Wednesday, August 17, 2022

OPD Pledges to Improve Response to Mental Illnesses

The Oxford Police Department has promised to improve their response to those living with mental illness in Oxford by taking part in a pledge that is part of the One Mind Campaign.

Started by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, to join the One Mind Campaign, law enforcement agencies must pledge to implement four promising practices in a 12-36 month period to improve the outcome of interactions between police officers and persons in crisis or impacted by mental illness.

In completing the One Mind Pledge, OPD established a partnership with Communicare, a local mental health organization; developed and implemented a model policy to address officers’ interactions with those affected by mental illness; trained and certified their officers in Mental Health First Aid; and having several members of the department complete intensive Crisis Intervention Team Training.

“With the One Mind Campaign and the additional training our officers have received, we have enhanced our ability to better serve the Oxford community and have improved the way we respond to situations that require communicative strategies, de-escalation and crisis intervention,” said Jeff McCutchen, Chief of Police.

The 40-hour Crisis Intervention curriculum is designed to train a team of specialized officers to respond to calls that involve individuals experiencing a mental health crisis, behavioral issues or even someone with communicative challenges.

“Communicare is delighted to partner with the Oxford Police Department in their One Mind Campaign initiative. We are grateful for our already close relationship with OPD and look forward to our continued relationship,” said Melody Mardis, assistant director at Communicare. “Communicare has provided training to the Oxford Police Department staff in mental health first aid, opioid overdose prevention and suicide prevention to name a few.”

Staff report

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