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Commissioners approve renaming of detention center for McSwain

The Stanly County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to rename the Stanly County Detention Center in honor of Sheriff Ralph L. McSwain, who served as the county’s chief law enforcement officer from 1962 to 1990.

“It is an honor to bring this proposal before our board,” Commissioner Lane Furr said. “Ralph L. McSwain served as a deputy from 1955 to 1962, then became sheriff, serving for 28 years. During that time, he was true to the office and true to the citizens of Stanly County. By honoring him, it says to the people of Stanly County that we don’t forget those who have protected us.”

Commissioner Tommy Jordan added the move to rename the facility was initiated by current sheriff’s office employees, including Sheriff Jeff Crisco, who was in attendance.

“It says a lot about Sheriff McSwain that law enforcement officers serving three decades after he left the position still would move to honor him,” said Jordan.
County Manager Andy Lucas explained current signage at the detention center would be rearranged to add McSwain’s name at an estimated expense of $350 to $450.

Commissioner Bill Lawhon offered to pay one-seventh of the cost of the new signage, as did Furr and Commission Chairman Matthew Swain. Furr also offered to pay the shares of any commissioners who were unable to contribute.

McSwain’s wife, Pat, thanked the commissioners for honoring her husband.

“I just want to say thanks to all of you,” she said. “He is the love of my life.”