Corey Haines shares a moment with his daughter Hannah, 14, son Logan, 11, and wife Heather during the annual Bike Rodeo on June 10.

Corey Haines shares a moment with his daughter Hannah, 14, son Logan, 11, and wife Heather during the annual Bike Rodeo on June 10.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Madison Heights police chief, deputy city manager retires

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison-Park News | Published June 15, 2023


MADISON HEIGHTS — Corey Haines, a resident of Madison Heights, will retire as the town’s police chief and deputy city manager June 30.

“It’s really difficult to say how I’m feeling right now,” Haines said. “Since I put in my notice May 1 that I’d be retiring at the end of June, I’ve had these moments where it’s a bit surreal, a bit sad. But I also see the happiness of moving onto something new.

“I’m really going to miss everyone at the Police Department and City Hall — they’ve all been amazing to work with over the last 31 years,” he said. “I still live here, and I’ll continue to work with the Madison Heights Community Coalition. We have some projects that we want to finish. So I will still be involved with the city — it will just be in another capacity.”


A man of many hats
Haines has lived in Madison Heights for two stretches: 1999 to 2006, and 2012 to present. In addition to serving as police chief since 2016 and as deputy city manager since 2020, Haines is also an attorney, admitted to the State Bar of Michigan in 2019, working in the area of family law.

He has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Saginaw Valley State University and a law degree from the University of Detroit Mercy.

Haines first began police work in 1991, working for the city of Vassar, his hometown. He then joined the Madison Heights Police Department the following year. He has served in many positions — from road patrol officer and detective, to undercover agent on the Special Investigations Unit.

He was also the city’s first K-9 handler, working with Astor — a dog trained at Vohne Liche Kennels, in Indiana. He fondly recalled that time as “one of the most amazing positions of my career.” Astor quickly became part of the Haines family and excelled at K-9 work such as finding illegal drugs and apprehending fleeing suspects.

Haines was promoted to police chief when his predecessor, Anthony Roberts, retired. As chief, Haines has been responsible for supervising department operations, managing its budget and staff, compiling annual reports for the city manager and council, reviewing complaints against officers, and setting policies and objectives.

There are currently 51 budgeted positions for certified police officers, along with 10 positions for police service aides, and other staff, including clerical. Haines also oversees animal control work, code enforcement, police reserves, police chaplains and more. The department’s current budget is about $10.5 million.

“I have one of the best teams ever,” Haines said. “We’ve had a great time working together and learning from each other. We truly work as a team to get things done, and to keep the city safe. And I have the utmost confidence that the next leaders of this department will do an amazing job at moving the department forward.”

At press time, the next police chief and deputy city manager had not been announced.


Progress achieved
During his tenure as chief, Haines oversaw several major projects, including the addition of a perimeter fence at the police station, which protects both the officers there and the many people who were using the parking lot as a shortcut from Lamphere High to John R Road.

The station’s gun range was also refurbished under his command for more effective training, and Haines equipped his officers with body cameras to improve accountability.

He also coordinated school resource officers for both the Lamphere Public Schools and the Madison District Public Schools, and arranged ongoing school visits by police, along with events such as the Bike Rodeo, which helps build trust with the public.

One initiative, Safe Stops, is a training course for new drivers that teaches them how to interact with officers at traffic stops. Another is the Comeback Quick Response Team, which trains officers on the use of naloxone, a drug that can reverse the effects of an overdose.

Haines also implemented the Hope Not Handcuffs program, which finds treatment options for people with drug dependencies. In addition, he reinstated the Special Investigations Unit, with an officer assigned to the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force. Also during his tenure, the department was accredited through the Michigan Association of Police.

In his other role as the deputy city manager, Haines worked closely with the city manager, Melissa Marsh, serving as acting city manager when Marsh was out of town.

Shortly after he was appointed to the role, Haines found himself managing the fallout from the “green ooze” that leaked onto Interstate 696 from a factory on 10 Mile Road near the end of 2019, stretching into 2020. The incident required a special council meeting and other public notices.

As for his attorney work, Haines said he first became interested in law in 1994, when he found himself working closely with attorneys on issues related to motor carrier training and enforcement. Originally, he planned to pursue a law degree after retiring from police work. Ultimately, he earned it five years early, in 2018.

As busy as he has been with work, Haines still makes it a point to give back to the community. He has volunteered as a youth basketball coach for the city’s recreation league, and he is currently coaching cross country and track for John Page Middle School as well. He said that both have been rewarding experiences, and in line with his philosophy that police should be close to the people.

“Over the years, I have learned just how important it is for law enforcement to be united with the community,” Haines said. “It’s important now, more than ever. We need to be united, and I hope that our community understands we’re here to protect and serve them.”


Words of appreciation
David Soltis is a member of the Madison Heights City Council who has worked closely with Haines on projects such as the police station’s perimeter fence, which Soltis proposed, and also the return of the Special Investigations Unit. Soltis has also coached youth basketball with Haines.

“I want to congratulate him for his service to the city and the residents. He’s done such a great job over the years. He’s a very caring person, and he’s always there when you need him,” Soltis said. “I wish Corey the very best. I’m sure he’ll do great in his future endeavors.”

Quinn Wright, another council member, praised Haines for setting high standards for the police and getting the department accredited.

“On a more personal note, I will always remember how he was willing to listen to me even before I became involved with city government,” Wright said. “That has always meant a lot to me.”

Councilmember Emily Rohrbach wished Haines well on his retirement.

“He has been such a wonderful asset to the city of Madison Heights,” Rohrbach said via email. “He will be missed!”

Councilmember Sean Fleming has worked closely with Haines as the council representative for the city’s Crime Commission.

“We have been trying to improve relationships between the police and the public with more event programming, like the forum on human trafficking. Corey has always done such a great job communicating and making sure everyone knows what’s happening in the community,” Fleming said. “He really understands both sides, between his police work and his legal background as an attorney. Even though he’s retiring, I’m sure he will continue to share his input and be a contributor to the city.”

Mayor Roslyn Grafstein said Haines has given a great deal to Madison Heights.

“My first interaction with him was when he was the deputy police chief, and I had a question about our elementary school parking lot. He was later promoted to chief, and I had the opportunity to work with him when I first came onto council as the Crime Commission representative,” Grafstein said via email. “I thank him for his many years of service, and I wish him luck.”

Mark Bliss, the mayor pro tem, said he deeply respects and admires Haines.

“And not just for the job he’s done as our chief and deputy city manager, but also for the level of kindness and empathy that he brings to our city with his community policing efforts,” Bliss said.  “Over the past couple decades, the world has changed, demographics have changed and technology has changed, and Corey has been the perfect guy to have at the helm for our Police Department. Corey not only made our city safer, but by his example, he helped make Michigan safer, too.”

Councilmember Toya Aaron said she was stunned by the news of Haines’ departure.

“He was, and still is, the most charismatic man that I’ve ever gotten the chance to know,” Aaron said. “He’s personable, and he cares for the city of Madison Heights. I thank him for giving us an additional three years, and I wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors. I am certain that Madison Heights has not seen the last of Chief Haines.”