On January 18, 2011, Governor Nathan Deal re-appointed Vernon M. Keenan as Director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI). During Keenan's career, he has been promoted to every rank in the GBI's Investigative Division, and then moved even farther up the chain of command to assistant director and now continues as director.
As GBI Director, Vernon Keenan is the leader of a state criminal investigative agency with 852 employees and a FY17 budget of $95.9 million. The GBI is comprised of three divisions: the State Crime Laboratory, the Georgia Crime Information Center and the Investigative Division.
Keenan began his career in law enforcement as a police officer with the Dekalb County Georgia Police Department (November 1972 - June 1973). In July 1973 he became a GBI Special Agent assigned to Northwest Georgia. In February 1981, Keenan was promoted to Commander of the State Auto Theft Squad and in August 1982, he was promoted to Special Agent in Charge of Northwest GA.
Keenan was promoted to Inspector in March of 1988 and assigned to supervise the seven regional offices in north Georgia as well as several specialized work units. As Inspector, he served in the law enforcement command center at the 1988 Democratic Convention and was responsible for planning and implementing the state's law enforcement response to three separate white supremacist demonstrations in
In June of 1993, Keenan was promoted to Deputy Director and placed in command of the Investigative Division. He also was one of several officials in charge of the
After his promotion to GBI Director, Keenan served as a member of the State Homeland Security Central Command responsible for public safety, facilitation of law enforcement and coordination of state personnel during the G-8 Summit at Sea Island, Georgia (June 8 - 10, 2004).
Keenan has participated in professional exchange programs in Israel, China, Spain, Germany, Turkey, the Republic of Georgia and the United Kingdom. He is a guest lecturer on law enforcement issues at the FBI National Academy and throughout the United States. He serves as a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Executive Committee, Investigation Operations Committee and the Dangerous Drugs and Narcotics Committee. Keenan is Chairman of the Criminal Intelligence Coordinating Council (CICC).
Vernon Keenan received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Valdosta State College in 1972. In addition, he is a graduate of the 117th Session of the FBI National Academy (May, 1979 - June, 1979). In 1997, Keenan graduated from the Georgia Chiefs of Police Command College with a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Columbus State University.
Vernon Keenan has received the following awards: A Hero of Open Government Award (July 2005) Atlanta Journal-Constitution; CIT Leadership Award (February 2006) Georgia Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness; 2008 Outstanding Georgia Police Chief of the Year - Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police.
Vernon Keenan is an Eagle Scout. He has been married since 1972 to Joan Thomas Keenan from