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This week we are featuring a special interview on an important topic, Restorative Justice. Our guest expert is Officer Mike Butler.
Restorative justice (RJ) leverages the principles of forgiveness, apology, relationship, respect, chosen accountability and repair in responding to those who have committed crimes and those who have been victimized by crimes. It redefines the nature of the meaning of justice as it seeks to see people through the lens of their goodness rather than the lens of their deficiencies. It is a viable alternative to the worn out and ineffective criminal justice system.
Mike Butler's career with the police spans 42 years. It began as a police officer with the Boulder Police Department in Colorado. He later transferred to the Longmont Police Department, where he eventually became Chief of Police. While serving as Chief of Police in Longmont, and then as Public Safety Chief, he has heavily emphasized the importance of community policing and its role in bringing together the public and the police to improve public safety.
As the Public Safety Chief for the city of Longmont, Mike oversees police, fire, and support services. Under his leadership, Longmont pioneered mental health programs such as the Edge Program, which pairs mental health professionals with police officers to reduce ER visits and jail time, and the Angel Program, which prevents overdoses by providing opioid blocking medication and helps people struggling with addiction find treatment.
Mike raised his five daughters in Longmont, Colorado, where he still lives with his partner, Carol. He has been a student of The Urantia Book since 1978. He continues to work passionately for restorative justice.