MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) - He’s one of the most well-known figures in law enforcement in Madison County and after more than 30 years on the job, he’s now taking on a new, but familiar role.
Captain Michael Salomonsky has worked drugs and major crimes for decades and as he starts a new chapter in life, he will continue making a difference in his community.
“Sal,” as everyone calls him, started his career in policing with the City of Anniston in 1989. He stayed there until 1993 when he became an undercover narcotics agent at the Northeast Alabama Drug Task Force.
In 1996, he accepted a job at the Madison County Sheriff’s Office to work in the narcotics unit. He remained in the unit for 12-13 years as an investigator.
He worked his up through the ranks of the agency, working in narcotics, criminal investigations and Homeland Security.
He’s been in Madison County for more than 26 years and took on many roles, including spokesman for the sheriff’s office and head of the Criminal Investigation Division.
He was part of countless investigations and busted a long list of drug dealers over the years.
“I've been all over the state with narcotics. I've been a lobbyist for law enforcement, particularly this department, in Montgomery,” Salomonsky said. “I've just done a lot of different things. I have absolutely loved my time as a Madison County sheriff's deputy and also as a Northeast Alabama drug task force agent.”
For Sal, there were a lot of high-profile cases. He was one of the first on the scene of the “cell phone murders” when four people were killed over a stolen cell phone in 1996.
He was also the supervisor on the homicides on St. Clair Lane. A couple is charged in the murder of five family members, including children.
He’s also worked on the search for Jennifer Powers, who has been missing for 11 years.
“We’re trying to find her. We’re trying to bring some closure to the family, to her children. All those things are going to keep going on when I’m gone,” Salomonsky stated.
He’s never done it for the limelight. His focus has always been on the victims.
“If you have a victim, that case is big to them. It may not be newsworthy. It may not garner a lot of attention, but it's the little things that count. They all count- domestic violence, robberies, all of it,” he added.
Before he became a police officer, Sal was coached football at Wellborn High School.
“I thought with the skills that I had that maybe God wanted me to become a police officer. So that’s what I did because that’s what I thought I was meant to do. I set off on that trail,” he explained.
Now, he’s going back to his coaching roots. He’s the head football coach at Meridianville Middle School and he helps his daughter coach the McNair Junior High School Lady Wildcats team.
“Being around the kids again and watching them succeed and get better, it’s like when I knew that my mission was to be a police officer in 1989. It’s the same thing now. It’s time to go back to coaching football and basketball and put the same effort into that as I did this job,” he stated.
Sal is going to miss the people he’s worked with and trained over the years.
“I’m going to miss being helpful to people when they need help, making sure the little things get done, being there for the investigators when they have questions,” he added. “I feel like things in my life are coming full circle and I’m excited.”