SAN PATRICIO COUNTY, Texas — Over the past year and a half, more Department of Public Safety troopers have been stationed on the roads throughout San Patricio County.

"It allows us to be proactive as a state highway patrol and to combat the speeders in areas, people that aren't driving particularly well," DPS Sgt. Nathan Brandley said.

More troopers has equated to more arrests -- cases that end up on the desks of judges throughout the county.

"JP One in Sinton was up 115 cases over the entire year last year, just at the end of September," Commissioner Howard Gillespie said.

While everyone is happy to have more law enforcement monitoring their county, the increased caseload has taken a toll on justices of the peace.

Brandley said more troopers were added because of the major hub roads that go through the county.

"It gives the area more coverage. More troopers to be able to patrol both day and night and allow, you know, the County to have more patrol in the areas that have needed to have more patrol, where there have been bad crashes or fatality crashes or maybe a higher crime area," Brandley said.

Recently, Justice of the Peace #1 Judge Yolanda Guerrero penned a letter to county commissioners. In short, she explained the increases in cases over the past years and the need for help.

"It was very easy to see that they're being overwhelmed, and this is just one JP and we have five others," Gillespie said.

In 2017, the traffic and non-traffic related cases in Guerrero's precinct totaled 1,717. In 2018, the cases nearly doubled to 3,213; and so far in 2019, she has 3,328. All of these are new cases that are filed throughout the year.

Commissioners approved her suggestion for a part-time clerk, but as for the other judges, Gillespie said they will have to review funding for next year to look at hiring more help.

"We're going to have to look at this seriously as we go through next year's budget cycle, because these troopers will be here full force for a long time, we're told," Gillespie said.

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