Hi, I'm James, but you can call me Jim
WHERE I COME FROM
I was born and raised right here in Natrona County and would not want to be anywhere else! Natrona County is my home and where I established my roots with my wonderful wife, Kiley, raised my four boys, and, now, three precious grandchildren.
My family has kept me grounded through all of the commitments I have made, whether to school, work, or my county. I have always had a strong connection to Natrona County. As an active member of the community, I am eager to continue my work as the Natrona County Coroner, making the lasting changes the office needs to be nationally in-line with standards and accreditation, as well as maintain professionalism and compassion the community counts on.
After graduating from Kelly Walsh High School, I continued my education at Casper College, earning a degree in Criminal Justice. I enlisted with the U.S. Army Reserve while I was still in high school and remained in the Army Reserves for 21 years until retiring in 2005. I retired as a non-commissioned officer, Sergeant First Class, and served in the capacity of Platoon Sergeant and Operations Sergeant for most of my career.
In 2003, I was deployed to Iraq, earning the Bronze Star and two Army Commendation Medals. Being in Iraq was profound and broadened my perspective. The experience deepened my desire to help others, and after returning home, I felt strongly compelled to help returning combat veterans. My extensive history of leadership and management led me into a position as the office manager for the VA, at the Casper Vet Center, a readjustment counseling center for combat veterans.
Throughout work, school, and military service, I also served as a death scene investigator since 1999, first under Jim 'Doc' Thorpen and then as lead investigator under Connie Jacobson.
Now, as your current Natrona County Coroner, I am committed to continuing the standards that earned this office accreditation through the International Association of Coroner's and Medical Examiners. The exceptional standards and practices and ongoing training of of my team are a top priority of my office. In addition, by working with the Wyoming Department of Vitals and Statistics and a private software company I have been able to develop and implement a state of the art case management system that virtually eliminates paper and expense. I was elected President of the Wyoming Coroner's association and diligently focus on improving state Coroner's system as a whole.
A THRIVING CAREER
sERVICE, EDUCATION, & Professional Experience
Military and Veteran Service
Sergeant First Class USAR, Retired (21 years)
Decorated Iraqi Freedom Veteran
Two Army Accommodation Medals
Office Manager, Casper Vet Center, Retired (10 years)
VFW Life Member
American Legion Member
A.S., Criminal Justice, 1987
Death Investigation Certifications
American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators Certification (ABMDI-Diplomat)
Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy Coroner Basic #10 and #22
Wicklander-Zulawski Advanced Course on Investigations and Interviewing Techniques
Mass Fatality Incident Response & Mass Fatality Incident Management Courses
Sudden Unexplained Infant Death Investigation
American Preparedness & Response to Bombing
Continuing Medicolegal Death Investigation
Trainings, Education and Conferences
Certified 'Train the Trainer' in Leadership and Management Modules-Both in Target Corp & US Army
Completed grant writing courses
Business Management & Leadership
Target Corporation, Retired (20 years)
District Level Internal Investigations Manager
Human Resources Manager
Customer Service Manager
Independent Licensed Insurance Agent
Nowcap Behavioral Team Manager
Rotech Oxygen Transfill Plant Manager
VA Casper Vet Center Office Manager
Past President of Central Wyoming Crime Stoppers board of directors.
Education & Certifications
**Why the American board of medicolegal death investigators certification is so important...
The ABMDI is an important certification, especially for the Natrona County Coroners Office because it assists our office in accreditation and provides the standards for the most professional and comprehensive forensic investigation. According to abmdi.org, "The ABMDI is completely voluntary and provides official recognition that an individual has acquired specialized knowledge and demonstrated proficiency in the highest standards necessary to properly conduct death investigations."
Coroner Whipps is one of only a handful of Investigators in the state with ABMDI certification. Coroner Whipps has developed and currently has four investigators in his office ready to sit for this exam.
In addition, The Natrona County Coroner's Office is one of 26 Coroner's offices in the country with the International Association of Coroners and Medical Examiners accreditation.