Sid Felan reflects on 44 years as juvenile probation officerMa'Rico Holland November 23, 2022 0 COMMENTS
Sid Felan of Muleshoe occasionally runs into people that he once saw in his line of work as a juvenile probation officer.
“They see me out in the street. They hug me and thank me for taking care of them,” he said.
Felan estimates that those kids, 15 or 16 at the time, are now 44 to 48 years old.
“Forty-four years,” he reflects. “My gosh, that’s a lot of years!”
On Oct. 11, Felan received the Armador R. Rodriguez Lifetime achievement award from the Juvenile Justice Association of Texas (JJAT) at a conference at the Omni Hotel in Corpus Christi. He was chosen over other nominees throughout Texas.
After graduating with a BA from Wayland Baptist University, Plainview, in 1978, Felan immediately went to work as Juvenile Probation Officer in Hale County. From 1982-1986 he was Chief Adult and Juvenile Probation Officer in Baylor County. From 1987-1989 he was the Juvenile Probation Officer in Hood County.
In December 1989, he accepted the position of Chief Juvenile Probation Officer for Bailey and Parmer County.
Felan will retire on Dec. 31. He points to his brother-in-law Calixtro Martinez as his example and role model.
“He worked at the dispensary at Cloverlake Dairy in Plainview from the time he started it till it was time to end it. I was like that. As soon as I got out of college, I got right into my job.”
Felan worked with both adults and juveniles for about five years before he began working with juveniles full time.
“It’s been a blessing to be able to see the change in kids’ lives, to watch them become productive members of a community,” he said.
The job was not always easy, but family support kept him going.
“I have had the love and the support of my family, especially my wife Beverly. It can be difficult to be on call 24/7/365. It’s difficult to have to be able to sleep on your phone. In the middle of the night, on holidays, you’re always on call. But I loved what I did, loved what I’ve been doing for the last 44 years,” he said.
“Those kids needed to grow up, needed the possibility to turn the chapter. Everything affects them in life; any violation of the law can affect them for the rest of their lives. It’s our responsibility to find them other alternatives from what they’re doing and get resources for them.”
Felan is grateful to the communities of Bailey and Parmer County.
“I enjoyed every day of working with children of this area,” he said. “It’s been good to work with their kids.”
After retirement, Felan will take a break – for a while.
“I plan to stay out of working anywhere for at least a year, and then see what doors open, whether it’s working with children or adults that need help,” he said.