Dallas County’s next sheriff needs to be more than a jailer  | Editorials


On paper, the Dallas County Sheriff has a reasonably primary set of duties: serve warrants; present bailiffs for the courts and run a protected jail. The job might —  and will — be rather more.

Now that Sheriff Lupe Valdez has resigned to run for governor, it is necessary to think twice about what expertise and priorities are most essential for the subsequent sheriff to embody. 

Electing any person with a confirmed monitor report in regulation enforcement and who possesses the administration expertise to run the day-to-day operations of the nation’s seventh largest jail appears an apparent requirement. Valdez, for instance, received off to a rocky begin in 2004 and presided over a string of failed federal and state jail inspections till she introduced the power into compliance in 2010. 

Sustaining compliance have to be a prime precedence.

However the subsequent sheriff additionally ought to be attuned to trendy felony justice points and use the bully pulpit of the place to press for broader reforms that may completed with out the approval of Austin lawmakers. 

Larger consideration have to be paid to decreasing the period of time non-violent offenders spend in jail awaiting trial, enhancing psychological-well being and substance-abuse remedy of the incarcerated and forging ties with immigrant and minority communities to reinforce public security. The latter is particularly necessary as Texas’ immigration enforcement policy prohibiting sanctuary cities winds its method by way of the appeals course of.



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