Jim was born and raised in Decatur Illinois. He entered the United States Marine Corps after he graduated from Eisenhower High School in 1986. Upon graduating Field Artillery school, he was stationed in Okinawa Japan assigned to Fox Battery 2nd Battalion 12 Marines, 3rd Marine Division. He completed the Marine Corps rifle instructor course and became an instructor at the range. He was awarded a meritorious mast, Special Achievement award, and a good conduct medal prior to being honorably discharged.
After his military service, he returned to Decatur and began working a construction job until he was hired as a security officer at the Clinton nuclear power plant. After working security for two years, he enrolled at Richland Community College and later received an associate degree in applied science in law enforcement. Jim worked at the Firestone tire and rubber plant in Decatur until he was hired by the Macon County Sheriff’s Office in 1996.
He started his career in the patrol division working on 3rd shift where he was recognized, four years in a row, for his efforts in DUI enforcement from Alliance against Intoxicated Motorists. He was promoted to detective after four years and was assigned to the Illinois State Police drug task force. While working narcotics investigations he received the MEG director’s award for excellence, in recognition of work performed on a federal narcotics case. He was promoted to sergeant in 2006 where he supervised deputies in the patrol division and was given the responsibility of maintaining and writing policies for the department.
In 2009 he became a sniper/entry team member of the Special Response Team. During his time on the team he has been the primary range instructor. He was promoted to lieutenant in 2009 and assigned to the emergency management agency. Since being there, he has been instrumental in ensuring local school districts comply with State laws on emergency planning and provide a safe environment for students to learn. He implemented the current Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate (ALICE) program being taught to teachers in the Macon and Piatt County regional school districts by partnering with the Regional Office of Education. He is a rapid deployment instructor, which teaches first responders how to respond to deadly school shootings. He is also a multiple assault counter terrorism action capable (urban tactics) instructor. He has coordinated the development of the Macon County hazard mitigation plan and the development of the Decatur/Macon County tactical interoperable communication plan. He serves at the chairman of the Macon County local emergency planning committee.
During his tenure as the lieutenant in charge of overseeing the Macon County emergency management agency, he has overseen a $260,000 balanced budget.
Jim has been married to wife Amy for 18 years and has four children. He has been the treasurer of the Macon County Fraternal Order of Police #144 since 2009. The Macon County FOP #144 is a not for profit organization which raises money to support sports programs for kids, Shop with the Sheriff, Fans for seniors, and other community events. Jim has served on the committee to plan and support the Rodney T. Miller lakeside triathlon. He has been an assistant coach for Mt. Zion JFL. He has participated in yearly fundraising events for Special Olympics to include law enforcement torch run, polar plunge, Cop on a roof top, and Texas roadhouse benefit for Special Olympics.