The police departments that patrol all four University of Colorado campuses have signed a pledge to participate in the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s One Mind Campaign. This includes the CU Boulder, UCCS and Anschutz Medical Campus police departments, as well as the Auraria Police Department, which provides police services for the CU Denver campus. The campaign requires police departments to complete certain steps that aim for successful interactions between police officers and persons affected by mental illness.
“UCCS Police believes the One Mind Campaign will help our department to better understand the complexities of mental health calls for service,” said Marc Pino, chief of the UCCS Police Department. “We are excited by this partnership to better respond to our community.”
To complete the One Mind Campaign, police departments must pledge to implement the following steps:
- Establish a sustainable partnership with one or more community mental health organization(s)
- Develop and implement a policy addressing police response to persons affected by mental illness
- Train and certify all of the agency’s sworn officers in mental health first aid or other equivalent mental health awareness program
- Provide Crisis Intervention Team training to a minimum of 20 percent of the agency’s sworn officers
“We all know how important it is for our officers to understand how to help people we encounter who may be dealing with mental illness,” said CU Boulder Police Chief Doreen Jokerst. “By completing this program, we are committing to provide the best service to our community.”
Randy Repola, police chief at the Anschutz Medical Campus added that both sworn police officers and civilian staff will receive the training.
“Partnering with community mental health efforts is consistent with our campus’ priority to escalate work in mental health and wellness,” he said. “We are acutely aware of the need for trained officers who are prepared to interact with persons experiencing mental health crisis in our community.”
Under the One Mind Campaign guidelines, law enforcement agencies have 12 to 36 months to implement the four promising practices. The CU police agencies’ have set a goal to complete the four steps by the end of this year.