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Jackson County Sheriff Daniel Heyns appointed Corrections director

Tuesday, April 20, 2011

Contact: Sara Wurfel
Office: 517-335-6397

LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Rick Snyder today announced that Jackson County Sheriff Daniel Heyns will serve as director of the Michigan Department of Corrections. Heyns begins his duties on June 1.

The Department of Corrections accounts for approximately a quarter of the state's General Fund budget. It operates 34 prison facilities with a population of 43,900 inmates and supervises and monitors offenders, providing public protection throughout the state.

"Sheriff Heyns has exactly the type of skills we were looking for in a Corrections director," Snyder said. "His experience managing the sheriff's department, operating a jail operation and his keen understanding of how local jurisdictions can work cooperatively with our state correctional facilities make him an excellent choice for director of Corrections."

Heyns, of Jackson, has served as Jackson County sheriff since 2003. He is responsible for a $12.5 million budget, a 450-bed jail operation, 911 central dispatch center and multiple specialized units including marine patrol, detective bureau, K-9, narcotics, traffic, firearms, Special Response Team and school liaison. He previously served as Jackson County undersheriff and was a captain in the Jackson County Sheriff's Department.

Following June 1, acting Director Dick McKeon will stay on at the department to serve as special adviser to the director. McKeon will assist in facilitating the transition to Director Heyns and will serve at the discretion of the director.

"I would like to thank Dick McKeon for his outstanding work as acting director of the Department of Corrections," said Snyder. "Dick's expertise has been crucial as we have moved forward with efficiencies in the department while providing the highest standards of safety and security for our citizens."

Heyns earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Michigan in 1973 and a master's in criminal justice, with a correctional administration focus, from Michigan State University in 1977. Heyns obtained his State of Michigan Police Officer Certification in 1981, is a graduate of the National FBI Academy and has completed special weapons and tactics training.

Heyns serves as chairman of the Michigan Sheriffs' Coordinating and Training Council, is treasurer to the Michigan Sheriffs' board of directors and serves as chairman of the Jackson Narcotics Enforcement Team.

Active in the community, Heyns is a former board member of the Rotary Club of Jackson, Jackson YMCA, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Disability Connections Inc. and the Jackson Affordable Housing Commission.

Snyder named McKeon as acting director of the Department of Corrections in December 2010. He serves on the board of directors of SIREN, the Eaton County Domestic Violence Shelter, and served as chief of staff at the Michigan Department of Corrections. He worked at the Department of Corrections from 1981 to 2003 and then served as adviser to former Director Patricia Caruso to assist during transition and maintained responsibilities of chief of staff until his replacement was appointed and trained in 2004.

McKeon, of Grand Ledge, earned a bachelor's degree from Western Michigan University and a master's in social work from Wayne State University.