|“||Don't tell me how to raise my son!||”|
— Salters to Hotch
Sheriff Jeff Salters is an incidental character who appeared in Middle Man.
A successful Sheriff in Johnson County, Indiana, Salters was highly controlling and domineering in both his personal and professional lives. He abused his wife and his son Chris, up to a point where the former eventually abandoned him and Chris at some unknown point. This caused Salters to focus all of the abuse on Chris, which shaped his son's volatility. Despite the abuse, Salters cared deeply for his son and simply viewed the abuse as a form of discipline. When Chris racked up a record of assault and drug violation charges, Salters managed to get it erased so it wouldn't have any significant effect on Chris's future. At some point prior to Middle Man, Chris befriended Michael Kosina, who was, unbeknownst to him, a serial rapist and killer, and the two of them participated in a bar-fight that Michael started. The two of them then began abducting exotic dancers from across the county and then raping them, without Salters's knowledge.
Eventually, Salters manages to trace a connection between the victims when the third exotic dancer is found murdered at Michael's hands and summoned the BAU. Before meeting him, Hotch finds him disciplining an inferior for giving the media the location of the crime scenes and then putting him on desk duty. Soon afterwards, Salters strongly implies to Hotch that the victims were asking for it due to their sexualized jobs. During the investigation, Salters and the BAU realize there is a mole in the Sheriff's Department, but Salters is unaware the mole is himself, as he had been innocently giving Chris updates on the investigation. After the body of Scott Kagan is found, Hotch, Rossi, and Prentiss find out from Garcia about Chris's completely empty criminal record. Hotch confronts Salters about it; the two of them have an argument over Salters's parenting methods as a result. Hotch eventually tells Salters that in no time Chris and the pack's latest captive, Stephanie Wilson, will be found murdered.
The BAU and local police shortly identify Michael as the leader of the pack and pinpoint his address. They arrive to find Chris and Michael, Chris pointing a gun at them and Michael holding Stephanie at gunpoint. Salters unsuccessfully tries to convince Chris into standing down before Prentiss tells Chris about Michael's previous murders, which Garcia managed to discover. This causes Chris to question his loyalty to Michael, forcing Michael to attempt to kill Chris. However, he is gunned down by Salters, allowing Stephanie to escape. Not wanting to go back to jail, Chris attempts to commit suicide, but Salters shoots him non-fatally in the arm to prevent him from doing so, telling him afterwards, "I had to, son." He then watches as his son is taken into police custody. Salters is last seen musing about his son's status as a killer and lamenting his possible involvement in making Chris that way. He is comforted by Hotch, who tells him that the both of them can make amends. It is presumed that Salters and Chris managed to put aside their differences afterwards.