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Rowan named chief deputy

POSTED: February 18, 2009 4:00 a.m.

Dawson County Sheriff Billy Carlisle shifted several top-level staff in January, elevating Lt. Colonel Greg Rowan, an 18-year department veteran to second in command.


Brandy Branson was promoted to major and now serves as commander of the patrol division.


As under-sheriff, Rowan coordinates all day-to day activities within the department of 115, including three majors and a director of 911 communications, which report directly to him.


The position of under-sheriff/chief deputy has been vacant since May 2008, when Kevin Tanner resigned and accepted Dawson County’s top non-elected position as county manager.


Rowan said the department was running fine without an under-sheriff. “This department runs great. We have great, experienced, capable people as our division commanders,” he said.


As sheriff, one of Carlisle’s primary duties is to deal with the public. On any given day, Carlisle meets with local residents, other law enforcement agencies and individuals seeking his assistance in a number of matters.


Rowan’s promotion, Carlisle said, frees him to deal with the public and the public’s needs.


“As large as this department is now, I wasn’t able to do it all; hold down the sheriff’s office operations, oversee the daily jail operations, handle the public’s needs. There wasn’t enough time in my day to adequately do it all,” Carlisle said.


Carlisle and Rowan have worked together for almost two decades, beginning when there were only about 5,000 residents in the county, and the department had just 10 employees.


“We’ve been here together for a long time. He’s been here with me in the growing stages. I know I can count on him to take care of things when I’m out of the office for any reason,” Carlisle said. “I moved Greg in there because he has the ability and the knowledge to handle everything he needs to.”


Rowan said his goal is to continue moving the department forward and refocus efforts toward the department’s five-year plan.


“We have to re-adjust to what’s going on in the world right now. We know the economy is in a rut, but it will return. We have to make sure we have a vision in place that focuses on our department moving forward,” he said.


Rowan said he is honored to serve the county he calls home. A native of Forsyth County, Rowan said he plans to retire from Dawson County when the time comes.


“My loyalty is here with the county and the citizens of Dawson County. This is where I’ve dedicated my life, and the place I will be until I hang up my uniform for the last time and call it a day,” he said.


E-mail Michele Hester at


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