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Olathe names Mike Butaud as its new police chief

Olathe police rescue doe trapped in manhole for week

Officer James Brackett of the Olathe Police Department rescued a doe that had fallen into a manhole near 146th and Halsey, and had been trapped there for nearly a week.
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Officer James Brackett of the Olathe Police Department rescued a doe that had fallen into a manhole near 146th and Halsey, and had been trapped there for nearly a week.

The city of Olathe has named Mike Butaud as its new police chief.

Olathe City Manager Michael Wilkes made the announcement through a news release Tuesday.

Butaud, who previously served as deputy police chief at the Olathe Police Department, is replacing Steven Menke, who retired in April after a 31-year career in law enforcement. Butaud has been the city’s acting police chief since June 1, and is expected to assume the permanent position July 29.

Butaud joined the Olathe Police Department in 1993 as a patrol officer and moved up the ranks through the years, from sergeant to police captain to major, before he was named deputy chief in 2016, according to the news release. The city said he has been involved or has overseen nearly all aspects of departmental operations during his time with the police department.

It added that Butaud is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the Northwestern University Police Staff and Command.

“Olathe is one of America’s safest cities for a number of reasons, but none more so than the men and women who serve in the Olathe Police Department,” Wilkes said in a statement. “Mike has been an essential department leader throughout his career. He is the right person to ensure it continues performing at the highest level, keeping our community exceptionally safe.”

In the same statement, Butaud said it is “great to be a part of something truly special.”

“I firmly believe Olathe is the best police department in America with the most talented and caring officers and civilians,” Butaud said. “All employees within this agency share my heartfelt commitment to this city, this department, and everyone in our community.”

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Kaitlyn Schwers covers breaking news and crime at night for The Kansas City Star. Originally from Willard, Mo., she spent nearly three years reporting in Arkansas and Illinois before returning to Missouri and joining The Star in 2017.
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