of great people…our team, the County, the design team, and area businesses. Learning about the challenges that the County faced with their existing facility, the opposition/excitement that the taxpayers held for the project, and then taking that information to create a strategy and theme that people would connect with and find useful was very fulfilling."
"The teamwork and collaboration between the Dallas County Supervisors, Sheriff Leonard, Design Alliance and The Samuels Group was key to the successful referendum. It was clear the entire team was passionate about the purpose and spent countless hours making sure the community members were informed through town meetings as well as speaking to any group and association that would listen."