EDINBURG – Commissioners Court honored Israel “Buddy” Silva, Jr. for 40 years of dedicated public service to the Juvenile Justice System of Hidalgo County and the State of Texas.

With a Master's Degree in Education in the area of Guidance and Counseling, Silva began his Juvenile Justice career with the Hidalgo County Juvenile Probation Department in 1978 serving as a Juvenile Probation Officer and was subsequently promoted to the positions of Intake Supervisor and Assistant Chief.

In 1983, he was appointed Director/Chief Juvenile Probation Officer by the Hidalgo County Juvenile Board of Judges.

"I'm much honored to be here today, thank you for recognizing my years of efforts towards the county and state," said Silva. "This job is a challenge, and I'm amazed at how long I've been here as a director."

Judge Mario E. Ramirez, who read the resolution honoring Silva, told the court that although the Juvenile Justice Center and Boot Camp Facility were named after him, it was Silva who was instrumental in the opening of the two facilities.

"Buddy was directly involved in the planning and oversight of the $1.5 million Post-Secure Adjudication Juvenile Boot Camp Facility which became operational in 2000 and the $17.5 million Judge Mario E. Ramirez, Jr. Juvenile Justice Center, which became operational in 2007," said Ramirez.

Silva has also been recognized with various state awards and has served on several Boards throughout his career.

"Buddy has accomplished some tremendous much-needed projects for the county," said Ramirez. "It's great to honor someone who made a lot of positive changes in the lives of children and for the community."