Commissioner Mike Cantrell is a graduate of the Dallas County Sheriff’s Academy, and received his Basic and Intermediate Certificates in Law Enforcement. He served as a police officer for the Dallas County Community College District from 1976 to 1979 while attending Eastfield Community College, where he was a member of Phi Theta Kappa & Who’s Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges. He is a magna cum laude graduate of Abilene Christian University at Dallas, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice. He went on to earn his Juris Doctor degree at Southern Methodist University’s School of Law.
Commissioner Cantrell opened a private law practice and, in 1983, was appointed by the Garland City Council to the position of Municipal Judge for the City of Garland. He served in that capacity for two and one-half years and in 1986 was elected to the office of Justice of the Peace, Precinct 4 (Garland area). He was elected to a second four-year term in 1990, and served a total of eight years. In 1994, Commissioner Cantrell was elected as the Dallas County Commissioner for District 2 where he currently serves.
While in office, Commissioner Cantrell has been active in a number of initiatives, including drug courts, law enforcement, domestic violence, child abuse, and juvenile issues, including truancy. He has led several collaborative initiatives including:
- Juvenile Case Management System
- Child Welfare Information System (CWIS)
- Adult Case Management System: ACMS Courts & ACMS Prosecutor
- Dallas County Specialized Truancy Courts Project
All initiatives seek creative and collaborative solutions and encourage intergovernmental cooperation, innovation, and more efficient use of resources.
Commissioner Cantrell currently serves on the State Judicial Committee on Information Technology as an appointee of the Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice.
Commissioner Cantrell currently serves on the Regional Transportation Council and the Texas Conference of Urban Counties.
Commissioner Cantrell was instrumental in the formation of the Protective Order Rapid Response Team and the Truancy Intervention High Impact Teams, and served on the DIVERT Drug Court Advisory Committee. He also chaired the Dallas County Community Plan from its inception in 1995 to 2002. He served on the North Central Texas Council of Government’s Executive Board and was President of the Board from 2001–2002. He served from 1998 – 2003 as an appointee of former Governor George W. Bush on the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission.
Commissioner Mike Cantrell and his wife Lorrie have one daughter and two grandchildren.