The Comal County Commissioners Court unanimously approved grant applications for several salaried positions Feb. 10 that are funded through criminal justice and special courts grants from Gov. Greg Abbott’s office as well as other grants for the continuation of county programs totaling $477,679.25.

Two coordinators for violence against women victims assistance were created in 2020 as well as a prosecutor for violence against women, and if awarded the funding—which is a mix of federal and state funds that are dispersed through the governor’s office—it would fund the positions for another fiscal year from October through September 2023.

According to the grant applications, $118,088.51 was requested for the annual salary of the prosecutor, and $123,613.18 was requested to support the salaries of the two coordinators.

According to the county, the attorney position is responsible for cases involving victims of sexual assault, stalking, and intimate partner or family violence crimes.

“This is a renewal for the [violence against women] prosecutor position. It's proved to be highly effective within our office,” Comal County Criminal District Attorney Jennifer Tharp said.

Tharp said one coordinator focuses specifically on misdemeanor cases and the other on felony cases.

The court also submitted a grant for the Comal County Sheriff’s Office to purchase advanced computer hardware and software for forensic analysis. Specifically, servers that can manage data and “retrieve evidence from computer and video camera/cell phone systems,” according to the grant application provided by the county. That request is in the amount of $67,660.

Other ongoing county efforts had grants approved to send to the state to request funding. The county requested a $90,155.06 grant through the state’s specialty courts program for the Increasing Accountability Program, a drug court program created in 2009 by County Court at Law Judge Randy Gray that is meant to reduce repeat arrest rates of DWI defendants, according to the application. Gray stated to the court the funding would provide for the salary of a probation officer specifically assigned to the court as well as $5,000 in drug testing supplies.

A $78,162.50 grant proposal was also approved by the court to support the challenge felony drug court program. This grant would also support one officer and drug testing materials.

“I just want to point out that the grants that we've just approved is almost half a million dollars, so kudos to all the departments,” Precinct 4 Commissioner Jen Crownover said.