FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Safer Dallas Better Dallas and the Rotary Club of Dallas will present a number of awards as well as a check for $200,000 to the County’s Animal Cruelty Unit during a luncheon at noon Wednesday, Feb. at the Chaparral Club in the Sheraton Hotel in Dallas.

Walt Humann and Deputy Police Chief Scott Walton will be honored by Safer Dallas/Better Dallas and the Rotary Club of Dallas with the Public Safety Leader and Dallas Police Department’s Distinguished Service Award, respectively, for their support of law enforcement and services to the community.

Walt Humann, known by many as “the father of DART” for his service overseeing the redevelopment of North Central Expressway and the addition of a DART rail line, was honored for his chairmanship of the Jubilee Project. To recognize its 50th anniversary, St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church adopted a crime-ridden neighborhood in east Dallas. Since 2007, there has been a 60% drop in crime, the low-performing elementary school has improved, other educational services have been offered, health and wellness programs initiated and housing upgraded, particular for seniors.

Cited by Police Chief David Brown as “an outstanding example of a law enforcement officer who has made highly significant and innovative contributions to the Dallas Police Department”, Deputy Chief Scott Walton is a 21-year veteran with the department. The graduate of Auburn University, was nicknamed “The Turnaround King” for his management skills and ability to resolve difficult issues, most recently on temporary assignment as manager of the city’s Animal Services Department. Currently commander of the Support Services Division, he was promoted to Deputy Chief in January of this year.

The two men will join a select group of community volunteers and law enforcement personnel recognized by the two organizations. Prior Distinguished Service Award winners include Deputy Chief Julian Bernal, Deputy Chief Vincent Golbeck and Assistant Chief Tom Lawrence. Prior Public Safety Leader awardees are Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler, Pete Schenekel, Dr. Elba Garcia, Jody Grant, Courtney Underwood, Bill and Minnie Caruth.

The 2012 Neighborhood Property Crime Reduction Award will be presented to Deputy Chief David Pughes and the officers and citizens of the Northwest Patrol Division who achieved an 18% reduction in property crime last year. And, the “Going Above and Beyond Award” will go to Richard Collins whose contributions have funded administrative costs of Safer Dallas Better Dallas, allowing all funds raised to go directly to support the Dallas Police Department.

With over 2500 cases reported in 2012, Dallas County is creating the county’s first ever Animal Cruelty Prosecution Unit at the Dallas District Attorney’s Office. Seeing a gap in the County’s efforts to fight animal cruelty, Dallas County Commissioner Elba Garcia asked Safer Dallas Better Dallas to raise $200,000 to fund the creation of the unit. “The Animal Cruelty Unit is the missing piece that is needed to make sure that those who hurt or neglect animals in Dallas County are held to account for their crimes,” Commissioner Garcia said. Commissioner Garcia added, “We are very pleased that Safer Dallas Better Dallas stepped forward to lead our effort to fund the first year costs of the new unit.” The Meadows Foundation, The Rees-Jones Foundation, Maurine and Roland Dickey, the Wikert Foundation and many individual donors made it possible to raise the $200,000 goal to create the Animal Cruelty Unit.

The goal of Safer Dallas Better Dallas is to (1) protect the citizens of Dallas from becoming victims of crime and engage them in a partnership with the Dallas Police Department; (2) to support the efforts of Dallas police officers; and (3) to make Dallas America’s safest big city. Founded by Charles Terrell and Jack Hammack in 2005, Safer Dallas Better Dallas has raised in excess of $18 million for the Dallas Police Department and has led the effort to restore the department’s sworn personnel to 3 officers per 1,000 citizens.

Founded in 1911, the Rotary Club of Dallas is the oldest service organization in the State of Texas and celebrated 100 years of the community service in April of last year. The motto for Rotary Clubs around the world is “Service Above Self”.

Media Contact:
Cyndi Reynolds
Safer Dallas Better Dallas
214.793.7842
reynolds.cyndi@gmail.com

Heather Jennings
Rotary Club of Dallas
214.742.5451
heather@dallasrotary.org

Other Media Contacts:

Dallas County Commissioner Elba Garcia
Brooks Love
214-653-7085
Brooks.love@dallascounty.org

Dallas County District Attorney’s Office
Debbie Denmon
214-546-0132
Debbie.denmon@dallascounty.org