LPD completes One Mind Campaign Pledge, committed to mental illness training

Published 7:32 pm Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The LaGrange Police Department announced this week that officers have completed a pledge to improve their response to those suffering from mental illness in the community. 

The pledge is part of an initiative called the One Mind Campaign started by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), a 30,000 member 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 in a 12 to 36 month period to ensure successful future interactions between police officers and persons with mental illness.  

In the law enforcement community, mental illness has become a common focus, with some departments estimating that as many as 20 percent of their calls for service are related to mental health declines. Chief Lou Dekmar is the IACP President and is committed to supporting the One Mind Campaign.

In completing the One Mind Pledge, the LPD established a sustainable partnership with a local mental health organization, developed and implemented a model policy to address officers’ interactions with those affected by mental illness and ensured that all of their officers received some type of mental health awareness training. At least 20 percent of the department completing the more intensive Crisis Intervention Training.

The 40-hour Crisis Intervention curriculum is designed by local agencies to train a team of specialized officers to respond to calls that involve individuals with mental health disorders such as depression or intellectual disability. 

The curriculum includes education on various de-escalation techniques as well as live role-play scenarios of officers responding to persons who need mental health assistance.

Every LaGrange Police Officer goes through CIT Training. 

“The importance of these partnerships and training cannot be overstated,” said Chief Dekmar. “It ensures that the LaGrange Police Department response to those individuals affected by mental illness is one that emphasizes de-escalation with a focus on treatment, as an alternative to arrest.”

For more information about the One Mind Campaign, please visit the IACP’s website: www.theiacp.org/onemindcampaign.