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Harris County Commissioners Court approve part of $17 million plan to tackle criminal court backlog

Commissioners just approved adding six associate judges, expanding jury operations at NRG Park, and fund three visiting judges.

HOUSTON — Right now, the criminal court backlog in Harris County is nearly 100,000 cases deep.

On Tuesday, the Harris County Commissioners Court voted on a $17 million plan to fix the problem.

RELATED: $17M plan to reduce backlog of criminal cases proposed by County Judge Lina Hidalgo

Commissioners unanimously approved part of the plan. They have yet to vote on the most expensive part.

Commissioners approved adding six associate judges, expanding jury operations at NRG Park and funding for three visiting judges.

They have yet to vote for Commissioner Adrian Garcia’s $16 million proposal to pay for better police technology. Upgrading body camera technology is a big part of that.

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg told commissioners that’s where prosecutors see the most delays.

“Ideally, we would move on this in a matter of months,” Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said. “We’re going on this as quickly as possible. It involves identifying the associate judges and the visiting judges, of course, onboarding additional space.”

Hidalgo said those associate judges would tackle the most violent cases that have been in the backlog the longest.

Garcia also wants to expand the gunshot detection system “Shot Spotter” beyond the Aldine area.

RELATED: Local law enforcement agencies reaping benefits of new gunfire detection system

Again, we're still waiting on a vote for technology upgrades and other things.

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