Jim Cooper has served his community for over 29 years – as a highly decorated law enforcement officer, a Mayor, City Councilmember, and volunteer working with at-risk youth.
Cooper is currently a Captain in the Sacramento Sheriff's Department, where he commands the Court Security Division. As a former Commander of the Sacramento Valley High Tech Crimes Task Force, focusing on apprehension of child predators and identity thieves, he oversaw dramatic increases in prosecution and arrests of child predators.
His law enforcement career includes nine years working undercover to fight gang violence and drug trafficking. He has earned numerous awards, including the Bronze Star for Bravery for heroic actions during the 1991 “Good Guys” hostage crisis. He also served two years as the Sheriff's Department’s spokesperson.
Cooper is a lifetime member of the California Narcotics Officers Association and is well-regarded for his youth drug prevention teaching curriculum, to teach students about the dangers of narcotics and educate parents about the warning signs of drug use. He has also taught Criminal Justice at local community colleges and universities.
Cooper has also spent the past 13 years serving the people of Elk Grove, as the city’s first Mayor, with a total of two terms as Mayor and four terms on the City Council.
As the city’s first Mayor, Cooper helped establish the governing values of fiscal responsibility, transparency, accessibility and regional partnership that the city still tries to live by. The fiscal foundation laid by his administration as Mayor was critical to achieving 10 consecutive balanced budgets, building a healthy reserve, and avoiding the police layoffs that have plagued neighboring communities.
Cooper also worked to make Elk Grove one of the region’s greenest cities, and he has prioritized balancing growth and preserving the community’s quality of life, by tackling issues like traffic, housing, and job creation.
At the same time, he was critical in setting up the city’s first gang/narcotics unit and a local 911 Communications Center, and put more police officers on the street.
Cooper has had a lifelong passion for community service and young people, and has served on the boards of the Boys & Girls Club, Big Brothers & Big Sisters, WIND Youth Services, and the Sacramento Children’s Receiving Home.
Cooper grew up in Sacramento, is a graduate of the West Point Leadership Academy and FBI National Academy, and earned a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from St. Mary’s College.