By Alliance Police Department
Released on June 8
The Alliance Police Department made the International Association of Chiefs of Police “One Mind Pledge” in February of 2022. By the end of this week the pledge will have been accomplished.
In February of 2021 the Alliance Police Department applied for a JAG grant from the Nebraska Crime Commission for a CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) program. (https://www.citinternational.org/ ) (https://www.nami.org/Advocacy/Crisis-Intervention/Crisis-Intervention-Team-(CIT)-Programs ) CIT is a 40 hour class teaching strategies when working with people in mental crisis.
The Nebraska Crime Commission awarded the City of Alliance Police Department $50,000 to train all staff members and obtain CIT certification. In December of 2021, Alliance Police Department hosted the first class for most of the staff, including Officers and Dispatchers to get certified. By Friday, those in the class this week are the remaining staff who will be certified. There are two exempt officers who are on long term military deployment and will be certified upon their return.
The IACP (https://www.theiacp.org/projects/one-mind-campaign ) “One Mind Pledge” requires a relationship with a community health organization. Alliance Police entered into an agreement with Region 1 Behavioral Health and appreciate Sue Teal’s assistance in these classes. The second requirement is to implement a model policy regarding law enforcement response which is policy O2409 – Mental Health Incidents and Emergency Protective Custody (EPC). The third requirement is to have 100% of sworn officers and selected professional staff CIT or equivalent trained.
The Alliance Police Department exceeded the requirements having all staff trained. In the fall of 2021 Chief Lukens revised the Alliance Police Use of Force policy to incorporate ICAT (Integrating Communication And Tactics) established by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF https://www.policeforum.org/ ), which includes the following decision matrix. Two staff members became instructors which was a free training hosted in Colorado by PERF.
Chief Lukens stated, “CIT and ICAT are two programs which work together to make sure we do no harm. We must keep in mind, just because we can, should we? Our decisions are guided by moral principles not by what we can get away with. We are here to help, we care, and we know every person is loved by someone just like us. We keep this in mind when helping people in crisis. I’m delighted with my staff’s commitment to our community displaying our EPIC values once again.”