By Catalina Righter
The Westminster Police Department became the first Maryland law enforcement agency to complete the One Mind Campaign Wednesday.
The initiative set forth four actionable items for departments to complete to improve the way police respond when they encounter individuals with mental illnesses. The Westminster Police Department took the pledge to address these items in June 2017.
According to a news release from the Westminster Police Department, some departments estimate as many as 20 percent of calls for service involve a mental health issue in some way.
Departments who take on the One Mind initiative are asked to
- Establish a clearly defined and sustainable partnership with one or more community mental health organizations
- Develop and implement a model policy addressing police response to persons affected by mental illness
- Train and certify 100 percent of the agency’s sworn officers (and selected non-sworn staff, such as dispatchers) in Mental Health First Aid or another equivalent mental health awareness program
- Provide Crisis Intervention Team training to a minimum of 20 percent of the agency’s sworn officers (and selected non-sworn staff, such as dispatchers)