Frequently Asked Questions

Scott Bentzinger

Scott Bentzinger
(217) 357-2115


Frequently Asked Questions
Office of the County Sheriff

Who is the Chief Deputy and what are the duties of the Chief Deputy?
Who is the Jail Administrator and what are the Jail Administrators duties?
What is the Records Division for the Hancock County Sheriff's office?
What is the Auxiliary Deputy Reserve Corps?

Criminal Sex Offender List
What is the website address for the Criminal Sex Offender List?

What are some of the links to other Law Enforcement Websites?

News Releases?


Who is the Chief Deputy and what are the duties of the Chief Deputy?
Chief Deputy

The Operations Division is comprised of the following entities:

The Patrol Section operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year and each deputy is assigned to an eight hour shift. Each shift time overlaps to provide for continual protection and law enforcement availability. Day shift is supervised by Chief Deputy Shirey and night shift is supervised by Sergeant Brad Cludray. The deputies in the patrol division are usually the first responders to all calls for service, such as; accidents, crimes in progress, traffic enforcement, criminal reports and initial investigations. This is in addition to all calls that they self initiate. New personnel, who have completed the Basic Law Enforcement Training Course are initially assigned to a shift. They are on probation for one year from their date of hire. Once they have completed their Field Officer Training Program and assigned to a shift, they are generally on their own and expected to perform the same duties and their veteran counterparts. Each deputy is encouraged to acquire advanced training in matters relating to their specific duties as well as any areas of personal interest.

Court Security
One full time and three part time armed Court Security Officers are charged with the responsibility of protecting the Courthouse building, employees and visitors to the Courthouse. Their duties also include screening individuals entering the building as well as their packages/cases, securing the halls, offices and courtrooms and providing personal protection for Judges. They maintain strict order in the courtroom and enforce the Judges orders.

Rapid Deployment Team
The Rapid Deployment Team is comprised of every full time deputy and all auxiliary deputies of Hancock County. There are also six firefighters and two first responders assigned to the team. The team is charged with various tasks such as; securing and resolving barricaded/hostage situations, rapid entry into buildings, active shooter situations, executing search warrants and arrest warrants, burglary in progress calls and any other situations where the need for highly trained security and/or entry personnel are needed.

Who is the Jail Administrator and what are the Jail Administrators duties?
Kelly VanFleet
Jail Administrator

The Hancock County Jail was opened in January 1987. It is a state of the art facility utilizing a podular indirect supervision design. The facility has been used many times as an ideal model for other counties new jail construction. The jail has a current capacity of housing a maximum of 43 inmates, with the ability to add 12 more beds should the need ever arise. These inmates are housed, based on security level, sex and type of charges. Maximum security inmates are housed in single cells, other inmates in double or single cells, and in a dormitory type area for work release and weekenders.

The jail houses three basic types of inmates, those who are awaiting bond or a trial, those who have been sentence to serve time, and those who are being held for other agencies. The average daily population is around 24 inmates with about 10 % being female.

Inmates in the facility are provided with the essentials of life, including clothing, meals, hygiene items and medical services. Religious services are offered weekly to all inmates. Inmates may also buy items off the commissary and use commissary telephone calling cards. Inmates are allowed to have unlimited funds on their account. Family and friends may place money on an inmate account 24 hours a day. This is done in the lobby area of the facility. Additionally money in the form of a money order may be sent through the mail or done on line by going to No personal checks are accepted for any reason. Inmates may be bailed out of jail using cash, money order or a credit card.

All written or typed correspondence to inmates from family or friends must be sent through the U.S. Postal Service. This mail may be subject to inspection for contraband prior to delivery to the inmate. Inmates are allowed to receive and send mail.

Visitation for inmates is held twice weekly. The visits run from 15 to 30 minutes in length and are monitored. Each inmate may have one visit per week after the inmate has been in custody for a seven day period. The visiting days are Wednesday and Saturday from 1:30 pm to 3:00pm. Any other visiting arrangements must be approved by the Jail Administrator.

Inmates are allowed certain personal items:
Books and magazines (no pornography), puzzle books, no newspapers.
10 Pictures (no nudity) but not larger than 5 x 7.
Any other items must be approved by the Jail Administrator.

The Hancock County Jail is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The address for the jail is:
98 Buchanan Street
Carthage, Illinois 62321

What is the Records Division for the Hancock County Sheriff's office?
Records Division

Civil Process
Sheriff Sales
LEADS Agency Coordinator

Accounts Payable and Receivable
Insurance Claims

Sex Offender Registrar
Jail Registrar

Warrant Entries

Insurance Claims

The Records Section personnel are responsible for;

Case Files: The receipt, separation, distribution and classification, data input, filing and storage of all offenses and follow up reports.

Warrants: Traffic, Orders of Protection and Civil No Contact Orders; These documents are received from the Circuit Clerk's Office, State's Attorney Office or other court jurisdictions. Upon completion of all data entry they are forwarded to the Patrol Division for service.

Other regular duties: Insurance requests, criminal history checks, process expungement orders, Freedom of Information Requests and more.

Civil Process
The Sheriff's Office Patrol Division is responsible for the service of civil papers, evictions, public sales and replevins. As of April 1st, 2008 Hancock County charges $15.00 for service plus $1.00 per mile from the Sheriff's Office. Hancock County charges $3.00 for return of service if the document was unable to be served.

Sheriff's Sales
The following information pertains to the procedures to be followed and the documents necessary for the Hancock County Sheriff to perform a Sheriff's Sale. All documents and payment must be submitted to the Hancock County Sheriff's Office Record Section a minimum of three (3) working days prior to the actual sale date as follows:
1. The creditor must obtain an Order of Possession, signed by a Judge. (A copy of the unsigned order prior to the sale and a copy of the signed order after the sale are to be submitted to the Sheriff's Office.)
2. An Order for the Sale, signed by a Judge with a date for the sale, or indicating, "date to be assigned" must be obtained by the creditor.
3. Proof of advertisement from a newspaper of general circulation, proving that the sale was advertised for one (1) day a week for three (3) consecutive weeks must be presented. (Note: Advertisement must stipulate what form of payment will be accepted.)
4. Non-refundable payment to the Sheriff of Hancock County in the amount of $600.00.
5. The Creditor will prepare the Sheriff's Deed and all necessary legal documents, and will be responsible for acquiring and returning the documents to the Hancock County Circuit Clerk's Office. (In addition to the Legal Description of the property, the correct address will also be listed on all documents.)
6. In the event that the successful bidder is a third party other than the Creditor, they will be instructed by the person conducting the sale as to the required payment(s).
7. Whenever a sale is conducted it will be held on the lower level west wing of the Hancock County Courthouse.

These procedures became effective April 01, 2008.

What is the Auxiliary Deputy Reserve Corps?
Auxiliary Deputy Reserve Corps

The Sheriff's Office Auxiliary Deputy Reserve Corps is a volunteer organization, which maintains a compliment of (approximately) 15 sworn members. While "on duty" they carry the same authority as a full time paid Deputy Sheriff. The Auxiliary personnel function as an invaluable, well-trained, supplement to full time personnel. They have and continue to assist in numerous functions such as patrol procedures, event security, responding to disaster scenes, assisting in special operations, surveillance details, ride along programs, Courthouse security and criminal investigations. Prior to assuming their duties, every member receives and must pass the mandated 40 hour Firearms Course for Law Enforcement, the use of deadly force and must complete field training with a full time Deputy Sheriff. Sergeant Brad Cludray serves as the liaison between the Auxiliary Corps and the Sheriff's Administration. Virtually all members have other full time vocations and volunteer their time, and talents to the Sheriff's Office on a regular basis. The Hancock County Sheriff personally approves each candidate before they are accepted into the Auxiliary Corps and has the authority to dismiss any and all Auxiliary Corps member(s) at any time.

Criminal Sex Offender List

What is the website address for the Criminal Sex Offender List?


What are some of the links to other Law Enforcement Websites?
- Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms

- Central Intelligence Agency

- Federal Bureau of Investigations

- United States Marshals

- Illinois State Police

- Illinois Sheriff's Association

- National Sheriff's Association

- National Rifle Association

- Legal Information Institute



-Fight Crime: Invest in Kids


News Releases?
January 18, 2012

Hancock County Sheriff Scott Bentzinger reports the arrests of Tomasina Bough [boo] (37)(F), Jason Thurman (31), Dustin Armstrong (27) and Adrian Armstrong (22)(F) all of Warsaw, Illinois. All have been arrested for Burglary.

The Warsaw Police Dept. received a tip from a citizen and began investigating. That investigation then revealed information that these four people might have been involved in Burglaries that occurred in the county. A joint investigation by the Sheriff's Office and the Warsaw Police Dept. led to a Search Warrant being executed at 10:25 PM on January 17, 2012 at 305 Jackson Street in Warsaw.

Bough and Thurman were stopped in a vehicle a few blocks away from the residence and taken into custody without incident.

Officers recovered thousands of dollars worth of tools and other items that have been stolen over the last few months in Hancock County.

At 6:00 AM on January 18, 2012 law enforcement officials conducted a search of the residence at 430 Webster Street in Warsaw.

Officers again recovered several thousand dollars worth of items that had been stolen from our citizens in Hancock County.

Dustin and Adrian Armstrong were arrested at this location.

These arrests clear nearly twenty burglaries that have occurred in our cities and rural areas of Hancock County.

All four people arrested appeared in court at 1:30 PM on January 18, 2012. Bail was set at $50,000.00 each with 10% to apply. The next court date was scheduled for February 6, 2012 at 1:30 PM.

Assisting the Hancock County Sheriff's Office were members from the Warsaw, Hamilton, Nauvoo and Carthage Police Depts.; Hancock County Sheriff's Reserves and Illinois State Police.

Sheriff Scott Bentzinger is very pleased and proud of the professional way that members from these agencies worked together and successfully accomplished this mission.

All subjects are considered innocent of all charges until proven guilty in a court of law

October 4, 2011

Hancock County Sheriff Scott Bentzinger reports the October 3, 2011 arrests of:
Stephen D. Akers, age 32, of Plymouth, IL
Daphne K. Akers, age 32, of Plymouth, IL
Crystal L. Fitzjarrald, age 27, of Plymouth, IL
Cathy I. Hiland, age 45, of Augusta, IL
Arthur N. Bolander, age 55, of Carthage, IL
Joey R. Bolander, age 29, of Carthage, IL

All six individuals were arrested on Felony Warrants that originated in McDonough County charging each with Unlawful Procurement of Methamphetamine Precursors.

Stephen Akers bond was set at $30,000.00 which he subsequently posted the required ten percent of $3,000.00.
Arthur Bolander's bond was set at $30,000.00
Daphne Akers, Joey Bolander, Fitzjarrald, and Hiland bonds were set at $20,000.00 respectively. Fitzjarrald, Hiland, and Arthur Bolander were transferred to the McDonough County Jail on October 3, 2011. Daphne Akers and Joey Bolander remain lodged in the Hancock County Jail on additional charges.

Joey Bolander was also arrested for Participation in Methamphetamine Manufacturing.
Deputies seized components of a meth lab from Bolander's residence in rural Carthage.
Daphne Akers was also arrested for Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
Joey Bolander and Daphne Akers remain lodged in the Hancock County Jail awaiting their first court appearance on the Hancock County charges.

Involved in the arrests with the Hancock County Sheriff's Office were the Macomb Police Department and the Plymouth Police Department.

All subjects are considered innocent of all charges until proven guilty in a court of law.