Collin County Sheriff Jim Skinner is a 30-year law-enforcement veteran, trial attorney, and former prosecutor. He took office on January 1, 2017, and oversees 550 personnel, who deliver services to over 64,000 people in 500 square miles of unincorporated area in Northeast Texas. Like others, he’s currently busy leading his Office’s response to the national emergency related to COVID-19 and keeping an eye on a major project to renovate the intake, infirmary, kitchen, and housing areas of the county jail. He’s honored to have been designated as a subject-matter expert in connection with the work of the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Criminal Justice. In January 2020, he was a panelist and speaker at the White House’s summit on human trafficking and commemoration of the TVPA 2000. As Chair of the Legislative Committee of the Sheriffs’ Association of Texas, Sheriff Skinner was proud to be a part of the efforts to persuade the people and the 86th Texas Legislature to pass a constitutional amendment and several statutes important to law enforcement, including SJR 32 and SB 2100 (2019), which improved the humane retirement of law-enforcement dogs and other service animals. And, in May 2018, he spoke, by invitation, at Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s multi-disciplinary meeting in response to the May 18 Santa Fe High School shooting.
Since taking office, Sheriff Skinner has implemented several initiatives, including enlarging the Patrol Section to keep pace with County growth; starting a fugitive task force with assistance from the U.S. Marshal’s Service and serving or clearing thousands of aging felony warrants; forming, with seven other sheriffs, the North Texas Criminal Interdiction Unit and arresting over 130 traffickers, seizing tons of illegal drugs, seizing several military-style weapons, seizing over $1.5 million in bulk cash, stopping three loads of human cargo, recovering just over 100 stolen vehicles, and rescuing two missing children in separate traffic stops; forming a new detention intelligence unit and gathering intelligence from the county’s 1,100-bed jail, including intelligence about gangs and drug cartels; and forming a child-exploitation unit that investigates internet-based child exploitation (including participating, in May 2017, in operation Medusa, which resulted in 17 arrests, and similar operations in 2018 and 2019, which resulted in dozens of arrests and terabytes of child pornography seized). Sheriff Skinner is also a member of county committees on child advocacy, courthouse security, jail population, and local mental-health care.
Sheriff Skinner is an active member of the National Sheriffs’ Association and the Texas Sheriffs’ Association. He sits on the 9-1-1 committee of the North Central Texas Council of Governments. He is a member of the North Texas Crime Commission and a former member of its board of directors. He’s a member of the board of the local Meals on Wheels as well.
Sheriff Skinner’s career has spanned over 30 years in law enforcement. He has served as the Second Assistant District Attorney and Chief of the Special Prosecution Division of the Collin County Criminal District Attorney’s Office. In 2008, he prosecuted a District Attorney from the DFW Metroplex for official corruption (15-year sentence). He also separately served as an Assistant District Attorney and Special Prosecutor in the Office. In private practice, he both consulted on the investigation of financial crimes and represented child victims of sex abuse from around the country.
Before graduating the University of Houston Law Center in 2001, Sheriff Skinner served as the Chief Investigator for New Mexico’s Ninth Judicial District Attorney’s Office and over 19 years as over 19 years as a police officer in New Mexico and Texas. He worked in homicide, robbery, burglary, gangs, narcotics, vice, white-collar crime, and public corruption.
Sheriff Skinner served our country for eight years as a U.S. Air Force Security Police Dog Handler, Investigator and EST (SWAT) Team Leader/Operator, stationed in Southeast Asia, New Mexico, and the Middle East, and is currently the Judge Advocate for the Bill Bryant Post 110 of the American Legion located in McKinney.