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District judge seeks second term

District Judge Bob Armstrong has announced his campaign for re-election as district judge of Dallas County.

Armstrong handles all juvenile cases, including delinquency, abuse and neglect cases, and custody for unwed parents; child support, small claims, adult misdemeanor and traffic cases that occur in the county and preliminary hearings in felony cases.

He is serving out his first term, having been elected to this position in 2004.

“In 2004 I promised that I had the plan and ability to reduce juvenile crime, help keep our children out of trouble and help improve our community,” he said. “Six years later I am pleased to report that our plan is working.”

Armstrong said since 2005 violent juvenile adjudications are down 67 percent and incidents are down 66 percent.

“We have been able to achieve these significant results over the past six years with a two-prong strategy,” he said, “fair, firm and consistent accountability when kids come before the court; and we’ve created programs and taken action to help keep kids out of trouble.”

Some of those programs established by Armstrong are Teen Court, Safe School Challenge, Mentoring Program, Juvenile Conference Committee, Juvenile Drug Court, summer Employment and Recreation Program for at-risk youth, requiring juveniles to clean up the community as part of their punishment, among others.

Since Armstrong took office significant improvements in child support have been seen. There have been substantial increases in cases where paternity and support obligations have been set, he said.

He also has reduced delays from cases getting to court from 12-to18 months to 30 days.

“Dallas County has improved child support court where obligations have been set. We are really proud that Dallas County is no longer near the bottom of the state in this category,” he said.

Armstrong pointed to the Fatherhood Initiative Program, which helps fathers find employment, get job training and requires classes on how to be a better fathers.

Overall, Armstrong said, the District Court has improved in all facets, which includes elimination of a backlog of cases, creation of a bond review process that is fair to defendants and protects the community, creation of a successful in-patient drug rehabilitation program to help reduce crime in the community.

Most recently, Armstrong has directed the establishment of a Family Drug Court to help parents who have lost custody of their children because of substance abuse get sober and regain custody.

“We have been able to obtain grants in excess of $325,000 to fund all of these programs that are helping to make our community a better, safer place to live,” he said.

Armstrong is a native of the area. He completed his degrees at the University of Alabama and for 20 years worked as a partner in Reeves & Stewart law firm.

He is an elder of First Presbyterian Church and is past-president of the Rotary Club and the United Way. He is a member of the YMCA Board of Directors.

The 50-year-old is married and has three children.