CITY & COUNTY
News from Harris County and Jersey Village
HIGHLIGHTS HARRIS COUNTY Employee retention bonuses and new body cameras for detention ocers are key components of the $7.4 million initiative approved by Harris County commissioners March 14 to improve jail operations. Funded by the county’s general fund and American Rescue Plan Act money, the package will pay for $2,000 retention incentives for all detention ocers; new body cameras to be worn by detention ocers; the creation of new leadership positions for the jail; and the hiring of a third-party expert to improve retention eorts for the Harris County Sheri’s Oce. Harris County Commissioners Court will meet at 10 a.m. April 25 at 1001 Preston St., Ste. 934, Houston. 713-274-1111. www.harriscountytx.gov Harris County ESD No. 9 will meet at 6 p.m. April 27 at 10710 Telge Road, Houston. 281-550-6663. www.cyfairfd.org MEETINGS WE COVER
Golf course clubhouse to cost $8.7M JERSEY VILLAGE Construction of the new clubhouse at the Jersey Meadow Golf Course is expected to cost no more than $6.04 million, city ocials conrmed at a March 20 meeting. Furniture, xtures and equipment costs are estimated to BY DANICA LLOYD renovation portion of the project was set at $1.87 million. Assistant City Manager Robert Basford said a nal price for the renovation is expected to be approved at the April council meeting after a structural engineer reviews the designs.
Harris County supports bill creating 6 new district courts HARRIS COUNTY The creation of six new district courts was supported by Harris County commissioners March 14, after a Texas legislator proposed the additional courts as a solution for the county’s court case backlog. BY EMILY LINCKE BACKLOG BREAKDOWN Harris County’s court case backlog continues to be a challenge. According to Judge Latosha Lewis Payne, who presides over Harris County’s 55th Civil District Court: 122,000
68% of the county’s pending cases are family,
FGM Architects designed the new facility, which will be built by Brookstone Construction.
cases were pending in Harris County as of March 14.
How we got here: State Rep. Ann Johnson, DHouston, led House Bill 130 in November to create six additional district courts for Harris County. The bill will be considered in the ongoing 88th Texas Legislature, which ends May 29. The cost: County ocials estimate creating six new district courts will cost: • $16.9 million annually; plus • An additional $30 million or $140 million to create the courts, depending on if the county opts to renovate facilities or build new ones, respectively. Some of this cost would be funded through the county’s interest and sinking tax rate. The details: If approved by legislators, the courts would be created and implemented over two years, Precinct 4 Commissioner Lesley Briones said. All four commissioners approved a resolution supporting Johnson’s bill, while Judge Lina Hidalgo abstained from the vote, citing funding concerns.
RENDERING COURTESY FGM ARCHITECTS, CITY OF JERSEY VILLAGE
juvenile or civil court cases, while 32% are criminal felony cases.
“I worked at the golf course in high school, which was over 25 years ago, and that building has not changed at all. It’s been the exact same, so I’m
looking forward to having something new, something fresh,” Council Member Sheri Sheppard said. Jersey Village included $6.3
million for this project in the 2022-23 capital improvements budget. Additional costs will be included in the 2023-24 budget.
come in at around $791,829. Additionally, a preliminary guaranteed maximum price for the
The big picture: On March 14, commissioners approved additional backlog-related measures, such as: • Directing the county’s Intergovernmental and Global Aairs department to work on obtaining state funding for the additional six courts; • Instructing the Oce of Justice and Safety as well as the Oce of County Administration to draft a proposal on best courtroom practices for lowering the backlog; and • Charging the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council with crafting a plan for increasing indigent defense representation by public defender’s oces to at least 50% by scal year 2024. 65 new courts — 39 criminal courts, 19 civil courts and seven family courts—would be needed to fully address the county’s need. SOURCES: JUDGE LATOSHA LEWIS PAYNE, HARRIS COUNTY 55TH CIVIL DISTRICT COURTCOMMUNITY IMPACT
Jersey Village Police Department releases racial proling report
TRAFFIC STOPS VS. POPULATION Jersey Village ocers stopped about the same amount of white drivers as Black drivers in 2022, but the numbers were disproportionate to the city’s population.
BY DANICA LLOYD
Trac stops for Hispanic/Latino, Asian/Pacic Islander and Alaska Native/American Indian drivers were more consistent with city population statis- tics, according to the report. The report claried more than 13% of trac stops were conducted along Hwy. 290, a major corridor connecting a larger, more diverse region of Harris County. No racial proling complaints were made against the JVPD in 2022.
0% 20% 40% 60% 80%
Population Trac stops
JERSEY VILLAGE Trac stops by the Jersey Village Police Department in 2022 were dispropor- tionate to the city’s population, which is 62.5% white and 12.7% Black. Out of the 7,433 trac stops conducted last year, about 36% of them were for white drivers, and 36% were for Black drivers. In compliance with state law, the city of Jersey Village released its 2022 racial proling report as part of the Feb. 27 City Council meeting packet.
Jersey Village City Council will meet at 7 p.m. April 17 at 16327 Lakeview Drive, Jersey Village. 713-466-2100. www.jerseyvillagetx.com
Black Hispanic/ Latino
Asian/ Paci c Islander
Alaska Native/ American Indian
SOURCE: JERSEY VILLAGE POLICE DEPARTMENTCOMMUNITY IMPACT
HUFFMEISTER 8945 Hwy 6 N (281) 859-5879 SPRING CYPRESS 22508 Hwy 249 (281) 379-7383
BARKER CYPRESS 17996 FM 529 (281) 656-4200 JONES ROAD 17414 NW Fwy (713) 983-8827
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