Sills resigns from Ga. Sheriffs' Association; will be 'troubler for all who are tired of criminals'

By Lynn Hobbs

Putnam County Sheriff Howard R. Sills is believed to now be the only sheriff in the State of Georgia who is not a member of the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association. Sills tendered his letter of resignation as Second Vice President of the GSA and as a member of the association on Feb. 19.

The sheriff explained that no longer being a member of the association has no legal ramifications, and he will remain sheriff of Putnam County. He likened being a member of the GSA as being member of a civic club.

The resignation came as a result of Sills’ emailed response to GSA Director J. Terry Norris’ request for sheriffs to tell him what they thought of Senate Bill 407, which is the final part of Gov. Nathan Deal’s Criminal Justice Reform effort. Sills responded with an emailed statement saying he “vehemently opposed” SB 407, and “this governor has done more for (criminals) than Lucifer and his demons combined.”

The email was leaked out to the press and garnered national attention and discussion in legislature, with congressmen saying the GSA should censor Sills. As second vice president of the GSA, Sills sent a letter to the executive board on Feb. 15, telling them he would accept whatever censorship, admonition or excommunication they thought was best. He did not hear any response.

In his four-page letter of resignation to GSA President Sheriff Terry Deese, Sills said “Political correctness is without question the trend of the nation. I, however, am not one to be trendy, and I’m grateful that our forefathers back in 1776 chose not to take the course of political correctness. You know very well that I am not one to be timid, and I will never go along to get along. The weak may well inherit the earth, but considering the continual carnage perpetrated by the hoodlums in our society today, I doubt the soil will be fertile enough to raise a crop by the time they do. … I intend to continue being the troubler for all who are so very tired of the criminals who murder, rape, rob, molest, and steal from the citizenry, and more particularly for the unrepresented poorly compensated deputy sheriffs and city police officers who really protect the people of Georgia. … In conclusion, this letter is official notice to you and the membership that effective immediately, I resign from my position as second vice president of the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association. I further resign my membership in the association.”

Sills said prior to him resigning, he had heard from several sheriffs who said they thought it would be appropriate for him to resign, but only one, Regional Vice President Ramsey Bennett (Pierce County) actually asked him to resign.

“My respect for Sheriff Bennet has increased exponentially,” he said in his letter.

See the March 1 edition of The Eatonton Messenger for more on this topic, including reactions from other sheriffs and the Georgia Sheriffs’ “Roll Call of Shame.”

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