By Taylor Short
Killeen Daily Herald
GATESVILLE - In space-saving moves, the Coryell County Commissioners Court decided Monday to relocate the crime victims' and district clerk's offices and gave updates on programs and grants relating to the county jail.
The court has spent several previous meetings discussing what county departments could be moved from the courthouse and what facilities are available to be modified for use.
Last week, the commissioners toured the 71-year-old county-owned Mental Health and Mental Retardation services building at 211 N. Lutterloh Ave. in Gatesville.
"Clearly there are rooms that could be utilized," said County Judge John Firth. "The downside is that it is several blocks away and it's difficult to carry out legal processes that far away from the courthouse."
Jimmie Don Thompson, chief adult probation officer, advised the court that to move his offices from the courthouse would be "catastrophic" but said that he would make it work. County Court-at-Law Judge-elect John Lee said he would do the same.
The court decided to move the crime victims' office waiting room to the courthouse basement and the district clerk's office into a portion of the crime victims' office. Thompson offered space in his third-floor office for some crime victims' personnel.
They also decided to expand the two adult probation offices and move teleconference equipment to the court-at-law jury room. Commissioners Jack Wall and Elizabeth Taylor are also set to relocate offices into the MHMR building in a couple of weeks, Taylor said.
The court received updates on the pretrial diversion test that began June 1. It offers nonviolent indigents - those who cannot afford a bail bond - to instead receive a personal recognizance bond, promising to show up at court.
Another four indigents were released through the program, bringing the total to seven since its inception. County Attorney Brandon Belt said the program is making progress but still needs some adjustments.
In other action, the commissioners approved a three-year agreement with STOP LLC. for Internet-based electronic monitoring devices. The units cost about $500 each and about $6.50 per day when in use.
Contact Taylor Short at email@example.com or (254) 501-7476. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcove.