The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Council Hears From Sheriff Candidates

by Christy Kienast, The Quill

On Monday March 12th the La Harpe City Council met for their first meeting of the month. The minutes from the February meeting were approved as well as the bills.

All three candidates for Hancock County Sheriff were present to introduce themselves to the council.

Sheriff Scott Bentzinger became Sheriff when John Jefferson retired in July of 2011. Bentzinger has 22 years of service in Hancock County and says he believes he understands the needs and wants of the citizens of Hancock County. He has enjoyed playing basketball with kids and eating lunch with the Senior Citizens in Hancock County.

Mike Norris currently serves as a 3rd shift deputy for the Hancock County Sheriff's Office. He has a 26 year career in law enforcement. Norris says he believes in the community working together and getting information out to the communities. He believes in the West Central Illinois Task Force.

Scott Floyd currently works for the Brown County Sheriff's office and has over 20 years of service.

Floyd believes with his military background and more supervisory experience he is a good candidate for the job. Floyd also believes being in the Task Force is a good thing for the communities of the county.

What are your feelings on protecting or coming to La Harpe for small things and not an emergency?


I believe communication is the key. We need to know when someone is not on duty. As long as we are told ahead of time when someone is going to be gone, then certainly we will come up. We also have to prioritize our calls to some extent as well.


Man power and communication are important. I have heard several times about the slow response to this area of the county.

Floyd: I believe this is a scheduling issue. Communication is also important from agency to agency.

Are we in the Drug Task Force?


Hancock County is not in the drug task force. Retired Sheriff John Jefferson had someone in the Drug Task Force and Hancock County got nothing out of it. He took that person out of the task force and had many arrests following this. We can call the task force at any time and they will come help us. Several other agencies have pulled out of the task force.


You can achieve results from working with the task force. Although there is a need for it, there are also sacrifices that go along with it too. You must use the resources when you can.

Although there are agencies dropping out of the task force, other agencies are joining. The task force is an important part of the system.


I believe being in the task force is an important thing and helps the communities involved in it. We could always bring Hancock County back in to the task force.


Thank you to the council for the invitation and thank you to the other candidates for running clean campaigns. I believe we are all great candidates for Sheriff.


Thank you for the invite and I have a whole lot of stuff planned for Hancock County if I am elected Sheriff. I would love to be able to continue serving the citizens of Hancock County.


Thank you for inviting us to come up. I am looking forward to serving the citizens of Hancock County if elected Sheriff.


In other council business, Dan Gillett reported there is a Hancock County Economic Development meeting on March 20th in Carthage as well as the Economic Summit on March 29th.

The Kibbe Museum is having an open house on April 14th with the artifacts from the Museum of Funeral Customs that closed in Springfield.

Also, Nauvoo will be getting exhibits from the Smithsonian Institute in September.

City Employee Wayne Humphrey would like to have the intersections of 4th and 5th streets repaired this year.

The council will get with City Engineer Eric Moe for an analysis of this project.

Spring City Wide Clean Up will be Friday, June 15th.

The sidewalk at the Union Church will be fixed in the week or two after Easter.

The sidewalk at the nursing home is being looked at too.

Wear Drug will be opening in the building housed by the La Harpe Family Rural Health Clinic in the first week or two of May. Hours right now are set at Monday thru Friday 10 am to 5:30 pm.

Cemetery clean- up is April 1st-15th.

A motion was made and passed to pay the $1800 to buy new radios and to change over two other radios to Narrow Band for the Police, Fire, and city.

All council members were present as well as audience members:

Sheriff Scott Bentzinger, Michael Norris, Scott Floyd, and his daughters Alura and Ara, Willo and Daniel Carpenter, Dan Gillett, Wayne Humphrey, David Little, Chief Justin Livingston, Kurt Dittmer, Jeanette and Jim Ford, Evan Ford, Doug Endres and Christy Kienast.

The La Harpe city council will meet again on Monday, March 26th at 7:00 pm at the La Harpe City Hall.