(originally published By Brandon Formby – dallasnews.com)

Dallas County commissioners tomorrow are slated to accept nearly $200,000 in private donations for a new animal cruelty unit at the District Attorney’s office, decide whether to create a new bail bond investigator in the Sheriff’s department and vote on spending more than $2.8 million on new equipment for the Sheriff’s department.

Non-profit Safer Dallas Better Dallas has raised $199,703 to fund for the DA’s office a prosecutor and investigator who focus on animal cruelty crimes. The new unit was created in response to several high-profile crimes against animals in recent years and criminal justice experts’ assertions that people who injure animals typically go on to commit violent crimes against other people.

The Sheriff’s department wants to create a new bail bond investigator position to perform inspections on bail bond companies and to investigate complaints and possible violations of state law. The cost would be $68,169 but will be covered by fund already budgeted for new positions for the department.

The Sheriff’s department is also seeking more than $2.8 million for new computer, video and other equipment for squad cars. The money would be used to replace damaged and outdated equipment, including video recorders that use VHS tapes.

Commissioners will consider authorizing more than $621,000 in expenses on making improvements to Miller Road from Garland’s city limits to Rowlett’s city limits. The overall project is expected to cost more than $12.4 million and the county is expected to contribute more than $1.2 million toward that.

Commissioners are also expected to vote on new pricing for forensic lab services provided by Tarrant County.

Commissioners meet at 9 a.m. tomorrow at the County Administration Building, 411 Elm Street.