Dallas City Attorney

Dallas Community Prosecution

OUR MISSION

Community Prosecution. To provide the City of Dallas with highly skilled and dedicated attorneys and enforcement officers who serve and empower stakeholders and civil servants through strategic code enforcement and creative problem solving in order to improve the quality of life, increase public safety and strengthen communities.

Community Courts. Improve neighborhood quality of life by providing swift and restorative justice to defendants and the community.

PROGRAM DESIGN

The Dallas City Attorney's office designates Assistant City Attorneys as Community Prosecutors and pairs them with state-certified Code Officers from the Department of Code Compliance and Fire Inspectors from Dallas Fire-Rescue. The Community Prosecution Teams are assigned to neighborhoods throughout the City of Dallas and have offices in their assigned neighborhoods.

STRATEGIC EFFORTS

Empowering, Strengthening and Engaging Communities
In order to effectively serve the community in a proactive fashion, Community Prosecutors are tasked with generating, cultivating and amplifying community involvement. This involvement is integral to identifying problems, addressing their roots and providing solutions in a manner that best serves the community.

Community Prosecutors utilize an array of tools to assist them in these endeavors, including facilitating Citzen A.C.T.I.O.N. (All Coming Together In Our Neighborhood) team meetings where a Community Prosecutor, neighborhood stakeholders and civil servants work to improve and strengthen their neighborhoods. Community Prosecutors also regularly attend homeowner's association meetings, neighborhood crime watch meetings, and special neighborhood events including National Night Out and graffiti wipe-outs.

Civil and Criminal Legal Strategies
The Dallas City Attorney's Office has various tools available to serve blighted neighborhoods. With assistance from code officers, fire inspectors and community members, Community Prosecutors identify substandard commercial and residential properties that negatively affect the surrounding community. Community Prosecutors use civil remedies to enforce the city's minimum housing standards and zoning ordinances, among other ordinances, and file lawsuits in municipal and district court seeking orders that require property owners to repair their properties. Additionally, Community Prosecutors assist with representing the City in various administrative proceedings.

Community Prosecutors also participate in the criminal justice system by serving as the prosecutors in the three City of Dallas Community Courts. The Community Prosecutors prosecute offenders who commit numerous quality of life crimes including: maintaining a substandard structure, illegal land use, prostitution, public intoxication, graffiti, littering, illegal dumping and disorderly conduct. Having the ability to utilize both civil and criminal remedies gives community prosecutors a range of options to address community concerns

Enhancing Public Safety through Specialized Initiatives
Community prosecutors partner with other City Departments in order to strategically attack blight and havens for criminal activity. Community Prosecutors regularly organize and implement inspections by city and state inspectors; refer tax-delinquent, nuisance properties for foreclosure; and manage the City's participation in urban renewal programs including the Texas Nation Guard's Operation Crackdown Program and the U.S. Marshals Operation Goodwill Program. Additionally, community prosecutors assist with facilitating vacant property closures, the cleaning of empty lots, and sign and lighting sweeps.