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Hidalgo County was recognized for receiving the National Association of Counties (NACO) 2013 National County Government Month Award. Hidalgo County received 2nd Place in the Metro County Division for its efforts to increase public awareness of county programs and services while incorporating this year's theme of "Smart Justice: Creating Safer Communities." Celebrated in April, Hidalgo County was one of only six counties across the country honored for outstanding public outreach. The purpose of the National County Government Month Award program is to encourage counties to participate in National County Government Month (NCGM) and recognize those counties that sponsor outstanding programs to reach out and educate citizens about county government during the month of April.
Notable outreach activities included the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program, Adult Probation Evidence-Based Practices Presentation, Veteran's Court Graduation, Drug Court presentation to Palmer Drug Abuse Program's 4th Annual Substance Abuse and Mental Health Conference, RGV Lead Job Shadow Day, Hidalgo County District Clerk's 5th Annual Open House, Hidalgo County officials present to Leadership Class, Leadership Mission Class Visits Hidalgo County, Hidalgo County hosts UTPA Criminal Justice Department and Drug Court Graduation.
As a result of this award, Hidalgo County was recognized during the 2013 County Solutions and Idea Marketplace, The Annual Conference of NACO. Hidalgo County NCGM activities have also been published in the Texas Association of Counties "County" Magazine.
Hidalgo County would like to thank the partners who participated in this notable achievement, including County Judge Ramon Garcia, Pct. 4 Commissioner Joseph Palacios, 92nd District Court Judge Ricardo Rodriguez, 93rd District Court Judge Rudy Delgado, 430th District Court Judge Israel Ramon, District Clerk Laura Hinojosa, Public Affairs Director Karina Cardoza, Public Defender Jimmy Gonzalez, and Arnold Patrick and Faustino Lopez from Adult Probation, who all played an instrumental role in the community outreach programs that educated Hidalgo County residents about county government.