It’s so hard to say goodbye to recently retired Palm Beach County sheriff’s Capt. Rolando Silva.
The former leader of PBSO’s Wellington district received a second round of honors and congratulations on his retirement at Tuesday night’s Village Council meeting — this time with Sheriff Ric Bradshaw in attendance, and some top honors for his work in law enforcement.
Silva previously went before the council in April to mark his retirement after 35 years in law enforcement, as he introduced his replacement, Capt. Nichole Addazio. At the time, the council honored Silva with a proclamation for his work leading PBSO’s District 8 since August of 2016.
At last night’s meeting, Bradshaw presented Silva with a certificate, a plaque and his badge to indicate he is retired law enforcement, which Bradshaw joked is “not a bad thing to have when you get stopped someplace.”
“You’ve had a distinguished career, and we appreciate it,” Bradshaw said.
Silva also received the prestigious Legion of Merit medal from PBSO, which was presented to him by Major Eric Coleman.
Coleman noted that over Silva’s 35-year law enforcement career, Silva “accomplished quite a bit” — a comment that was followed by a lengthy list of the retiring captain’s career milestones.
That includes his associate’s degree from Palm Beach State College, bachelor’s from Barry University, master’s from Lynn University and law degree from the University of Miami.
After graduating from Palm Beach State College’s police academy in 1988, Silva worked as a patrol officer in West Palm Beach until being hired by PBSO in 1990, Coleman said. Over the years, Silva worked in a number of positions throughout the sheriff’s office, from deputy to field training officer and a special prosecutor in the State Attorney’s office.
Notably, Silva was the first PBSO captain in Lake Worth after that city merged its police department into the sheriff’s office.
Silva’s time in Wellington included implementing major enforcement operations to curb underage drinking and vehicle break-ins, and the use of license plate readers at key entry and exit points to the village.
“We’d be here an hour if I read all his awards and accolades he received over his career,” Coleman said.
“You can certainly see why he deserves the Legion of Merit,” Bradshaw noted.
Silva said he was extremely grateful for the recognition. He thanked God, his wife Lisa and the Village Council. Lisa Silva also received an honor from Bradshaw: A certificate thanking her for supporting her spouse through his years of service to PBSO.
Wellington is used to having “brave men and women who will defend us,” Mayor Anne Gerwig said.
She became choked up talking about Silva’s dedication to and love for his wife. “Anytime Lisa came up in conversation, your countenance changed,” she said. “You can really tell the devotion you have to each other.”
Councilman Michael Drahos said he recently saw Silva out of uniform in public, and didn’t recognize him until his 15-year-old daughter pointed out the retired captain.
Drahos said that he would be thrilled to hear his daughter talk about him the way she talked about Silva. “If you’re able to get the endorsement of a 15-year-old, which is the toughest critic on the planet, you’re doing a great job,” he said.
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