Harvey County Sheriff-elect T. Walton has announced he will name Newton Police Department Sgt. Todd Hanchett as his undersheriff.


This story first appeared in the Nov. 18 edition of the Kansan.

Harvey County Sheriff-elect T. Walton has announced he will name Newton Police Department Sgt. Todd Hanchett as his undersheriff.

Hanchett and Walton have worked together at the NPD for more than 15 years.

Hanchett has worked for the NPD for more than 20 years, starting in the patrol division in 1988.

He has worked in the investigations division for 10 years.

“I have worked with him so long. I trust him. I know how he operates, and he knows how I operate,” Walton said. “He is honest and sincere and has all the qualities you would want in a good undersheriff.”

Walton also touted Hanchett’s patience and skills as an investigator. He has been nicknamed the hound dog.

Hanchett won a bronze award from the Kansas Association of Chiefs of Police in 2003 for work he did on a case in which a suspect was living covertly in a victim’s attic.

“You see this guy when he works a case,” Walton said.

Hanchett also helped create the Newton bicycle patrol and implemented the BEAST evidence control program at the NPD.

He also was a founding member of the Harvey County Emergency Response Team.

Hanchett, 43, has a bachelor’s degree in administration of justice from Wichita State University.

Hanchett, who grew up in Newton, is unmarried and has two children.

Hanchett said he will bring hands-on experience to the undersheriff post.

“I have been in both the patrol and investigations divisions. I have a lot of time experience, and I know what works and doesn’t work,” he said.

Both Walton and Hanchett said they hope to evaluate the procedures and policies for the department.

They also said they hope to increase cooperation between the police department and sheriff’s department.

“We want to work closely with the Newton Police Department on the other side. We want to share information and resources,” Walton said.

Walton will be sworn into office on Jan. 12. He will be tendering his resignation at the NPD soon but will work until Jan. 9 at the NPD.

The choice of Hanchett as undersheriff will leave two vacancies in the investigations division at the NPD. However, Walton said the department will be testing soon for replacements for him and Hanchett.

“There are capable individuals to take over where we left off,” Walton said.