Ottawa Police Chief Dennis Butler has been involved in multiple statewide projects addressing sexual and domestic violence for more than 14 years.

Butler was recognized for his work last week when he was named State-Level Ally of the Year by the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (KCSDV). He received the award at KCSDV’s 15th Annual Awards Ceremony and Luncheon Feb. 6 in Topeka.

Butler, Ottawa’s chief of police for the past 13 years, was nominated and selected because of his demonstrated commitment to enhancing victim safety and increasing perpetrator accountability in Kansas, coalition representatives said in a news release.

“Chief Butler is a true ally and partner in this work,” Joyce Grover, KCSDV executive director, said. “He goes above and beyond and understands the importance of working together to better practices, responses, and policies that make Kansas safer.”

Butler serves on the Kansas Bureau of Investigation’s Kansas Sexual Assault Kit Initiative working group, where he is an active partner in fostering collaborative responses to sexual assault in Kansas communities, the coalition release said. In 2006, Butler served on the governor’s Grants to Encourage Arrest Program Advisory Council’s law enforcement subcommittee — developing the first law enforcement domestic violence model policy and training curriculum for Kansas, the release said.

He has also served on the Kansas attorney general’s Batterers Intervention Advisory Board and has been involved in many other initiatives to improve Kansas’s response to sexual assault and domestic violence, coalition representatives said.

Butler was honored to receive the award, he said in an email.

“I am very thankful for this recognition and I am sure there were many more nominees as worthy of this award,” Butler said. “I am fortunate to work in a city and a state that recognizes the importance of eliminating family violence and all forms of sexual assault. These efforts would be ineffective without the cooperation of so many people and professional disciplines.”

The chief also credited his officers for their professionalism.

“The men and women of the Ottawa Police Department work very hard to not re-traumatize victims during the reporting process and investigation phase which allows me time to work with others in the state to encourage others to take the same approach,” Butler said.