By City of Alliance
Alliance – The City of Alliance is pleased to announce that they have completed a pledge to improve their response to those with a mental health condition in their community.
The pledge is part of an initiative called the One Mind Campaign which was started by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), a professional association for law enforcement that provides training, technical assistance, and recruitment services.
To join the One Mind Campaign, law enforcement agencies must pledge to implement four promising practices (found on www.cityofalliance.net) in a 12–36-month period to ensure successful future interactions between police officers and persons with mental health conditions.
In the law enforcement community, people with mental health conditions has become a common focus, with some departments estimating that as many as 20% of their calls for service are related to mental health challenges. Chief Lukens made the decision to join the IACP’s One Mind Campaign because officers that have a greater skillset with personal interaction regardless of mental health circumstances reduce injuries and misunderstandings.
By completing the One Mind Pledge, the Alliance Police Department established a sustainable partnership with a local mental health organization Region 1 Health, developed and implemented a model policy to address officers’ interactions with those affected by mental health conditions, and ensured that all of their officers received mental health awareness training, with at least twenty percent of the department completing the more intensive Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) or equivalent crisis response training. The 40-hour Crisis Intervention curriculum is designed to train officers to respond to calls that involve individuals with mental health conditions. The curriculum includes education on various de-escalation techniques and live role-play scenarios of officers responding to persons who need mental health assistance.
The greatest benefit in taking the One Mind Campaign pledge has been a reduction in unnecessary mental health holds and an increase in obtaining support for those who are struggling with life circumstances.