Thursday, February 21, 2019

Franklin Police complete ONE MIND pledge

The ­­­­­­­­­­Franklin Police Department is pleased to announce that they have completed a pledge they took to improve their response to those suffering from mental illness in their 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 12-36 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 related to mental health declines. Chief Thomas J. Lynch made the decision to join the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s One Mind Campaign because the need to better our interactions with those suffering mental illness was being seen in daily response to calls for service.

In completing the One Mind Pledge, the Franklin Police Department 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, with at least twenty 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.

Other initiatives that the Franklin Police Department has pursued in response to the needs of the community include the Jail Diversion Program, which brought in a Masters level mental health clinician as a co-responder with police officers on calls for service related to mental health problems.
Franklin Police complete ONE MIND pledge
Franklin Police complete ONE MIND pledge

Chief Lynch stated: “I’m proud of my officers for being partners in this pledge not just because it was a Departmental goal to improve our response to these types of calls, but because we have the genuine opportunity to better serve our community. Police officers by nature want to help people. Giving our officers the skills to better serve all aspects of our population only serves to create better outcomes for all involved.”

For more information about the One Mind Campaign, please visit the IACP’s website: A list of all agencies who have taken the pledge is also available there.

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