About Us


Contact Information

Detective Bureau:
Civil process /
   Zero tolerance: 

Corrections Division
Jail Administrator:
Jail Clerk:
Jail Nurse:
Jail Control Room:



231-882-4484, Ext. 235
231-882-4484, Ext. 243
231-882-4484, Ext. 223

(click on title to email that person)
Sheriff - Ted Schendel
Undersheriff - TBD
Detective Bureau - Det/Sgt Troy Lamerson
Civil Process
Road Deputies

Corrections Division
Jail Administrator - Lt. Dan Smith
Jail Clerk - Jackie Randall
Jail Nurse - Cindy Geiser
Jail Control Room
Location / Address

Sheriff's Office
505 Michigan Ave. (US-31)
Beulah, MI 49617

Office Hours
Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Records Division
Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Jail Visitation Hours:

• Family and friends
   Saturday: 9:00 a.m.
   Sunday: 9:00 a.m.

• Attorneys and Program
   Monday – Friday
   9:00 am - 11:00 am
  1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
   6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Note: Professional visits have a
one-hour limit, unless approved
in advance.

Services Offered

Records Division – Accident Reports, fingerprinting for CCW along with applicant fingerprints for other uses, License to Purchase handguns, and registering of handguns

Detective Bureau – Criminal investigations

Patrol Division – Patrolling county roads and highways, issuing citations, performing criminal investigations, arresting violators of the law, serving civil process

Corrections Division – Processing and supervision of all arrested and incarcerated persons by the Benzie County Sheriff's office, and other law enforcement organizations operating in Benzie County.

Animal ControlSee the Animal Control page


COMMUNICATIONS DIVISION – This former division is now its own department – 9-1-1 Central Dispatch


The Records Division of the Benzie County Sheriff's Office can provide you with copies of Accident Reports, fingerprinting for CCW along with applicant fingerprints for other uses. The Records Division is responsible for providing License to Purchase handguns and registering all handguns for the citizens of Benzie County.

The Records Division is open 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, however appointments for other times can be set with advance notice. There are fees charged for most of these services.


The Benzie County Sheriff's Office Detective Bureau consists of a Detective Sergeant whose primary responsibility is the follow-up investigation of crimes reported to the Road Division.

Road Patrol Deputies assigned to the Detective Bureau have specialized training in crime scene processing, interview techniques, composite drawing, fingerprint lifting and analysis, photography, crime analysis, computer crimes and surveillance skills.

This section works closely with local, state and federal forensic laboratories and maintains a working relationship with other investigators from other local agencies. When requested, the Detective Bureau assists other local police agencies with the investigation of major crimes or undercover operations.


The primary responsibility of the Patrol Division is to provide the highest quality of public services and safety to the citizens and visitors of Benzie County.

Benzie County is situated in Northwestern Lower Michigan. Covering approximately 340 square miles, consisting of 54 named lakes and numerous smaller ones, and 25 miles of Lake Michigan Shoreline. The Benzie County Sheriffs’ Office serves a population of 15,998. Our population grows seasonally to approximately 43,000 during the summer tourist period, which can pose unique challenges for law enforcement.

Services provided by our Patrol Division include patrolling the roads and highways of Benzie County, issuing citations, performing criminal investigations, arresting violators of the law and serving civil process.


The Corrections Division of the Benzie County Sheriff's Office is responsible for processing and supervision of all arrested and incarcerated persons by the Benzie County Sheriff's office, and other law enforcement organizations operating in Benzie County.

The Benzie County Jail Policies and Procedures have been established with guidance of the Michigan Department of Corrections, Administrative Rules for Jails and Lock-ups. Our facility has received Total Compliance Awards with the Administrative Rules for five straight years, with our most recent inspection being on April 14, 2010.

The Michigan Sheriff's Training and Coordinating Council certify and annually recertify all members of our correctional staff.

Benzie County Jail Mission Statement

To serve as a detention facility for lawfully incarcerated individuals. To assure the public safety by securely maintaining the custody of theses individuals in a secure and cost effective environment that is safe for both the inmates and staff.

Acknowledging that incarceration is, in and of itself punishment, programs offered within the scope of this facility will strive to address the social, educational, and behavioral needs of the inmate.

Through the application of a behavior based method of detention, by using and maintaining the highest possible staff recruitment standards and the continuous training of that staff, we will strive to create an environment that allows inmates to use their time incarcerated in a productive manner and prepare them for re-entry back into the public no worse physically, emotionally or psychologically than when they entered the facility.

The administration and the staff are committed to the preservation of the Constitutional human rights of all inmates. The Benzie County Jail is operated under the direction of the Sheriff of Benzie County, specifically pursuant to Michigan law. Further, the Administrative Rules for Jails and Lockups, as established by the Michigan Department of Corrections, shall serve as the primary operational guide.

Understanding Rules and Regulations of County Jails


Jails are facilities designed for holding persons accused of committing a crime or those serving some sentences of crimes, after conviction. People awaiting trial are referred to as “detainees.” On average, one half of the people in jails are detainees. The remainder of the jail population are inmates, serving their sentences in the county jail.

Today's jails house a broad variety of inmates. These include convicted offenders awaiting sentencing, witnesses who might need protective custody, probation and parole violators, persons wanted by other jurisdictions in Michigan and other states, boardings from other counties to eliminate jail overcrowding problems, and in some cases, juvenile offenders.

The Benzie County Jail has a classification system in place, as many jails do, which determines in which areas of the jail an offender will be housed. Some jails, however, are too small to separate different types of offenders.

Inmates do not get to choose whether they will have a cellmate, or choose who their cellmate will be. Inmates can be moved at any time, at the discretion of the correctional staff.


In the United States, there are roughly 3,250 jails. All 83 counties in the State of Michigan have some type of jail facility.


Many times friends and families of inmates are frustrated because they recognize the need for their loved one's need for help with a drug or alcohol problem. In most cases, the availability of these programs depends upon the size of the jail facility. The Benzie County Correctional Facility offers programs in Alcoholics Anonymous, substance abuse, church and bible studies and crisis counseling. The Benzie County Jail also provides inmates the opportunity to earn their General Education Diploma (GED), while incarcerated.


Visitation helps everyone involved with the inmate. Visitation can boost the morale of your loved one and make his or her transition into and out of incarceration more bearable. Visits can also help to keep your relationship with your loved one be more stable.

Visitation can be a stressful and frustrating experience not only for the inmate, but also for his or her family and friends. The Benzie County Jail has specific rules and regulations governing visitation. This is for security of the institution and to allow the visitation process to be a smooth experience for the inmates, families, friends and the jail staff.

The Administration and staff of the Benzie County Jail want you to have a pleasant experience, however, all aspects of the visits need to be controlled to ensure the safety of all. The following information will tell you what to expect and explain the “do's and don'ts” about the visitation process.


  1. Visits are held at the Benzie County Jail three (3) times each week to permit inmates to visit with family members and friends.

  2. Visitation dates and times must be scheduled by inmates only.

  3. Visits are twenty (20) minutes long.

  4. Inmates are limited to two visitors at a time, inclusive of infants.

  5. Visitors under seventeen (17) years of age must be supervised a parent or legal guardian to visit with any inmate.

  6. All visitors will be required to show proof of their identity.

  7. All visitors are required to register at the dispatch window. Sign next to inmates’ name and phone the control room to advise they are there and whom they want to visit.

  8. All visitors are required to turn over all funds, clothing, and legal papers for inmates to the control room before visiting. All letters must be sent through the mail.

  9. Visitors are subject to search by jail personnel.

See the Animal Control Department page


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