Potential sheriff's candidates gear up - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Potential sheriff's candidates gear up

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July 9, 2007

Albany -- For the first time in more than 20 years, Dougherty County voters will decide a sheriff's race with no incumbent.

Sheriff Jamil Saba is retiring, and the race to replace him is already heating up.

July 2008 may seem like a while away but for three possible sheriff's candidates, it's a date that's right around the corner.

Albany police Lt. James Williams, Sheriff's Capt. Tim Hannington, and Sheriff's Captain Kevin Sproul are all considering their run for Sheriff of Dougherty County.

If one thing is certain about the three potential candidates for Dougherty County Sheriff, it's their many years of law enforcement experience, 74 years total.

Two Dougherty County Officers, Capt. Kevin Sproul and Capt. Tim Hannington are potential hopefuls for the July primaries, along with APD Lt. James Williams.

Capt. Sproul is making his official announcement tonight at 6:30. After twenty five years on the force, he feels now is a good time to bring new ideas to the table.

He says, "I've worked in every facet of the sheriff's office. I know it very thoroughly. I haven't been stuck behind a desk in a coat and tie environment I've been out there on the streets educating kids, educating the adults."

Like Sproul, Capt. Tim Hannington currently serves with the Dougherty County Sheriff's Office. Still considering his potential bid, one of Hannington's goals, if elected, is the unification of the public safety agencies.

"We have three different public safety agencies in this county, and we need to become one and utilize each others resources to solve these crimes and prevent the crimes that are happening now," says Hannington.

The third potential candidate, and Sheriff's Saba challenger in a close '04 election, Lt. James Williams of the Albany Police Department feels adamant that he will become the next sheriff.

He says, "I think I stand a real good chance. I'm going to be the next sheriff of this county."

Like Hannington, Williams who has not officially announced his bid, he says communication amongst all Dougherty County agencies is a must.

"One thing I bring to the table being an Albany Police Department officer and becoming the Sheriff, we can bring those agencies together to be one big agency and provide the safety and security to this county," adds Williams. 

Sheriff Jamil Saba, who was first elected sheriff in 1984, is retiring after more than two decades as sheriff.

With the two potential candidates working for his department, Saba supports the candidate that will serve the people as well as the inner workings entire sheriff's office.

He says, "I want the people who we have here, to stay here. I don't want them to lose their job. And I know the two people I have working in my office so they won't lose their job."

Still a year and week until the July '08 primaries, you can bet the race for Sheriff of Dougherty County will be highly contested.

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