The Dallas County Sheriff’s Department, Constables and Parkland Hospital System Police Department will all utilize this academy as the training ground for their education needs with a gymnasium addition. It is located on the southern end of a 12 acre (4.8 ha) campus at the corner of Wheatland Road and Polk Street. Dallas County wisely integrated its Sheriff’s Training Academy into its newly constructed South Dallas Government Center campus.
Completed in July 2021, the 2508 m2 (27,000 sf) Dallas County Sheriff’s Academy, designed by Texas design firm, KAI, serves as the main training facility for both sworn peace officers and cadets in the County’s academy.
The new academy includes three, 50-seat terraced lecture halls with instructor observation rooms and two flexible classrooms large enough to accommodate 50 to 100 cadets. Classrooms are equipped with digital technology to provide for multi-sensory instruction.
The progression of the cadets through the academy is integrated into the facility design to help produce public servants. It also houses an on-site computer lab designed to meet testing standards required by certifying agencies.
“The architecture and interaction of the two facilities play off one another but serve two very distinct purposes coexisting harmoniously on a single site,” said Derwin Broughton, principal of KAI. “The design team was mindful and sensitive towards the vulnerability of sworn peace officers and cadets in a public setting and employed the necessary threat deterrence measures to provide for a safe and secure environment.”
Separate restroom and shower/locker room facilities are also provided, in addition to a 186 m2 (2000 sf) gymnasium complete with free weights, cardiovascular machines and an open area for tactile training.
The walls and floors are lined with impact-sensitive materials to absorb the physical maneuvers required to facilitate this type of training. Other amenities include roll-up doors opening to an open lawn area for CrossFit training and a running and bike trail that encompasses the full perimeter of the building.
Minority participation on the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver project exceeded all goals through use of a 100 percent minority finance firm (SIR Capital), African American-owned design firm (KAI), and 50 percent minority general contractor joint venture (Source Building Group/Satterfield & Pontikes Construction).