Officer Gerald Sellers was among 12 law enforcement officers to receive an officer of the year award at the 18th annual law enforcement appreciation day ceremony held Tuesday, May 8 at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center.
Sellers has been a public safety officer for the College since October 2014. He currently serves as senior public safety officer, typically working the overnight shift.
He was joined at the ceremony by Director of Public Safety Tressa Setlak, Assistant Director of Public Safety Chris Coons, and several family members.
Sellers said he was surprised when he learned his colleagues gave him the nod for the officer of the year award.
“It’s humbling to have everyone throw my name out there for it,” he said.
Sellers said he enjoys interacting with the campus community as part of his official duties and he enjoys the camaraderie within the department.
In regards to his duties, Setlak said Sellers “has demonstrated diligence, enthusiasm, and leadership.”
Setlak spoke of a time when Sellers took the initiative to seek out the reasoning behind a campus-wide power outage one July afternoon. When there was no obvious reason on campus for the outage, Sellers left campus in his patrol car.
Just north of campus Sellers happened upon an accident where a car had struck a utility pole. “Upon arrival he rendered aid to the driver, extinguished a fire in the vehicle and stood by until county emergency responders arrived,” Setlak reported.
Sellers also took initiative in 2016 to obtain several certifications and become a training instructor. Since that time, Sellers has become certified to instruct courses in defensive tactics, rape aggression defense and defusing critical incidents.
Of his character, Setlak said that Sellers “interacts with everyone in a friendly and open manner. Officer Sellers is willing to help anyone and listens and reacts thoughtfully even in difficult situations.”
In addition to his assigned duties he voluntarily participates in the St. Mary’s County Shop with a Cop program and other campus and community events.