Sheriff's Office ready to open Landis branch
By Jessie Burchette
LANDIS — The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office branch here is nearly ready to open.
The former library building at 103 N. Central Ave. has been reworked to provide office space for deputies, clerical staff and a service window for the public.
Nearly half of the 4,200- square-foot building has been converted to a training room that will seat 50 or more.
The target date for opening the office is Feb. 1. Sheriff George Wilhelm is completing plans for the staffing and operations.
In addition to freeing up some space in the Salisbury office, the Landis operation is expected to provide easier access for residents in a wide area stretching from the Iredell line on the west to the Stanly line on the east.
Lt. Barry Rogers and 1st Sgt. Tim Wyrick, the ranking officers assigned to the Landis office, are already at the location.
Wyrick is replacing Lt. Neal Goodman, a K-9 officer who is in the process of transitioning to another assignment.
Frank Bunton, who worked at the North Kannapolis office for nearly two decades, is set to begin work at the Landis office on Feb. 1.
Some equipment has already been moved to the location, with additional computers, desks and office equipment to be moved in the next couple of weeks.
County maintenance workers have a few minor tasks remaining.
Ken Deal, county director of administrative services, said the county budgeted $27,000 to revamp the interior.
Commissioners approved another $26,300 to replace the roof when an inspection found it to be in poor condition.
The Landis office replaces the North Kannapolis Police Department, a creation of Cannon Mills and Rowan County decades before Kannapolis became a city.
Cannon Mills donated property to the county in 1957 for a jail and police station. In 1973, Cannon Mills donated additional property on North Main Street for an expansion.
The office has been closed for almost two years because of the deteriorated conditions. The jail cells haven’t been used for a decade or more.
Deal said the North Kannapolis office is currently used by a juvenile probation officer. Once the county can relocate the officer, the facility will be closed and a recommendation will go to the county commissioners on selling or leasing the structure.
Maintenance workers are also looking at moving an emergency generator there to the EMS station on N.C. 152 west of China Grove.
Deal said the generator is too small to operate the Landis office.