Santa Barbara, Calif. – A Sheriff’s Office leader was recently honored by the President of Albania for his distinguished representation of the Republic of Albania. Sheriff’s Custody Lieutenant Selim Celmeta was presented with the title of “Grand Master” in the nation’s Order of Labor by Ilir Meta, President of Albania on November 8, 2021. The title “Grand Master” is bestowed upon individuals of various fields such as science, art, and sports for their outstanding performance over the years.
Celmeta’s title was given by decree of the President of Albania 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.”
Prior to his career with the Sheriff’s Office, Celmeta was a member of the Dinamo Multi-Sports Club in Albania. For five years he was the reigning National Champion, during which time he won numerous tours. He also went on to become a member of the Albanian National Cycling Team, from 1983 to 1996, during which time he participated in more than 40 international tours across Europe.
Celmeta attended college at the High Institute of Internal Affairs, in Tirana and in 1989 he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Security and Protective Services. Afterwards he was employed by the National Guard of the Republic of Albania, where he served as a criminal investigator from 1989-1996, obtaining the rank of Captain.
On June 13, 1996, Selim and his family moved to the United States through the US DOJ’s Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, Green Card Lottery. This lottery program currently allocates 55,000 permanent resident visas to immigrants from countries deemed to have low immigration rates. Celmeta became a U.S. citizen on March 15, 2001.
Celmeta joined the Sheriff’s Office in 2008 as a Custody Deputy assigned to the Mail Jail. One year later he became a member of the SORT team, a position he held intermittently until 2018. In 2012 he was appointed Custody Deputy, Special Duty and assigned to the Classification Unit. In December 2017, Celmeta was promoted to Custody Sergeant. As a Sergeant, he worked in the Alternative Sentencing Bureau, Main Jail, Administration, and Resources Coordinator. Celmeta also became a member of the Administrative Investigation Team in 2017. 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 Celmeta was promoted to Custody Lieutenant. He currently manages Jail Operations in the Main Jail.
Sheriff Bill Brown said “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.”