Vote For Our Sheriff - Alan Cloninger
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Meet Alan

Sheriff Alan Cloninger has deep roots in Gaston County. A life-long resident of Dallas, Alan is the son of Mary Jo Cloninger and the late Polie Cloninger. Early in life he learned the meaning of hard work and honest living. While growing up, Alan saw firsthand the love of family, the power of prayer and the value of a dollar. He learned that giving back to his community was a part of life. Alan chose to serve the public because he realized that he could make a difference in our community.

Alan is a true law man. He served as a policeman for the Town of Dallas and with the Gaston County Police Department reaching the rank of sergeant. Alan served as the jail administrator for the Gaston County Sheirrf's office before becoming Sheriff. Alan also served as a prosecutor with the Gaston County District Attorney's office and later managed his own law office. Sheriff Cloninger has an extensive background in law enforcement training. Alan holds an advanced law enforcement certificate from the NC Sheriff's Training Standards Commission and the NC Criminal Justice Training and Standards Commission. He is a certified detention officer and certified by the National Sheriff's Institute Executive Level Management Education and Training. Alan has been a charter member of the Dallas Rescue Squad since 1974, and is a former emergency medical technician. Alan's reward is knowing that he is making Gaston County better each day by giving back to the people who entrusted him with their safety.

“At an early age I made the decision to serve the community, and I have done so to the best of my abilities. I served as a police officer, a volunteer rescue squad E.M.T, a prosecuting attorney, and now as your Sheriff. I found the time to work and volunteer within our community because I believe that being a good neighbor and helping others is one of the greatest rewards in life.” Sheriff Alan Cloninger

Please spend some time getting to know Alan better by reviewing his biography below:

•  Date of Birth: January 19, 1958; (52) years of age

•  Lifelong resident of Gaston County, Dallas, North Carolina

•  Parents: Mary Jo & the late Polie Cloninger, Jr. of Dallas, North Carolina

•  Married to Cathy Mabry Cloninger, two Children: Daughter, Margaret Anne Cloninger and Step Daughter, Shawna Victoria Tillery

•  Cathy Cloninger is employed by the Shelter of Gaston County, since 1983 as the social worker and later appointed as Shelter Coordinator.


Carr Elementary - 1 st grade through 5 th grade

Dallas, North Carolina

Gaston Day School - 6th grade through 12 th grade

Gastonia, North Carolina Graduated: May 1976

Emory at Oxford - Attended from August 1976

Oxford, Georgia until December 1976

Gaston College - Graduated May 24, 1981

Dallas, North Carolina Associate in Applied Science of Police Science

University of North Carolina

at Charlotte - Graduated December 19, 1983

Charlotte, North Carolina Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice

Campbell University School of Law - Graduated May 9, 1988

Buies Creek, North Carolina Received a Juris Doctor Degree.



•  Advanced Law Enforcement Certificate from the North Carolina Sheriff's Education Training and Standards Commission issued May 22, 1990

•  Advanced Law Enforcement Certificate issued May 17, 1985 from the North Carolina State Criminal Justice and Education Standards Commission

•  Advanced Detention Officer Certificate from North Carolina Sheriff Education and Training Standards Commission issued September 9, 2008

•  Certified Law Enforcement Officer in North Carolina

•  Certified Detention Officer in North Carolina

•  National Sheriff's Institute Executive Level Management Education and Training

•  National Institute of Corrections Jail Administration Program

•  North Carolina Sheriff's Association Leadership Institute (Class Spokesman)

•  Received various certificates with the Gaston County Sheriff's Office, the Gaston County Police Department, and the Dallas Police Department, (furnished upon request)

•  Formerly certified as an Emergency Medical Technician

•  August 19, 1988 License to Practice Law in the State of North Carolina

•  License to Practice Law in Federal Court in the Western District of North Carolina

•  License to Practice before the Supreme Court of the United States



•  Holy Community Lutheran Church-lifelong member

•  Lifetime member of National Rifle Association (NRA)

•  Former Gaston County Law Enforcement Association, Attorney

•  Former Fraternal Order of Police, Attorney

•  Former Gaston County Chapter of Police Benevolent Association, Attorney

•  Charter member of the Dallas Rescue Squad since 1974, serving as Captain, Training Officer, First Lieutenant and Squad Attorney

•  Board of Directors of Dallas Rescue Squad, serving as Vice Chairman

•  Past Member of Dallas Volunteer Fire Department

•  Past President of Gaston County Ambulance Association

•  Member of Dallas Optimist Club (former President)

•  Member of the Gaston County Bar Association (former President)

•  Member of the East Gastonia Rotary Club

•  Member of the Gaston County Domestic Violence Prevention Council

•  Board of Directors of the Alternative Community Penalties (former President)

•  Past member of the Board of Directors of Cardiac Rehab

•  Past member of the Dallas Jaycees

•  Past Board of Directors for the Association of Retarded Citizens of Gaston County (ARC)

•  Board of Directors of the Gaston County Cancer Services

•  Past Board of Directors of Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club

•  Advisory Board for Gaston County Parks & Recreation

•  Board of Directors for Gaston County Museum of Art and History

•  Board of Trustees for Gaston College

•  Board of Directors of First Things First of Gaston County, presently serving as Chairman

•  Board of Directors of Fresh Start

•  Member of Gaston Lodge 263

•  Member of Scottish Rite

•  Oasis Shrine Head Quarters

•  Member of Gaston County Shrine Club (Former President)

•  Member of Cherryville Shrine Club

•  Member of Crowder's Mountain Shrine Club

•  North Carolina Sheriff's Education Training and Standards Commission-Board Member

•  North Carolina Sheriffs' Association/ ICE Steering Committee

•  State of North Caroline 911 Board – Board Member

•  State of North Carolina Street Safe Task Force- Board Member

•  Associate Member of Marine Corp Detachment, General Ray Davis Unit

•  2010 Co-Chair, United Way Campaign

•  Gaston County Law Enforcement Association

•  NC Law Enforcement Officer Association

•  National Sheriff's Association

•  Juvenile Crime Prevention Council


•  Alan G. Cloninger, Attorney at Law

•  Board of Directors of Mary Jo's Cloth Store, Incorporated, serving as Vice-President/Secretary.

•  Board of Directors of Dallas Wholesale, Incorporated

•  Former Partner in Funderburk, Gheen & Cloninger, Attorneys at Law

•  Partner in various real estate and business partnerships

•  Gaston County Sheriff's office– Major/Jail Administrator

•  Gaston County Sheriff's Office- Sheriff


(1988 - Present)

8/16/04 until Present Gaston County Sheriff's Office

Title: Sheriff

Duties: Primary duty are the operational function of The Gaston County Jail, Courthouse, Jail Annex, Road Filed Services division and administration.

12/25/2002 until 8/16/04 Gaston County Sheriff's Office

Title: Jail Administrator

Duties: Primary duty is the operational function of the Gaston County Jail. Secondary duty of supervision and operation of the Gaston County Sheriff's Office

1/1994 until 12/25/02 Alan G. Cloninger, Attorney at Law

Title: Attorney

Opened own practice in 1994

General Practice of Law

Dallas, North Carolina 28034

4 /1991 until 12/1993 Funderburk, Gheen & Cloninger

Attorneys at Law

Title: Attorney

Duties: General partner in the above partnership in the General Practice of Law.

9/1989 until 3/1991 State of North Carolina

Title: Assistant District Attorney

Duties: Prosecution of criminal cases for the State of North Carolina, 27A, Gaston County.

8/1988 until 8/1989 Frank Patton Cooke

Attorney at Law

Title: Associate Attorney

Duties: General representation and General Practice of Law

During the summer months of 1986-1988 I was employed by Mr. Cooke as a law clerk.

1979 until 1985 Officer and Sergeant, Gaston County Police Department

Duties: General Supervision of patrol shift, enforcement of the laws, rules, and regulations in the State of North Carolina and the Gaston County Police Department.

1977 until 1979 Dallas Police Department

Serving as Auxiliary Officer, Dispatcher and Patrol Officer

Dallas, North Carolina

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