Sheriff’s Custody Lt. Selim Celmeta was presented recently with the title of GrandMaster in the Nation’s Order of Labor by Ilir Meta, president of Albania.
Lt. Celmeta’s title was given Nov. 8 by the president’s decree and consists of a medal and certificate that reads “As a sign of appreciation for his valuable contribution and high results in the sport of Cycling, as a cyclist of Sport Club ‘Dinamo’ and the Albanian National Team, distinguished for his performance during national activities and in the dignified representation of Albania in the international arena.”
Lt. Celmeta was a member of the Dinamo Multi Sports Club before his career with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office began. He was the reigning national champion for five years, during which time he won many national tours. From 1983-96, he was a member of the Albanian National Cycling Team, participating in more than 40 international tours.
“Selim approaches his work in our Custody Branch with the same dedication and determination he displayed as a champion cyclist in Albania. We are proud to have him as a member of Team Sheriff,” Sheriff Bill Brown said in a news release.
Lt. Celmenta attended the High Institute of Internal Affairs in Tirana and received a bachelor’s in security and protective service in 1989. He served as a criminal investigator from 1989-96 at the National Guard of the Republic of Albania, where he earned the rank of captain.
Lt. Celmeta relocated his family to the U.S. through the DOJ’s Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, Green Card Lottery, on June 13, 1996. The program allocates 55,000 permanent resident visas to immigrants from countries which are deemed to have low immigration rates. On March 15, 2001, Lt. Celmeta became a U.S. citizen.
Lt. Celmeta joined the Sheriff’s Office in 2008 as a custody deputy assigned to the Main Jail.
Lt. Celmeta has been honored by the Sheriff’s Office twice as Custody Deputy of the Quarter. He received the Sheriff’s Office Unit Citation in 2013 and the Thomas Fire 2018 Incident Commendation.
In 2019, Lt. Celmeta was promoted to custody lieutenant. He currently manages jail operations in the Main Jail in Santa Barbara.