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Ken Braden, Staff Instructor
913-469-8500 (Ext. 4653)

Staff Instructor - Fair and Impartial Policing, Property Crimes and Missing Persons

Officer Kenneth Braden is a full-time instructor at the Police Academy. He has been employed with the Overland Park Police Department for over 25 years. Officer Braden is a graduate of Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in communications. He was four-year letterman with Missouri State's football team, the Bears.

Officer Braden was hired in 1990 at Overland Park Police Department. He has worked in Patrol, Drug and Community Policing units. In January 2016 he was assigned to the JCRPA and now teaches Fair and Impartial Policing, Theft, Auto Burglary, Burglary, Missing Persons and Suspect Identifications.

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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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Ken Sissom, Director
913-469-8500 (Ext. 3171)

Ken Sissom began his career as a police officer with the Paola Police Department in 1976. After two years he was hired as deputy at the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department. A year later he accepted appointment as police officer for the Merriam Police Department, where he worked for 26 years until he retired in late 2005.

From 1992 until his retirement in 2005, Sissom served as Merriam Police Department’s Chief of Police. In that time he held the office of past president of the Johnson County Police Chiefs and Sheriffs Association, the Kansas City Metropolitan Police Chiefs and Sheriffs Association and the Kansas Association of Chiefs of Police. In 2008, he was hired by Johnson County Community College as a professor for the Administration of Justice department, where he taught until 2013.

In December 2013, Ken Sissom was appointed as the Director of the Johnson County Regional Police Academy. Sissom has an AA degree from JCCC, a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration from Park University and a master’s degree in criminal justice from Washburn University, Topeka.

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Wade Willson, Staff Instructor

Staff Instructor – Criminal Law, Traffic Enforcement, Patrol Procedures, Scenario-Based Training and Firearms

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 has been a member for 10 years.

Officer Willson was assigned as a full-time staff instructor in 2018. He instructs alcohol beverage control law, traffic stops and patrol procedures, and is responsible for the scenario-based training. He also assists with active shooter, range and Taser training.

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