COMMUNITIES FOUNDATION of TEXAS
2014 Impact Report
In 2012, RAND Corporation evaluated the Caruth Foundation’s grant to DPD, including an evaluation of CPI in its first years of operation through 2012, CPI’s approach to staff development, the institute’s success in assisting DPD in solving complex problems, and CPI’s plans for long-term sustainability. RAND found that the grant “helped the department implement major changes in its approach to policing.” The evaluation reported positive findings that supported officer safety, enhanced internal-affairs investigations, and increased field efficiency and officer effectiveness. With respect to the impact of CPI on leadership training and research, RAND found that CPI has been an important vehicle for enhancing the leadership skills of mid- and high-level DPD officers and creating a more professional police force. However, with respect to the research and problem-solving capacity of CPI, questions remain about whether it will achieve the potential envisioned (see “Case Study: Improving Leadership in the Dallas Police Department (DPD)”). Mass Care Task Force. In 2005, Dallas’s four major nonprofit disaster response agencies for humanitarian relief—The American Red Cross (Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter), The Salvation Army (DFW Metroplex Command), North Texas Food Bank, and The Volunteer Center of North Texas—were called into action to serve thousands of people flooding into Dallas following Hurricane Katrina. Although each agency quickly mobilized resources to serve those displaced by Katrina, all actors quickly realized that Dallas needed a comprehensive disaster-response plan to coordinate efforts in the future and provide more-effective and more-efficient responses to meet the immediate basic needs of disaster victims. In 2008, the Caruth Foundation approved a lead project grant of up to $5,000,000 over four years (and as a 1:1 challenge to other potential investors for a $26.6 million project budget) to develop and implement a Mass Care Response and Disaster Relief Plan for North Texas. The funds supported improved public safety and disaster preparedness, provided supplies and services to people impacted by a disaster, developed an efficient and effective emergency and disaster plan, improved communications between agencies, and provided a more disaster-ready collaborative mass care response capability—shelters, emergency services, food and supplies, and volunteers—to serve up to 37,500 victims across a five-county area of North Texas during a disaster affecting up to 250,000 people. To date the Mass Care Task Force has spent $7.6 million of its original budget, including $3.6 million in Caruth funds. Expenditures include direct costs related to developing a comprehensive response plan, equipment needs, and project management. Over the life of the grant, the task force developed a series of metrics to determine Dallas’ level to preparedness to effectively respond to disasters. The composite measure of preparedness includes weighted measures related to leadership and management, sheltering, feeding, communications, and volunteers. At present, the task force has achieved an overall self-assessed preparedness rating of 57 percent. The term of the fiveyear challenge grant has recently expired, and the four project partners are preparing a summative grant report. Beyond its impact at home, Dallas’s Mass Care Task Force has had a broader impact. According to national disaster relief and response experts, this task force is the first of its kind. The disaster planning and preparation work being done by the task force is now being shared with other cities in Texas and can become a model for other major cities across the country.