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Sonta Wilburn, Director
913-469-8500 (Ext. 3171)

Sonta Wilburn began her career as a police officer with the Overland Park Police Department in 1994. Wilburn was promoted up through the ranks and retired as a Deputy Chief in 2021. Over the 27 years with the Overland Park Police Department, Wilburn has had experience working or commanding every area of the police department such as Patrol Operations, Investigations, Community Policing, Professional Standards, Emergency Operations, etc.

In 2017, Wilburn began as an instructor for University of Kansas -Public Management Center in the Law Enforcement Leadership Academy for both their Supervisor’s and Commander’s School. She instructs class on Leadership, Performance Management, Difficult Conversations, and other various supervisory topics. Wilburn is a certified instructor and coach on Emotional Intelligence-EQ-I 2.0.

Sonta Wilburn was appointed as the Director of the Johnson County Regional Police Academy in October of 2021. Wilburn earned a bachelor’s degree with a double major in Psychology and Administration of Justice from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Kansas. Wilburn is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, Class#258.

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Matt Bregel, Staff Instructor

Staff Instructor – Traffic Law, 4th Amendment, Search Warrants, Prisoner Care and Liability, Promoting Public Trust, Interrogation, Rules of the Road, Vehicle Stops, Courtroom Procedure, Domestic Violence, and Plain Cloths Off Duty Considerations

Officer Matt Bregel began his career in 1997 with the Overland Park Police Department. He has more than twenty-five years of law enforcement experience including eleven years of supervisory experience.

Matt graduated from the Johnson County Regional Police Academy’s 51st class. He spent his first four years as a patrol officer and served as a field training officer, an evidence collection technician, and a precision rifle operator on the S.W.A.T. team. He was transferred to the Criminal Investigations Division and spent five years as a Persons Crimes Detective.

Matt’s next five years were spent as a detective in the Office of Professional Standards and part-time Public Information Officer out of the Chiefs Office. Matt was then assigned as the full time Public Information Officer until he was promoted to Sergeant in 2011. He supervised a patrol team for five years and served as a Field Training Officer Sergeant before being reassigned back to the Criminal Investigations Division as a Detective Sergeant over Violent Crimes and Domestic Violence. He served in this position as a member of the Metro Squad and Officer Involved Shooting Investigation Team for five years. In February of 2022 Matt was assigned as a full-time Instructor at the Johnson County Regional Police Academy.

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Matt Cowen, Staff Instructor

Staff Instructor - Defensive Tactics, Report Writing, Traffic Stops and Patrol Procedures.

Master Police Officer Matt Cowen started his career with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office in 2001, where he was primarily in Detention and on the Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team (S.E.R.T.). He graduated from Class 168 of the state Police Academy in 2002 as Class President.

In 2005 Officer Cowen went to the Lenexa Police Department, where he worked in Patrol and as a Warrant Officer along with many collateral duties.

Officer Cowen served as Field Training Officer and trainer in Defensive Tactics, Ground Control, Taser, Lateral Vascular Neck Restraint and several other disciplines. He also teaches Patrol Tactics and the Academy Experience to the Citizens Police Academy. Officer Cowen was assigned to the Police Academy in 2020.

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Kyle Harriss, Staff Instructor

Staff Instructor - Defensive Tactics, Firearms, EVOC, OC, Active Shooter, Building Search, Report Writing, and Tactical De-Escalation

Officer Kyle Harriss started his career in 2009 with the Lansing Police Department, where he completed traffic crash reconstruction school and worked as a Level III commercial vehicle inspector. In 2013 he came to the Olathe Police Department where he has served as an FTO and a member of the Tactical Support Unit for several years.

During his time as a patrol officer, Officer Harriss has received commendations for excellence in marksmanship, fitness, criminal investigations, as well as acts of life saving, merit and valor.

Officer Harriss has served the JCRPA since 2019 as an instructor in Defensive Tactics, Firearms, EVOC, OC, Active Shooter, Building Search, Report Writing, and Tactical De-Escalation.

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Wade Willson, Staff Instructor

Staff Instructor – LEO response, Mitigating Threats, Incident/Roadside Safety, TASER, Active Killers, Searching Vehicles, Law, and range master for handgun, shotgun, and rifle

Officer Wade Willson began his career with the Shawnee Police Department in 2005. While at Shawnee, Officer Willson has been a field training officer, Taser instructor, active shooter instructor, and handgun, rifle, and sniper instructor. He is currently the training officer of the tactical team, of which he was a member of for 10 years.

Officer Willson is a graduate of the 79th class of the Johnson County Regional Police Academy.

Officer Willson was assigned as a full-time staff instructor in 2018.