Debra Higens is the Senior Advisor of the National Network for Safe Communities.
Before starting at the National Network for Safe Communities, Debra has worked in public safety includes 15 years as a Deputy Sheriff with the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, a career she finished as an Investigator. Ms. Higens was the Chief of Operations for an Adult Transitional Center, (11 years) where she worked closely with the Illinois Department of Corrections. Prior to working for Chicago VRS, Ms. Higens was the Project Safe Neighborhoods Coordinator for the U. S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago. Ms. Higens is certified by the Department of Homeland Security as an Incident Commander (Single and Multiple), by the Illinois Department of Corrections as a Certified Investigator, and has participated in several major national conferences, including the Franklin Covey workshop.
When Debra isn’t working hard at National Network for Safe Communities, she is certified foster parent with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. She has five children, Christy Lynn, Amber Leigh, Patricia Pearl, Jonathan Richard, and James Jonathon.
Debra Higens holds a BA in Social Justice from De Paul University in June 2018 and received an AAS in Criminal Justice from Moraine Valley Community College and an award from the Nation of Islam for the work she partnered with the Prison Ministry.