INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — The city of Independence has narrowed its list of police chief candidates to three.

The public has the opportunity to meet all of the finalists Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. at the Independence Uptown Market.

The finalists include two candidates who are currently with the department. The third is from Idaho Falls, Idaho.

Chief Bryce Johnson joined the Idaho Falls Police Department in 2017. Before that he served as the chief of police in Juneau, Alaska. Johnson has over 30 years of law enforcement experience and has managed departments with over 150 employees.

Johnson is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Executive Institute and a West Point Leadership Academy Graduate-International Association of Chiefs of Police Leadership in Police Organizations program. Johnson has a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration.

Adam Dustman (Courtesy: City of Independence)

Interim Independence Police Chief Adam Dustman has been with the Independence Police Department since 2008 and has been interim chief since February 2022. He is currently managing a department of more than 320 employees with a budget of $38 million.

Dustman is a graduate of Central Missouri State University, where he earned his bachelor of science in criminal justice and was Summa Cum Laude. Dustman was named class valedictorian in 2009 when he graduated from the KCPD Police Academy.

Ken Jarnagin (Courtesy: City of Independence)

Deputy Chief Ken Jarnagin has been with the Independence Police Department since 1990.

Jarnagin assists in managing the department’s 320 employees and provides guidance on maintaining the $38 million budget.

Jarnagin is a graduate of Central Missouri State University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and in 2018, he graduated with his master’s degree in criminal justice. Jarnagin attended the executive leadership course at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, in 2011 and the Police Executive Leadership at Northwestern University School of Police Command. 

Independence began its national search for a new police chief in December when then-Chief Brad Halsey announced his retirement.

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