FROM:Chief Don Scheibler105 W. 12th StreetHays, KS email@example.com
DATE:August 16, 2019FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SUBJECT: Hays Police Department – The One Mind Campaign
The Hays Police Department is pleased to announce that we have completed the pledge we took to improve our response to those suffering from mental illness in our community. The pledge is part of an initiative called the One Mind Campaign started by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). The Hays Police Department is the second agency in Kansas to successfully complete the One Mind Campaign. To join the One Mind Campaign, law enforcement agencies must pledge to implement four promising practices in a 12-36 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% of their calls for service are mental health related. Chief Scheibler made the decision to join the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s One Mind Campaign because law enforcement has become the default responders to our nation’s current mental health crisis, and we wanted to prepare our officers to better serve those in our community who suffer from mental illness or who are in crisis.
In completing the One Mind Pledge, the Hays Police Department (1) developed and implemented model policies to address officers’ interactions with those affected by mental illness; (2) ensured that all of our officers and civilian staff received mental health first aid awareness training; (3) had at least twenty percent of the department complete the more intensive Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training; and (4) established a sustainable partnership with High Plains Mental Health (HPMH). High Plains Mental Health has been a long term partner with the Hays Police Department, and they were instrumental in helping us to successfully complete the One Mind Campaign.
Other initiatives that the Hays Police Department has pursued in response to the needs of the community include developing a verbal de-escalation training program, assigning two Crisis Negotiators to the Special Situation Response Team (SSRT), starting a Peer Support Team, providing officers with suicide awareness training, and assisting with the formation of the Ellis County CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) Council made up of Ellis County law enforcement, mental health care providers and community-based stakeholders.
The greatest benefit in adopting all the strategies of the One Mind Campaign pledge has been providing our officers with the tools necessary to best serve the mental health consumers in our community, especially those in crisis, and making those interactions safer for both the officers and the consumers.
For more information about the One Mind Campaign, please visit the IACP’s website: http://www.theiacp.org/onemindcampaign/.