Local ABC law enforcement officer leaving, board considering options

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Jessie Burchette
Salisbury Post
The pending departure of the chief law enforcement officer for the Rowan / Kannapolis ABC system is prompting the board to look at other options.
William T. “Bill” Belvin, who has worked for the Rowan/Kannapolis Alcoholic Beverage Control system since Jan. 1, 2004, has submitted his resignation effective April 28.
Belvin will become the law enforcement chief for the Cumberland County ABC system, a much larger system that has five other law enforcement officers. He is the only officer in the local system. His base salary is $46,000 annually.
The ABC board held special meeting last week to deal with Belvin’s pending departure and look ahead. The board also voted to give him his service revolver.
The board also voted to name Roy Purvis, a retired deputy sheriff, the agent in charge on a temporary basis once Belvin leaves. Purvis works part time dealing with store security.
Terry Osborne, general manager, said the system is accepting applications for the post, although it hasn’t been officially advertised.
Osborne and Marny Hendrick, chairman of the ABC Board, said they are looking at other options, including possibly contracting with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office to provide alcohol enforcement in both Rowan and the Cabarrus areas served by the ABC system.
The board is scheduled to meet with representatives of the sheriff’s department at 4:15 p.m. on April 28, prior to the regular meeting at 5:15 p.m. at the North Lee Street office.
And the board is looking at the option of making the job more of an educational position.
Over the past couple of years, more of the ABC effort has been focused on teens in schools and colleges, trying to prevent underage drinking.
Hendrick said the board is also reviewing the job description, working to fine tune it and make it more accurate.
The Rowan / Kannapolis system is one of 20 ABC systems statewide that has law enforcement. Statewide, 136 systems do not. They depend on state Alcohol Law Enforcement agents.
“It’s important to our board to dedicate resources to law enforcement,” said Hendrick. He said the decision now is whether the system can best do it through contracting it out or hiring someone.
The former Rowan ABC system contracted with the Rowan Sheriff’s Department under Sheriff Bob Martin for enforcement for many years.
After complaints about underage drinking and sales of alcohol to underage buyers, the ABC system opted to add its own enforcement officers, hiring Ray Shuler and Robert Boswell.
Both left in 2004 to take federal enforcement jobs after successful drug seizure efforts.
Contact Jessie Burchette at 704-797-4254 or jburchette@salisburypost.com.