Meet the Dougherty County candidates for Sheriff - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Meet the Dougherty County candidates for Sheriff

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By Len Kiese - bio | email

June 30, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Georgians go to the polls in two weeks. It's a primary election but a lot of races will be decided then because the winner likely won't have any opposition in November.

That's the case in the Dougherty County Sheriff's race where three veteran law enforcers are squaring off in the Democratic Primary. We wanted to give you a better idea of just who those candidates are.

The campaign signs are all over Dougherty County. They tout the names of Kevin Sproul, Benita Childs and James Williams. The three have one belief in common.

"I feel really good about my chances," said Sproul.

"I think we have an excellent chance," said Childs.

"My chances are great," said Williams. So which one will you give the chance to?

"I want to take our agency to the next level," said Sproul. Kevin Sproul has been with the Dougherty County Sheriff's Office for 26 years now. Much of that time has been dedicated to drug and gang awareness.

"Not only in the classroom but on the streets and I brought my knowledge back to Albany and trained educators, professionals and children on gang awareness and what to look for with street gangs," said Sproul.

Sproul wants to take his experience so far and transition into the head of the department. "I want to put my stamp on it, enhance the agency," said Sproul.

Sproul has some competition from two other candidates with police backgrounds. "It's time to bring on a change in Dougherty County," said Williams.

James Williams is a Lieutenant with the Albany Police Department where he's been for 25 years. "Working numerous major cases in the city of Albany with a good clearance rate," said Williams. Williams wants to tackle crime in the entire county as Sheriff.

"I feel that it's a need to make a transition to where you can help people. Sometimes you just can't help people as well as you could on a higher level," said Williams.

"We want our children to be safe. We want our property to be safe," said Childs.

Benita Childs is also a Lieutenant and 16-year veteran with Albany Police. "I've worked everything from sex crimes to robberies," said Childs.

Childs wants to continue her work on a wider level and build trust from the community as Dougherty County Sheriff. "You should see the whole community. I have no special group of people that mean more to me than the majority of the population," said Childs.

All three candidates can say they've worn badges and have law enforcement backgrounds.  So what sets them apart? "My management background. I'm very fair-minded, hands on. There's not a lot of bells and whistles," said Childs.

"What sets me apart is I'm a people person. I have the experience. I have a diverse mentality to deal with different issues," said Williams.

"I just feel like with the reputation that I have and the qualifications that I bring to the table, it sets me apart and makes me the best candidate for Sheriff of Dougherty County," said Sproul.

It's now up to voters to decide which one is the best fit.

Sheriff Jamil Saba is retiring after 24 years in office. Election day is July 15th.  

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