It was fixed in Donnie Heggins’ DNA to be in law enforcement.
The Vicksburg native has been around law enforcement officers for as long as he can remember.
“My dad was an investigator then chief deputy for the Warren County Sheriff’s Department,” Heggins said. When I was in Junior High, about the mid ’90’s, my brother started with the department, so I got to see what the job was like.”
Heggins knew from a very early age he would follow in his father’s and brother’s footsteps. His brother, Billy Joe Heggins, is the chief deputy for the Warren County Sheriff’s Department. Donnie’s first cousin, John Heggins, is also involved in law enforcement and a Warren County Constable.
Donnie, like his father and brother, started his law enforcement career at the Warren County Sheriff’s Department in the Juvenile Detention Center.
Heggins father always had a working K-9 in the household. Seeing his father work with the K-9’s sparked an interest in going into K-9 handling, which later landed him a job with the Vicksburg Police Department Narcotics Division.
“My love for dogs, especially working dogs, really led me to narcotics,” he said.
Heggins has been with the Vicksburg Police Department for approximately nine years. He is a narcotics investigator and K-9 handler to his 4 year old Dutch Shepherd, Kilo.
“She is with me 24/7 and our bond is very strong,” Heggins said. “She really gets along with my family; she’s my best friend.”
Kilo knows when it is time for work and time to play.
“When we are home she is a big playful dog with my kids,” he said.
His love for training dogs does not stop at the narcotics division. Heggins is a certified official with the National Narcotic Detector Dog Association. With this association, Heggins can certify any dog as long as they work for a law enforcement agency or private security firm.
“I have certified dogs in Louisiana, of course Mississippi, Alabama, and I recently did one in Arkansas,” Heggins said.
Heggins has been married for 19 years and has three sons ranging from 18 years old to 7 years old. He mentioned the hours of this job are not for the faint of heart and he owes all his success to his wife.
“The hours we work are crazy and having three kids, my wife is our rock,” Heggins said. “If it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t be able to do this job that I love so much.”
Even with the crazy hours, Heggins could not see himself working any other job and shared his advice for anyone wanting to go into law enforcement.
“Don’t pay attention to all the negativity you see on social media about law enforcement,” he said. “The people out there that truly respect law enforcement far outweigh the negativity you see going around right now.”