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 (IACP) One Mind Campaign. This includes the CU Boulder, University of Colorado Colorado Springs, 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.
“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.”
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
“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 University of Colorado Colorado Springs Police Department. “We are excited by this partnership to better respond 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.”
Chief Michael Phibbs of the Auraria Higher Education Center believes that “Understanding the difference between mental health issues and simple criminal behavior is critical to policing in urban environments. The One Mind Campaign will move law enforcement agencies in a positive direction to better serve all members of their community.”
Under the One Mind Campaign guidelines, law enforcement agencies have 12 to 36 months to implement the four practices.