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LHS grad named Officer of Year in S.C. town

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The Prosperity, S.C. Police Department recently named Corporal Stephen Selestino as the recipient of the 2021 Prosperity Police Department Officer of the Year for his dedicated service to the residents of Prosperity.

Selestino is originally from Texas and started his law enforcement career 15 years ago with the Chester County Sheriff’s Office. He is a graduate of Lockhart High School (Texas) and the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. Corporal Selestino resides in Newberry County.

 Corporal Selestino has excelled in many areas to include traffic enforcement, warrant service, and community involvement. On one of his self-initiated traffic stop, Officer Selestino observed a driver traveling at a high rate of speed on Main Street in Prosperity and confirmed it with his radar equipment. Officer Selestino, concerned for citizen’s safety, activated his blue lights. The driver noticed the marked patrol car and tried to elude the traffic stop by turning dangerously onto Shiloh Street at the youth baseball field. The driver crashed into the bleachers and the press box before running away from the accident scene.

Officer Selestino’s quick reaction on the radio provided responding deputies and officers with the information needed to be able to set up a perimeter. With the assistance of citizens and persistent searching by officers the subject was captured the next morning.

Beside Corporal Selestino duties as a patrolman, he is also the department training officer and a certified driver’s instructor. He is in-charge of ensuring that officers maintain their law enforcement certification with the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. He assesses officers’ training and make solid recommendations on the type of training that officers need to meet the department and the state requirement. His role as the training officer is critical to the department and to the officers’ career development.  

Officer Selestino is bilingual and speaks fluent in Spanish and English. He is called on many occasions to assist with translating critical information from Spanish speaking victims and assisting officers with situations that are vital to the criminal justice system on the local and state level.

Officer Selsestino also quietly served the community by volunteering to deliver meals to residence from the mobile food pantry and supporting local schools by providing food to staff members through an initiative started at The Blend coffee shop.   

Even after an extended period of absence due to COVID-19, he said with God’s help, support of the medical staff at Newberry County Memorial Hospital, and the caring community, he was able to fight his way back to the profession that he loves. 

“Corporal Selestino is a valuable team-member and an asset to the Town of Prosperity and we are blessed to have him,” Prosperity Police Chief Wesley Palmore said.

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