Blankinship blames the delays on a new policy that doesn't allow officers to appear in court until 1 p.m., while drivers have to be there at 8 a.m.The most unfortunate part of the new policy, beyond its hubris (see prior Grits coverage), is that it's actually costing taxpayers money overall, not saving it:
"We're here because you asked us to be here," said John Crochet. "We're ready, but you're not."The time change was designed to reduce overtime for Houston police, and overtime is down since the new policy started in August. Granted , three of Taylor Crochet's trials were reset before that time, but officers say we can expect to see many more cases just like his now."But apparently the system is so backlogged it takes forever to get your case to trial," said John Crochet."I don't think the changes have helped anything," said Blankinship. "It's actually caused more problems."
While the city has saved a quarter-million dollars on officer overtime in just two months, revenue at municipal court is down $2.3 million in August, September and October 2010 compared to the same three months last year.Via Texas Watchdog, which assisted Click2Houston with its investigation.
Officers say it's because so many cases are being reset and unresolved that fines are not being paid.