Matthew R. Heins
A lifelong resident of Jackson, Matthew Heins graduated from Hanover-Horton High School in 1985. He attended Jackson College for two years before transferring to Michigan State University where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. In 1992, he returned to school at Western Michigan University and completed a master’s degree in public administration in 1995.
Mr. Heins was hired by the Jackson Police Department in 1989. He worked various assignments beginning with patrol and worked his way through the ranks until being appointed as Chief of Police in December 2007. In 2011 he was assigned additional responsibility as the Fire Chief under the title Director of Police and Fire Services. He retired from that position in December 2016 to become security manager for Henry Ford Allegiance Health in Jackson, MI.
He is a past graduate of the Leadership Academy, Northwestern School of Police Staff and Command, and the FBI National Academy. He has been an adjunct professor at Jackson College as well as Siena Heights University.
His involvement within the community is diverse having served in various capacities in local organizations. Within the Northwest Jackson Kiwanis Club he has served as a member, a board member, and as board president. He has also been a member of the Elks and served on their board. In December 2007, he completed his ninth year as a board member for Cascades Humane Society; for two of those years, he was the board president.
Why did you decide to become a Jackson College Board of Trustee?
JC played such an important role in my young life I always felt I wanted to come back and give back to the college in some fashion. In my opinion, JC has always been a tremendous asset to this community and I felt a certain obligation to do my part to ensure its continued success. Once I obtained a position in life where I could give back I focused my energies on the College.
What do you enjoy most about serving as a Jackson College Board of Trustee?
Knowing that I am making a difference in people’s future. I have always believed that education is the pathway to people’s success. With the reasonable cost and return on investment you receive from the College I gain a tremendous amount of satisfaction watching the students’ progress through their programs and graduate.
From your perspective, in what ways do you see Jackson College serving the community?
I believe it provides numerous avenues for students, young and old, to fulfill their desires to a better life. Be it an Associate’s degree, a certificate, or just taking a class or two to bone up on a topic or for personal growth I believe we provide for a more educated and well-rounded populous. This translates into a well-educated workforce that adds to the local economy and economic growth.
How has your experience with Jackson College impacted your life?
JC will always be a part of my life. JC played such an instrumental role in my success. Having attended fresh out of high school, the professors and class size ensured a smooth transition for me to the college environment and allowed me to build my self-confidence. Another added benefit, having stayed in Jackson I crossed paths, over the years, with numerous students I attended JC with. This resulted in an instant connection that helped in building stronger working relationships. Another added benefit was the cost. Upon completion of college I did not have a large student loan debt so I was able to start on solid financial ground early on in my career.
What is one message you would offer to Jackson College students and/or the community?
JC is a great place to start your career, enhance your career, add to your personal growth or broaden your horizons. All in a warm, welcoming, beautiful and safe environment.