Dallas County Commissioners Decide to Leave Security Issues With County Administrator

Categories: News
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Photos by Kimberly Thorpe
The Dallas County Commissioners Court at today's meeting
So, yes, the Dallas County Commissioners Court did discuss privatizing security at all Dallas County courthouses and other county-owned-and-operated buildings. Problem was, the commissioners couldn't agree on what to do.

Commissioner Maurine Dickey, who made the proposal last month, emerged, of course, as the strongest advocate for privatization. But she could find no support: Most commissioners remained silent on the topic, save for Kenneth Mayfield, who seemed open to the idea of privatization, while John Wiley Price adamantly opposed the idea. Price rolled his eyes and sighed when the topic came up; once, he uttered, rather loudly, "Come on!" at the apparent absurdity of the proposal.

Finally, Judge Jim Foster was ready to move on: "We do not have a consensus of opinion."

But before they moved on, Dickey spoke up again, saying she believed that a compromise could still be reached today. Then she gave the floor to Court Administrator Darryl Martin, to whom the commissioners handed off the decision-making.

"I'm going to keep it the way it is," Martin told them. "But I'd like to at least have the authority to strengthen it." Speaking to Unfair Park after the meeting, Martin elaborated on the new course of action.

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Commissioner Maurine Dickey, the lone advocate for privatizing Dallas County's security force
"I think there's no appetite to move it right now," Martin said. "Instead of wrangling right now with where we're going, I need to solidify the security department. I'm going to keep it in house, strengthen the department, and bring in more and better trained officers."

The county's two top security directors, Robie Robinson and Alonzo Banks, resigned in September after facing criticism over how the security and emergency offices were being run.

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