Kansas City Police Historical Society
Bernard C. Brannon
Bernard C. Brannon was born in Kansas City on May 5, 1911. He attended Irving grade school where his classmates remember him as a youth most sought after by classmates to captain baseball teams and assume leading roles in school plays. Later in high school, he was chosen through on competitive basis to be the first Cadet Colonel for all Kansas City R.O.T.C. units.
He first joined the KCPD in the early 1930’s working as a station clerk, while attending Rockhurst College and the University of Kansas City in the evenings, compiling he needed hours for pre-law study. He left to attend Vanderbilt University. Armed with a law degree and as a member of the Missouri Bar, he returned in 1939 and was a member of Chief Lear Reed’s first formal Police Academy, following the Department’s return to State Control.
Brannon was a Naval Officer and with the advent of WWII, Brannon he was called to duty and assigned to the 1st Marine Division for the Okinawa invasion. He finished this phase of his military career with distinction as military government commander of the Itoman District of that island.
After the war, there was still work to be done in the Department of the Navy in Washington. While there, Brannon was offered an Associate Professorship in Police Science at the University of Missouri. His attention was directed to law enforcement problems at home and he worked vigorously to raise police efficiency throughout the state. He wrote the Missouri Police Manual for civil defense and gave his time to any law enforcement agency that asked for it.
In 1952 he was granted leave by the University of Missouri to become Kansas City’s Chief of Police. Drawing on his diversified experience as a policeman, lawyer, soldier and university educator he drafted a plan for the internal reorganization of the department that was acclaimed by police experts. He developed the One-Man Car Procedure and first implemented in at the Sheffield Station. After studying its effectiveness, it was implemented city wide. He spoke annually on the topic at the Southern Police Institute as the University of Louisville. He was invited to speak about the plan in many major US Cities. He was introduced as a principal speaker at a International Association of Police Chiefs as “The most brilliant young police administrator in the country today.”
After leaving the department in 1961, he returned to the University of Missouri, Kansas City.
Brannon died April 4, 1992 and is entombed at Mount Olivet Cemetery and Mausoleum in Kansas City.
Bernard C. Brannon
07/10/1952 - 04/19/1961