Published: June 11, 2024

Division of Public Safety teammates are taking time to delve into summertime training.

First up: Mindset Matters, which encourages police officers, emergency dispatchers and other safety officials to develop proactive and strategic thinking skills while deepening relationships and trust with those they serve.

“If you’re human, this training is important,” said Darrell Hammond Sr. of Higher Ground Consulting, a Boulder County-based leadership and professional development organization. “Part of what we cover in this training is emotional intelligence and, importantly, part of it is simple kindness and curiosity. If we’re not curious about what others are thinking, feeling and experiencing, there’s a chance we might deploy things that the community doesn’t want or need,” he added.

Darrell Hammond Sr. speaking on campus

Darrell Hammond Sr. speaking at the FBI National Academy Associates luncheon in 2021

Hammond’s years as a basketball player (he played in college, on an exhibition team that traveled the world, won a silver medal representing Team USA in the Australia Games and earned an NBA Legends MVP award) influences his coaching philosophy. “Playing on a high-performing team makes you think about others’ skills, abilities and positions. There’s a better awareness of how we can work together for the greater good,” he said.

He enjoys focusing on the intersection of social justice and public safety, zeroing in on building trust. “Acknowledging the uncertainty in so many aspects of the world right now, I help people slow down, ask questions and think about the ‘why’ behind their actions,” he said. “People count on those in the public safety space to get it right, and explaining their actions is part of the process.”

Communications Manager Kelly Hernandez, who leads a team of emergency dispatchers, said the training offered great perspective and insight. “Purposeful and mindful thinking are key elements to a leadership role and can be immediately implemented,” she said. “Leading with the ‘why’ can be crucial to the success of your team,” which has a direct impact on the outcome of high-stress situations. 

Hammond is an inclusion and peak performance facilitator who has worked with the CU Boulder Police Department for several years, delivering training on topics such as leadership and team building and a keynote talk at the FBI National Academy Associates luncheon at CU Boulder. 

He plans to explore the roots of inequities in his next training this fall. “We will take a look at foundations of humanity that still impact us today. We’re learning from the past, in the present, to impact the future,” Hammond said.

The training will complement other diversity, equity and inclusion trainings as the Division of Public Safety continues its commitment to learning and growth, to better serve its community.