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  • lefelter

Honored to have the endorsement of the Olathe Professional Firefighters

I am honored to have the endorsement of the Olathe Professional Firefighters, and to enjoy an exceptional and collaborative relationship with the Olathe Police Department. Olathe is a safe place to call home, and in which to do business, thanks to our outstanding and innovative Olathe Fire Department and Olathe Police Department. The foundation of any great city is safety. I will wholeheartedly continue to support public safety initiatives to keep Olathe a safe community.

There is no way to overstate the value of visionary leadership in public safety. In Olathe we've got some of the very best and most talented leaders at the helm of our police and fire departments. Fire Chief Jeff DeGraffenreid has developed a rational and systemic way of looking at the services provided by the Olathe Fire Department. Thanks to his leadership and the outstanding work done by our firefighters, Olathe is benefiting from best practices and some amazing out-of-the-box problem solving. Did you know that Olathe has a Mobile Integrated Health (MIH) team that responds to people who have requested help, or have been referred for service but likely don't require emergency care? The MIH team is saving Olathe money and meeting our needs by providing medical assessment and determining the needs and then connecting the patient with the appropriate care solution in our community. During the pandemic the Olathe Fire Department helped our families by partnering with school nurses to identify our most vulnerable children and sending out the MIH to meet their health needs, and beyond. The Olathe Fire Department has a Public Protection Classification ISO rating of 1, which is among the best in the nation. This exceptional rating summarizes our preparedness and risk, and it saves Olathe families and businesses on our insurance rates. The Olathe Fire Department is also an internationally accredited agency by the Center for Public Safety Excellence. The process for this accreditation is rigorous and validates our quality and requires continuous improvement. We have much to be proud of with the Olathe Fire Department.

Chief Mike Butaud leads the Olathe Police Department with proven best practices, cutting edge technology, enhanced methods of communication, and strong, trusted, and positive interactions with all citizens. If you follow the OPD on social media, you'll see the great community engagement that is on going. Every Olathe police officer receives Crisis Intervention Training (CIT). With the lack of enough mental health services in our community, law enforcement often serve as first responders when an individual is in crisis. CIT gives police officers more tools to do their job safely and effectively. Research shows that CIT is associated with improved interactions between officers and individuals in crisis, reducing officer injuries and safer interactions for our community. CIT allows law enforcement to focus on crime, and to connect individuals in crisis with the appropriate services, and it gets officers back into the community more quickly by reducing the time spent on mental health calls. CIT is good for Olathe! I've enjoyed an exceptional relationship with the Olathe Police Department as I've worked with them to organize Stand for Spencer (2011) and Community4Cale (2012) to honor our local fallen heroes who were KIA in Afghanistan, as well as when I organized "Thank you, Mayor Mike!" where our community lined the processional route from Mayor Michael Copeland's funeral to the graveside in 2020. In my role as a school board member for Olathe Public Schools, we've grown our partnership with OPD over the years to meet the needs of our students, teachers and families in Olathe. We have an exceptional police department in Olathe!


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