Tonganoxie City Council agrees to hire former KBI administrator as next police chief
A former administrator with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation will be the next Tonganoxie police chief.
After a 10-minute executive session Sept. 7, the Tonganoxie City Council voted unanimously to hire Jeffery Brandau of Topeka as police chief, pending signing of an employee agreement.
On Monday, the council voted, 5-0, to approve a contract City Administrator Mike Yanez and Brandau negotiated last week. Brandau will be paid $58,000 a year.
Mayor Jason Ward, who voted with council members Paula Crook, Chris Donnelly and Jim Truesdell to hire Brandau, said the 54-year-old former KBI man was impressive.
“I think his extensive background with the KBI and the fact he had patrol experience with the Salina Police Department and his very extensive background in narcotics investigations all stood out,” he said.
Ward and City Administrator Mike Yanez said the search process the council used to find a new chief worked well. The process used a professional search committee of law enforcement professionals and Yanez to review applications, conduct interviews with job candidates and make recommendation of two finalists for the council.
“Their (the committee’s) expertise brought way more insight than I could have provided,” he said. “I think that helped the community — not the council but the community.”
Yanez said he thought community members would be impressed when they saw Brandau’s résumé.
Brandau started his career in law enforcement in 1982 after selling the successful fertilizer company he started to become a patrolman with the Salina Police Department. He rose to become a sergeant with that department before becoming a special agent with the KBI in 1988. He became a resident special agent assigned to Junction City in 1991 and a special agent undercover narcotics agent supervisor in 1994.
He was promoted to special agent in charge of the KBI’s East Regional Special Operations Division in 1996, a position he held for 12 years. Among his duties, Brandau was the state’s marijuana eradication coordinator, supervised narcotics agents assigned to the division, and coordinated with federal, state and local agencies on investigative operations.
Brandau wrote a number of successful grant applications during that time, including a $950,000 grant from homeland security for a statewide security system and a $500,000 grant that made the state compliant with federal rules and regulations regarding the interception of modern communication methods.
Brandau also brought the TOP GUN narcotics training to the state, which teams investigators and prosecutors in a joint learning environment. The training in now required for narcotics officers in the Kansas City, Kan., Salina, Topeka and Wichita police departments.
In 2008, Brandau was named the KBI’s administrative special agent in charge. He acted as the bureau’s legislative liaison and was in charge of its training and internal affairs.
He left the KBI in 2009 and has worked with the consulting firm Cubic Applications Inc., a job that took him to Afghanistan to mentor Marines developing the Afghan National Security Forces.