Safer Dallas was formed to make our community safer by supporting local law enforcement and building a strong relationship between Dallas police and local citizens.
Safer Dallas began its formal efforts in the summer of 2005 after founders Jack Hammack and Charles Terrell spent nearly a year researching and meeting with hundreds of Dallas leaders. The response was tremendous; over 75 business and community leaders chose to join the Safer Dallas Steering Committee in a show of support for Dallas police.
Whether it’s funding digital cameras to cover strategic areas of downtown Dallas, meeting equipment needs in the Dallas Police Department, or funding the first city police department smartphone app, Safer Dallas has spent more than a decade working to make the city of Dallas America’s safest big city.
A Decade of Results
Safer Dallas is a proactive organization that uses strategic initiatives to protect citizens and create support for the efforts of local law enforcement. To accomplish these goals, money is raised from Dallas foundations, businesses, and citizens to purchase equipment for Dallas police officers, help fund DPD priorities, and educate elected leaders on policy initiatives that will help reduce the crime rate. To date, over $18 million has been raised. Because of Safer Dallas:
• The City of Dallas Community Prosecutors received a donation of $30,000 in 2014 for equipment and items not provided for in the city budget.
• Dallas police officers received funds for several hundred AR 15 assault rifles through the generosity and leadership of a local businessman, the Rotary Club of Dallas, and individual citizens.
• The Dallas Police Department received a $15 million grant from the Caruth Fund of the Communities Foundation of Texas. The first $5 million purchased equipment for the Dallas Police Department such as camera technology, barriers for the back seats of police cars, and cell phones for the investigators. The remaining $10 million of the grant was used to establish the Caruth Police Institute in a collaborative effort with the University of North Texas at Dallas.
• The Dallas Police Department received a donation of $20,000 for body cameras.
• An Animal Cruelty Unit in the Dallas County District Attorney’s office was created after $200,000 was raised.
In 2013, Safer Dallas raised $650,000 for crime fighting technology for five targeted high crime areas. A significant part of these funds came from Texas Instruments and 7-11. In addition, Safer Dallas has raised over $1,000,000 for elevated security cameras throughout Dallas.
More recently, 2016 saw the launch of a multi-million dollar fundraising campaign to fund construction of the new Reality Based Training Center for the Dallas Police Department. This training center will equip police with the resources they need to respond appropriately to various scenarios.
Safer Dallas sponsored the “Let’s Talk” Youth Outreach Initiative for the DPD, as well as the “Support Our Police Officers” initiative in Northeast Dallas. In 2016, Safer Dallas launched the “Thank a Cop” campaign.
Safer Dallas created the Dallas One-Stop Optimized Reentry System Initiative (DOORS) program, a county-wide re-entry program that provides a systematic and sustainable approach to prison parolees’ successful re-entry into society. Safer Dallas received a grant of $565,000 from Communities Foundation of Texas, a grant from the Meadows Foundation of $80,000, as well as an additional $45,000 with help from a “matching challenge”.
An important initiative of Safer Dallas has been the creation and growth of the SANE Initiative (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner). This program offers compassionate, comprehensive medical and forensic care to victims of sexual assault.
Through the leadership of SANE Executive Director Courtney Underwood, the program was introduced to the Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas and Methodist Hospital of Dallas. SANE has brought help to victims in areas of Dallas that previously did not provide specialized care.
In 2014, $125,000 was raised in support of SANE programs through grants from the Dallas Foundation, Hoblitzelle Foundation, and Simmons Foundation.
Officer and Citizen Safety Initiative
Through the Officer and Citizen Safety initiative, Safer Dallas is raising support to provide essential body cameras and tasers for the Dallas Police Department. In 2016, Safer Dallas pledged to raise $250,000 for 40mm Single Launchers (“sponge guns”) to provide better protection for our police officers.
Public Safety Leadership Award
Every year, Safer Dallas and the Rotary Club of Dallas present awards recognizing distinguished service by a Dallas Police Officer and outstanding public safety leadership on the part of a citizen. Past recipients of the Public Safety Leadership Award are Ruth Sharp Altshuler, Pete Schenkel, Hon. Dr. Elba Garcia, Jody Grant, Bill and Minnie Caruth, Walt Humann, Craig Hutton, Spencer Michlin, and Edna Pemberton.