State Senator Jim Arnold was elected to fulfill the unexpired term for Senate District 8 in March 2007. He was then elected to a four-year term in 2008. In 2010 he was elected by the Senate Democratic Caucus to serve as Caucus Chair.
Arnold represents Indiana Senate District 8 which encompasses the majority of LaPorte County including the City of LaPorte and the eastern part of Michigan City. It also includes Western St. Joseph County and Davis, Oregon, Washington, Center and Jackson Townships in Starke County.
A longtime public servant, Arnold retired as the LaPorte County Sheriff January 1, 2007, after serving 36 years in law enforcement. During his 32 years with the LaPorte County Sheriff's Office, Arnold served as a Deputy, Sergeant, Captain and Chief Deputy before being elected as Sheriff in 1999. Arnold also worked in the LaPorte County Prosecuting Attorney's Office as Chief Investigator/Paralegal for four years. While serving as LaPorte County Sheriff, Arnold served in statewide and national leadership positions, including former President of the Indiana Sheriff's Association and on the National Sheriffs' Association Board of Directors. He has also served on numerous National Sheriffs' Association committees and remains active as an instructor.
Born in Michigan City, Indiana, Arnold's public service career began in the United States Air Force where he served as an air traffic controller. Arnold later enlisted and served three years with the United States Army Reserves.
Arnold holds a BA degree in Political Science and History from Valparaiso University and a Paralegal Certificate from Indiana University. He has completed extensive training as a law enforcement officer and is a graduate of the 5th Basic Session of the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy; 103rd Session of the FBI National Academy at Quantico, Va.; Southern Policy Institute Homicide School at Louisville, Ky.; National Sheriff's Institute at Longmont, Co.; Law Enforcement Executive Development Series at Quantico, Va.
Sen. Arnold has been recognized for his work on a number of issues, most recently as the 2012 Legislator of the Year by the Disabled American Veterans and the 2010 recipient of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce's Small Business Champion Award. He was selected as Legislator of the Year by the Indiana License Beverage Association in 2008. Arnold was awarded the Sagamore of the Wabash by Governor Joe Kernan in 2004.
An involved member of the community, Arnold is a member of several local organizations, including the LaPorte Lodge #54 Fraternal Order of Police; American Legion Skwiat Post #37; Michigan City Lions Club; Post 911 Am Vets - Rolling Prairie. He is also a member of the FBI National Academy Associates of Indiana and the U.S.
Sen. Arnold serves as the Ranking Democrat of four Senate Standing Committees: Civil Law; Elections; Homeland Security, Transportation and Veteran Affairs; and Public Policy. He is also a member of the Pensions and Labor; Ethics; and Rules and Legislative Procedure Committees. He has also been appointed to serve on the Transportation Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures, a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the nation's 50 states, its commonwealths and territories.
Sen. Arnold resides in LaPorte with his wife Lauren. They have seven children and thirteen grandchildren.