When you walk into the office of Judge James “Jim” C. Ross, you see a bit of everything that represents him.
On the walls hang degrees and diplomas. Photos of his family are taped on the cabinet doors above his desk. In the corner of the room sits a saddle that Ross grew up on during his childhood, and photos of all things Texas are seen all around the office.
Judge Ross is not seeking reelection for Justice of the Peace Precinct 1. He took office in 2007, and has been serving the citizens of Young County ever since. But Ross' service to the area began long before he became Justice of the Peace.
For 10 years he worked for the Young County Sheriff's Department. He started as a jailer and two years later, earned his peace officer's license after he attended school. Ross continued to work at the jail as a sergeant and transport officer and as a bailiff in the court. When past JP-1 Randy Balderson decided not to run again, Ross applied for and won the spot.
“I threw my hat in the ring and was fortunate enough to not have an opponent,” Ross said. “This was really the job I was suited for, so I ran for the job and was fortunate enough to get it.”
Ross has experienced and learned much in his two terms. He has received training at various seminars and training centers. He confessed that one of the hardest tasks of the JP-1 position is dealing with unattended deaths.
“You have to pronounce the time of death,” he said. “You have to order autopsies, make arrangements with the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's office and arrange for transportation of the body. It never happens during the day while you're at work, it always happens at night when you're sleeping. You're pretty wound up after you do something like that at 2 a.m., and you really can't go back to sleep.”
Additionally, Ross handles cases including debt claims, evictions, repairs and remedies and small claims, and every morning he goes to the jail to arraign those put in jail the night before.
“I deal with a lot of criminals — everyone who comes through Young County just about,” he said.
Read the entire story in Wedensday's Graham Leader.