Sheriff John Samaniego named 2024 Alabama Sheriff of the Year

Published 4:36 pm Thursday, January 25, 2024

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By NOAH WORTHAM | Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – Shelby County Sheriff John Samaniego has been named as the Alabama Sheriff of the Year for 2024 by the Alabama Sheriff’s Association.

During a winter conference in Auburn, the Alabama Sheriff’s Association selected Samaniego as its Alabama Sheriff of the Year for 2024 which is voted on by all 67 sheriffs representing every county across the state.

“It is an honor,” Samaniego said. “I feel very humbled by this recognition given me by my peers. I owe it all to the hard working men and women of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.”

Samaniego works closely alongside Chief Deputy Clay Hammac in serving the citizens of Shelby County.

“I’m very proud of him,” Hammac said. “He’s one of the best bosses I’ve ever worked for. Anyone who’s ever worked closely with him, knows that he does everything he can to invest in others and put others before himself and this award is just another testament of his peers recognizing his work ethic and his leadership.”

The Alabama Sheriffs Association is an executive level professional association comprised of the elected sheriffs in Alabama, one from each county and provides educational, legislative and legal assistance to the sheriffs.

According to Hammac, Samaniego was voted on through a secret nomination which was followed by voting at large.

“From what I have been told, he was overwhelmingly selected as the 2024 sheriff of the year for the state of Alabama, ”Hammac said.

Samaniego started service as a member of law enforcement more than 40 years ago working for the Tuscaloosa Police Department where he dedicated more than 20 years to Narcotics Investigations before being promoted to assistant chief of police.

Samaniego first came to Shelby County as the chief deputy of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office in 2003 where he served until he was elected as the sheriff in 2014. He is currently serving in his third term as sheriff and has more than 25 years of experience in supervisory and command-level roles.

“I love serving the people of Shelby County who I hold in high regard,” Samaniego said. “They are the difference makers. The support given to us by our citizens is remarkable and it helps each and every employee feel good about doing their job. From the deputies on the road, to the jail deputies and all our support personnel who serve the public with servants’ hearts, this award is for you.”

Samaniego also expressed his gratitude to the Shelby county Commission for its hand in supporting the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.

“We are in challenging times and because we have the equipment, resources and training we are up to meeting these challenges,” he said. “I would like to thank our County Commission for the work they do in providing the means for us to do our job.”