After 26 years on the job, a Madison County Sheriff's Office lead investigator is retiring. Captain Michael Salomonsky is turning in his badge and gun and headed for the football field this fall.
Salomonsky started at the sheriff's office 26 years ago.
"Being a police officer, if it's a job to you, then you need to rethink what you're doing. We're protecting, serving, going about the call of duty," he said.
His career started in the narcotics division and he said for the first two years on the job, he was undercover and not well known.
"It was a period of time I was working really hard and I was seeing a difference in the things that I did as far as neighborhoods and chasing people who sell dope, homicides. Things of that nature," he said.
He made his way through the ranks during his career, becoming Captain of Investigations along with spokesman for the sheriff's office. Salomonsky shared it never mattered to him how big or small the case was. He always wanted to give each and every family closure.
"It's not always the big case but sometimes it's helping the little things, the folks who are scrambling whose cases are not newsworthy," he said.
In his off-time, he's spent years as a football and basketball coach for kids throughout Madison County. Last fall, after football season had ended, he was reminded once again what a big impact he also had outside law enforcement.
"We played our last game and when it was over, we were taking up their equipment and [two players] peeled their helmet stickers off their helmet. They walked up to me and gave them to me. They said, 'Coach, we don't want you to forget us,' because they are going onto the high school. I said, 'Gentlemen, I will never forget you,'" he said.
That's when he realized his passion prior to joining law enforcement was something he was ready to pursue once again.
"I'm retiring from here to go back and do something that I loved before I started being a police officer, which was being a football coach. If it wasn't for that, I may be worried, but I'm going to be the head football coach at Meridianville Middle School," he said.
He's now ready to be an Eagle full-time, and also help his daughter coach basketball at McNair Junior High School as well. He said his nearly three decades spent at the sheriff's office were filled with countless memories he will never forget.
"I have enjoyed every minute of it. There have been some stressful times, but it's not been like having a job. Thank you, Madison County. I have loved it and goodbye," he said.
Captain Salomonsky's final day was Wednesday at the sheriff's office. He said he's excited for his new journey and for his team of investigators to continue to serve the people of Madison County.