James Cochran was born in Leesburg and was raised in Dunnellon, Fla. Growing up, Mr. Cochran dedicated much of his time to the Boy Scouts of America, rising through the ranks to become an Eagle Scout. As a Boy Scout, he was trained to identify the enemy aircraft that might fly over the large airbase outside of Dunnellon during World War II, and he utilized this tactical training while serving in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War.
Mr. Cochran, a 50-year member of the Florida Sheriffs Association, has always had a tremendous respect for law enforcement. Due in large part to his Christian upbringing, Mr. Cochran said he frequently associated with people who followed rules and recognized the role sheriffs, and other law enforcement officers, play in keeping the country safe.
During his time as a Boy Scout, Mr. Cochran said he received additional guidance from upstanding men in the community. He believes this mentorship, which helped set a moral foundation for his life, is similar to the experience provided at the Sheriff’s Youth Ranches—a program he greatly respects.
Mr. Cochran and his wife, Linda, share a genuine appreciation for Florida sheriffs and deputies, as they know many members of the Levy County Sheriff’s Office through church and previous professional relationships.
Mr. and Mrs. Cochran have been happily married for 34 years, and they have four children and 11 grandchildren. Both retired, the Cochrans enjoy spending their free time outdoors with their family. For 10 years, Mr. and Mrs. Cochran volunteered with the Stephen Foster Folk Center State Park in White Springs, where they often had the opportunity to interact with members of the park service and sheriff’s office while assisting in maintaining the grounds and helping the visitors in the RV section of the park. For health reasons, the Cochrans are no longer able to volunteer, so they enjoy spending more time with family, friends, at church and watching the wildlife that visit their backyard fish pond. The Cochrans say, “God is great and life is good.”