LEXINGTON, S.C. – Col. Mel Seboe, who has served the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department for more than 50 years, has received the Order of the Palmetto from Gov. Henry McMaster.

Seboe started the agency’s bloodhound tracking team in 1973 as the forerunner to Lexington County’s K-9 team, which now includes nine full-time handlers. Seboe started the agency’s explosive ordnance disposal team in 1974. Although he has retired from bomb tech duties, he remains the longest-serving bomb tech in the United States.

“Col. Seboe is more than deserving of the Order of the Palmetto not only because of the length of his service, but also because of how he has served,” Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said. “He has served with honor and integrity, always remaining humble and kind to everyone he meets.”

Col. Mel Seboe

Seboe began his law enforcement career as a patrol officer with the West Columbia Police Department in 1971 after serving in the military and a tour of duty in Vietnam.

He continues to serve the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department handling numerous duties in fleet management and other roles within the special operations unit.

McMaster awarded Seboe with the Order of the Palmetto, the state’s highest civilian honor, during a surprise presentation Thursday night at the Lexington County Sheriff’s Foundation awards banquet. The Order of the Palmetto is awarded to citizens who demonstrate extraordinary lifetime achievement, service and contributions of national or statewide significance.