Sheriff’s display pays tribute to former officers, veterans

Published 12:10 am Saturday, May 20, 2023

SALISBURY — The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office unveiled a new display in its lobby on Wednesday that pays homage to its fallen members and recognizes the officers who served in the military.

According to Rowan County Sheriff Travis Allen, the display required a leap of faith after Captain David Earnhardt came to him and asked for permission to put something up without telling the sheriff what it would be or look like.

The display is a combination of wood and iron work by two local artists, Brandy Dickson of Lily Designs and Jimmy Wise of Wise Earth and Iron.

The Sheriff’s Office maintains a list of officers who have died, but it was not publicly displayed.

“I wanted to put something out here in the lobby that also honored our veterans at the same time,” Earnhardt said. “I met with a guy who was a veteran in town that said he heard we wanted to do something.”

They came up with the Blue Line Flag and Green Line Flag positioned above metal that bears the names of deceased officers and those who had served, respectively.

“The Blue Line Flag will have our officers in the center with dog tags for each officer that has passed,” Earnhardt said. “The left and right have the names of all our K9s that have passed. Under the Green Line Flag, you have every branch of the service and listed under each branch, you have our officers that have served in each one.”

Allen revealed a folded American Flag that he keeps in his office. It belonged to his late father. The sheriff shared an account of his father’s service during the Vietnam War Era.

“Dad was proud of his three years,” Allen said. “Even though he never fought in combat, he was proud to have served. I keep this to honor him and other veterans. I did not serve in the military, but I have great respect for those that do. We have a lot of our deputies and people associated with our office and court systems … I couldn’t think of a more fitting way to honor those individuals.”