Sen. Marshall and Olathe Police Chief Butaud Join Forces to Nominate SRO Clark for Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor
(Olathe, KS, September 27, 2022) – U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. and Olathe Police Department Chief Mike Butaud have joined forces to nominate Olathe East High School School Resource Officer (SRO) Erik Clark for the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor. The nomination comes after Officer Clark displayed heroic actions to protect students and teachers from an active shooter at Olathe East High School on March 4, 2022.
“Without question, Officer Clark acted swiftly and bravely to protect students and teachers at Olathe East High School. His heroic actions saved lives and there is no doubt that he deserves to be recognized with the Public Safety Medal of Valor,” said Senator Marshall. “I thank Officer Clark for his valiant service and continue to pray for healing and comfort for everyone in the Olathe East family.”
“This Olathe Police Department is extremely proud of Officer Erik Clark’s swift and valiant performance in the face of great danger on March 4th, 2022. On that tragic day when the unthinkable happened, the fate of lives would be placed in his hand, a fate dependent on his bravery. After being struck by gunfire four times, he acted to stop the threat, gave instructions to render aid to others, and applied his own tourniquet prior to being transported to the hospital with serious injuries. Officer Clark’s remarkable courage embodies the best of Olathe,” said Chief Butaud.
Created in 2001 by Congress, the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor recognizes extraordinary acts of heroism and bravery on the part of our nation’s public safety officers. You may click HERE to learn more about the medal. Senator Marshall sent a letter to the DOJ urging them to Consider Chief Butaud’s application for SRO Clark to receive the Medal of Valor. You may click HERE or scroll below to read the letter in its entirety.
Dear Mr. Joy,
We write to you today to express our support for the application for Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor from The City of Olathe Police for School Resource Officer Erik Clark. My office is working with the City of Olathe Police to reward and decorate School Resource officer Clark, who heroically stepped in the line of fire to halt what could have been a tragic and horrific mass school shooting.
On March 4, 2022 Officer Erik Clark was called into the Olathe East High School’s Assistant Principal’s office on suspicion of a student carrying a gun into school. An assistant principal asked the student for his backpack, at which point the student refused and pulled out a gun firing shots at those in the room. School Resource Officer Clark was shot four times by the gunman at close range, but returned fire and shot the suspect two times in a quick and hostile confrontation in the assistant principal’s office. Just within the last month Johnson County, Kansas District Attorney Steve Howe ruled that the shooting at Olathe East High School was justified and the actions of Officer Clark and will not face any possible charges. Officer Clark is a true hero in every sense of the word.
The City of Olathe Police’s application will help bring to light to the heroic duty of School resource officer Clark and to those that help defend and keep safe the lives within our schools and communities. Now more than ever it is important to show appreciation and gratitude to those individuals who are willing to step into the line of fire and defend our students. Police retention and appreciation is something that we must all strive for in the current times and challenges facing the nation. Our community safety must remain at the top of our public service agenda.
We urge you to consider the City of Olathe’s Police Department application for the Medal of Valor to be rewarded to SRO Clark. Our office stands ready to answer any questions you may have.
Senator Roger Marshall, MD
Earlier this year, Senator Marshall submitted two Congressional Records honoring the heroic actions of Olathe East High School SRO Clark and Assistant Principal Kaleb Stoppel.
You may click HERE to view the Congressional Record honoring Officer Erik Clark.
You may click HEREto view the Congressional Record honoring Dr. Kaleb Stoppel.
Senator Marshall also joined the Kansas delegation in introducing a resolution to recognize the heroic actions of Officer Clark and Dr. Stoppel.