Jim Cooper to become Sacramento County’s next sheriff

Several weeks after California’s primary election, Sacramento County has a new sheriff-elect for the first time in 10 years. Democrat Jim Cooper beat out candidate and current undersheriff Jim Barnes for the position, after Barnes conceded the race Friday night, a news release from Cooper’s team said on Saturday. He’ll become the first Black sheriff of Sacramento County has ever seen.Cooper believes he’s the right man for the job.”We’ve seen a lot of reforms a lot of lawsuits in the sheriff’s department, we need some good leadership right now and I think I’m that person,” Cooper told KCRA 3. Cooper had been leading the polls since June 7, election night. As of Friday, Cooper received 164,441 votes to Barnes’ 137,424 votes, according to the Sacramento County Registrar of Voters. Because this race only had two candidates, it can be decided in the primary if one of the candidates receives more than half of the votes, so at least 50% votes plus one vote, Cooper received 54% of the votes.”I want to thank my supporters, you are what fueled this campaign and pushed us over the finish line, thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Cooper said.Cooper will replace outgoing Sheriff Scott Jones, who ran for Congress during the primary election. Cooper has 30 years of law enforcement experience and served with the sheriff’s office in various roles, including the gang unit. He spent 15 years as a city councilman and the mayor of Elk Grove. Cooper was also elected to the California State Assembly in 2014, where he authored more than 30 public safety bills over the last eight years. Now as sheriff-elect, he hopes to build up the department as the force is down about 10%, he said. But he said people are still protected.”I don’t think they’re in danger it’s just tough right now and a very busy job, those men and women are going from call to call to call,” he said. “It’s just very busy out there.” Another issue Cooper wants to tackle is the growing problem of dozens of fires starting along the American River Parkway. More than 100 fires have started in homeless camps this past year, he said.”I’m a law and order person no doubt about it, but at the same time we can work with community groups and try to resolve this it’s not just a law enforcement issue it’s a community issue,” he said. Cooper said he looks forward to finishing out the year in the legislature by wrapping up what he calls “landmark legislation” and he’ll be ready to start in January. In the meantime, he said he will start working with county leaders and officials to lay “the groundwork to bring the much-needed change to the sheriff’s office that I campaigned on.” In a May interview with KCRA 3, Cooper said he will focus on tackling homelessness, reducing violent crimes and building community relationships.”You can’t do it alone. You can’t be a cowboy in this day and age. You’ve got to be a team player,” Cooper said at the time .”Up until now, the sheriff’s department hasn’t done that.In Saturday’s release, Cooper said he will be a sheriff for everyone “and will fight to keep our county, our kids, and our neighborhoods safe.”KCRA 3 has reached out to Barnes but has not heard back.

Several weeks after California’s primary election, Sacramento County has a new sheriff-elect for the first time in 10 years.

Democrat Jim Cooper beat out candidate and current undersheriff Jim Barnes for the position, after Barnes conceded the race Friday night, a news release from Cooper’s team said on Saturday. He’ll become the first Black sheriff Sacramento County has ever seen.

Cooper believes he’s the right man for the job.

“We’ve seen a lot of reforms a lot of lawsuits in the sheriff’s department, we need some good leadership right now and I think I’m that person,” Cooper told KCRA 3.

Cooper had been leading the polls since June 7, election night. As of Friday, Cooper received 164,441 votes to Barnes’ 137,424 votes, according to the Sacramento County Registrar of Voters.

Because this race only had two candidates, it can be decided in the primary if one of the candidates receives more than half of the votes, so at least 50% votes plus one vote, Cooper received 54% of the votes.

“I want to thank my supporters, you are what fueled this campaign and pushed us over the finish line, thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Cooper said.

Cooper will replace outgoing Sheriff Scott Jones, who ran for Congress during the primary election. Cooper has 30 years of law enforcement experience and served with the sheriff’s office in various roles, including the gang unit.

He spent 15 years as a city councilman and the mayor of Elk Grove. Cooper was also elected to the California State Assembly in 2014, where he authored more than 30 public safety bills over the last eight years.

Now as sheriff-elect, he hopes to build up the department as the force is down about 10%, he said. But he said people are still protected.

“I don’t think they’re in danger it’s just tough right now and a very busy job, those men and women are going from call to call to call,” he said. “It’s just very busy out there.”

Another issue Cooper wants to tackle is the growing problem of dozens of fires starting along the American River Parkway. More than 100 fires have started in homeless camps this past year, he said.

“I’m a law and order person no doubt about it, but at the same time we can work with community groups and try to resolve this it’s not just a law enforcement issue it’s a community issue,” he said.

Cooper said he looks forward to finishing out the year in the legislature by wrapping up what he calls “landmark legislation” and he’ll be ready to start in January. In the meantime, he said he will start working with county leaders and officials to lay “the groundwork to bring the much-needed change to the sheriff’s office that I campaigned on.”

In a May interview with KCRA 3, Cooper said he will focus on tackling homelessness, reducing violent crimes and building community relationships.

“You can’t do it alone. You can’t be a cowboy in this day and age. You’ve got to be a team player,” Cooper said at the time. “Up until now, the sheriff’s department hasn’t done that.

In Saturday’s release, Cooper said he will be a sheriff for everyone “and will fight to keep our county, our kids, and our neighborhoods safe.”

KCRA 3 has reached out to Barnes but has not heard back.

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