SACRAMENTO – Assembly member Jim Cooper, who spent 30 years in law enforcement before joining the State Legislature as one of its strongest advocates for public safety and victims’ rights, announced today his candidacy for Sacramento County Sheriff.

“I have dedicated my life to my community, protecting victims and keeping the public safe,” said Cooper. “I look forward to building on this commitment as Sacramento County’s Sheriff.”

Cooper is a former Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department Captain and detective in both the narcotics and gang units; he was awarded a Bronze Star for Bravery and recognized with letters of commendation throughout his 30-year career.

“There is no one better prepared to lead the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department than Jim Cooper,” said Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert. “Public safety is in Jim’s DNA. He’ll hit the ground running to enforce the law and protect victims.”

In 8 years in the Assembly, he authored more than 30 public safety bills, including legislation aimed at cracking down on sexually violent predators, ghost guns, school and gun violence and felony murderers. Cooper also authored bills that enhanced DNA collection, improved Emergency Medical Response services and community policing as well as increased access to rape kits.

“Jim Cooper has proven time and again his commitment to victims and public safety and those who protect them,” said Nina Salarno Besselman, President, Crime Victims United. “He’s our choice for Sacramento Sheriff.”

In the Legislature, Cooper was recognized as Legislator of the Year by the California District Attorneys Association, the California Police Chiefs Association, the California Narcotics Officers Association and others. Cooper has been awarded the Crime Victims Defender Award by Crime Victims United he has been chosen by the California Peace Officer Memorial Foundation as their Legislative Liaison.

“Jim Cooper has dedicated his entire career as a law enforcement officer and Legislator to standing up for and protecting victims,” said Marc KIaas, Founder, Polly Klaas Foundation. “As Sheriff he will be a powerful voice for victims.” 

As a son of a United States Air Force Veteran, Cooper was born in France on a military base. Coopers’ family moved to Sacramento shortly after where he has spent the last 57 years.  He attended and graduated for Rancho Cordova High School and joined the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department when he was 20 years old. 

Before he was elected to the state legislature, Cooper served as the City of Elk Grove’s founding Mayor and a 15-year Councilmember. He has a master’s degree from Saint Mary’s College and a bachelor’s from the University of Phoenix. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and holds management and supervisory certificates from the California Commission on Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST).

Cooper’s campaign for Sacramento County Sheriff has received widespread and growing support from the following organization and elected officials:

Crime Survivors Resource Center PAC

Patricia Wenskunas, President/CEO Crime Survivors Resource Center

Crime Victims United

Nina Salarno Besselman, President, Crime Victims United

Marc Klaas, Founder, Polly Klaas Foundation

Anne Marie Schubert, Sacramento District Attorney

Rich Desmond, Sacramento County Supervisor

Patrick Kennedy, Sacramento County Supervisor

Darrell Steinberg, Mayor, City of Sacramento

Porsche Middleton, Mayor of Citrus Heights

Bobbie Singh, Mayor of Elk Grove  

Don Terry, Mayor, City of Rancho Cordova

Stephanie Nguyen, Councilmember, City of Elk Grove City

Darren Suen, Councilmember, City of Elk Grove 

Garrett Gatewood, Councilmember, City of Rancho Cordova