One Mind Campaign
SEA GIRT, NJ—The Sea Girt Police Department 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 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 have 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 Justin Macko made the decision to join the IACP’s One Mind Campaign because it is vital that officers afford all persons, including those with mental illness, all the individual rights they are entitled, and further those officers seek to protect mentally ill persons from harm and refer them to appropriate services.
By completing the One Mind Pledge, the Sea Girt Police Department established a sustainable partnership with a local mental health organization, Preferred Behavioral Health Group, developed and implemented a model policy to address officers’ interactions with those affected by mental health conditions, and ensured that all 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 an increase in training, awareness and the enhanced ability for our officers to have successful interactions with people suffering from mental illness in our community. The Sea Girt Police Department is the third police department in New Jersey and first in Monmouth County to complete the pledge.
For more information about the One Mind Campaign, visit the IACP’s website at https://www.theiacp.org/projects/one-mind-campaign. A list of all agencies who have taken the pledge is available there.