Detective Bureau


The Sheriff’s Detective Bureau is responsible for the investigation of felony and misdemeanor offenses that occur within Walworth County. In addition, the Sheriff’s Detective Bureau assists the Walworth County District Attorney’s (DA) Office by serving as the DA’s investigator. The Detective Bureau is supervised by Captain Shannan Illingworth and is staffed by 9 detectives. The bureau is supported by one member of the clerical staff. Detectives work Monday through Friday, first and second shifts consisting of coverage between 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. 

Detectives are assigned a variety of cases. Several detectives have received specialized training in narrowly focused and specialized areas of criminal investigations. Detectives work with multiple agencies and organizations to solve cases and serve the citizens of Walworth County. Detectives routinely work with:

  • Child Fatality Review Board
  • Children’s Hospital Child Advocacy Center
  • Division of Criminal Investigation
  • New Beginnings APFV
  • State Crime Laboratory
  • Walworth County Clerk of Courts
  • Walworth County Corporation Counsel
  • Walworth County District Attorney
  • Walworth County Health and Human Services/Child Protection Services and Juvenile Intake
  • Walworth County Medical Examiner’s Office
  • Walworth County TRIAD
  • Wisconsin Department of Justice

General Assignment & Sensitive Crimes Investigations

General Assignment Cases involve the investigation of crimes ranging from criminal damage complaints to homicides. Sensitive Crimes Cases involve Sexual Assault, Child Sexual Abuse, Child Physical Abuse and Human Trafficking.

Detectives receive ongoing training and are proficient in a wide variety of investigative tactics. The majority of detectives
have attended the State of Wisconsin Death Investigation School at Green Lake, Wisconsin. All Detectives are certified
in the Wisconsin Model of Forensic Interviewing.

Digital Forensic Cases

The digital forensics field continues to be an important element of criminal investigations. The Walworth County Sheriff’s Office Digital Forensics Service processes computers and mobile devices for Sheriff’s Office investigations and partner law enforcement entities. 

The digital devices commonly used by offenders include mobile telephones, tablets, computers, and any other devices used to store digital data. The Walworth County Sheriff’s Digital Forensic Service provides services to the Walworth County Sheriff’s Office, Walworth County Drug Unit, Walworth County Medical Examiner and outside agencies such as this county’s municipalities.

ICAC and File Sharing of Child Pornography Investigations

Two Detectives are the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) investigators for the Sheriff’s Office. The Detectives work closely with the Wisconsin Department of Justice investigating tips related to the exploitation of children.

Detectives monitor P2P (file-sharing of child pornographic images). Detectives set the criteria to see who is using file-sharing programs to trade known child pornography within Walworth County and the surrounding area. This is a proactive program that searches for offenders. The proactive approach is more effective than waiting for "tips" or complaints to come in.

Fraud Investigations

Detective Pagenkopf is a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) and International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators (IAFCI). The IAFCI mission statement notes: 

"IAFCI gives professional investigators national and international investigative capabilities to establish effective financial crimes programs. Members work to eradicate fraudulent financial transactions, to promote a complete exchange of criminal intelligence and to apprehend and prosecute lawbreakers." It also denotes: "Chapters have been formed across the United States, Canada, Europe, Central and South America, Africa and Asia. Members come from all levels of law enforcement, prosecution, security and every segment of the financial transaction industry."

The ACFE notes: "The ACFE is the world’s largest anti-fraud organization and premier provider of anti-fraud training and education.  Together with more than 85,000 members, the ACFE is reducing business fraud world-wide and inspiring public confidence in the integrity and objectivity within the profession." 

Membership in the ACFE and IAFCI provides Detective Pagenkopf training opportunities, contacts in both public and private sectors and investigative tools/databases to assist in fraud investigations.