Sheriffs to protest House Bill One Thursday in Atlanta - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Sheriffs protesting proposed law

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EFFINGHAM CO., GA (WTOC) -

Sheriffs from around the state are going to Atlanta to protest House Bill One on Thursday.

Effingham County Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie will be among the other sheriffs at the Capital.

"This bill puts more limitations on what we do and the way we do it. It makes seizures a lot more difficult...and in the grand scheme of things, unless it is a big amount of money, the district attorney's office won't have the time," McDuffie said.

The Sheriff says they use tens of thousands of dollars of extra cash each year from the seized property. The money goes toward training, weapons, school programs, and to pay informants.

"Without that money, there is a lot we wouldn't have," stated McDuffie.

But if House Bill 1 becomes law, Sheriff McDuffie says taking criminal's property will become much more complicated and difficult.

"It will put more limitations on what we do," McDuffie said.

House Representative Wendell Willard wrote the bill and says change is needed in the law.

"They just don't want the changes because they are used to the law. I think there is a needed change to the laws that are certainly taking away property rights of individuals," Willard said.

Sheriff McDuffie is skeptical of Willard's motivation.

"I think he has another motive...what I can tell you is nothing I do with that money is a secret," McDuffie said.

The bill is still in the very early stages.

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