The leader of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office’s District 8 in Wellington is retiring.
Capt. Rolando Silva is stepping aside after 35 years in law enforcement. Also departing from a role in District 8 is Lt. Eli Shaivitz, who Silva said will be assigned to PBSO’s Watch Commander’s unit.
PBSO Capt. Nichole Addazio took over leadership of District 8 on April 1. Addazio is a former violent crimes detective who most recently worked a lieutenant leading the sheriff’s office’s Gang Unit. She will be formally introduced to Wellington’s Village Council at Tuesday night’s meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. at Village Hall.
There was nothing specific that prompted Silva’s decision to retire, it was “just time,” he said. He plans to volunteer and spend more time with his family.
In his time as captain of District 8 since March 2016, Silva has led several high-profile initiatives, including the multiple iterations of Operation Wild Stallion, which targeted DUI during Wellington’s equestrian season. The operation was launched in the wake of a heartbreaking single-car crash in November 2017 that killed two young equestrians and left another critically injured. The driver, who was one of the two killed, was 19 years old and had been drinking.
In the months following the crash, Silva led PBSO’s District 8 through several phases, including a crackdown on underage drinking and the use of fake IDs by out-of-state and international equestrians. In its first iteration, the operation led to 49 DUI arrests from Dec. 1, 2017, to March 31, 2018.
Village Manager Jim Barnes — who then was assistant village manager — said Silva transitioned seamlessly into his role as captain.
“When he came on board and started as district commander, we had some issues that required additional attention attention, and he was able to quickly direct resources to those,” Barnes said, citing Operation Wild Stallion and more recent operations to stem DUI numbers and crashes in the village.
“The underlying theme with all those different operations is community safety, whether it’s safety on our roadways, safety in our neighborhoods and safety in our public and commercial spaces,” Barnes said. “That’s the underlying theme of everything that they do and everything we do jointly as a team. And that’s proven out, time and time again, where our annual numbers show a declining trend in incidents.”
Creating a safer community was one of the district’s greatest accomplishments while he was captain, Silva said.
“Although it’s not ‘my’ accomplishment, I am proud of the fact the District 8 team brought Wellington to its highest ranking in terms of the safest cities to live in the state of Florida,” Silva said, noting Wellington ranked No. 8 by Safewise in its annual safest cities report last year.
Among the priorities Silva said he is suggesting to Addazio: “Keeping crash numbers down with robust traffic enforcement, and to work with residents to keep our property crimes low,” he said. “The new captain is very attune to these matters and will undoubtedly vigorously pursue these goals along with other priorities she identifies.”
Silva recommended that residents stay vigilant and continue to report suspicious activity. “It’s a redundant message, but because of the village’s unique beauty and overall sense of safety, the residents can become complacent when it comes to public safety matters, and we need everyone to stay involved if we are going to keep enjoying the ‘low crime’ environment we worked so hard to create,” he said.
With Shaivitz’ move to a countywide position, Silva said Wellington still will benefit from his expertise.
“Lt. Shaivitz for the past 11 years was a tremendous asset to our District 8 team, and personally, a great partner and friend,” Silva said. “We all owe him a great deal of gratitude for his service to the village.”
SIGN UP FOR MY NEWSLETTER!
Get on the list now for my Weekly Wellington Mom newsletter, delivered to your inbox every Wednesday morning with the latest news and things to do in Wellington and the surrounding area.