The Augusta University Police Department recently received their certification for completing the One Mind Campaign pledge.
Developed by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the One Mind Campaign was created to address law enforcement’s response to those affected by mental illness.
The One Mind Campaign pledge requires that law enforcement agencies fulfill the campaign’s four promising factors, which include:
- Establishing a defined and sustainable relationship with at least one community mental health organization.
- Developing and implementing a written policy that addresses law enforcement response to persons affected by mental illness.
- The ability to demonstrate that 100 percent of sworn officers and selected non-sworn staff are trained and certified in mental health first aid.
- Demonstrating that 20 percent of sworn officers and selected non-sworn staff are trained and certified on the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training.
The University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents believes in allowing departments to be fully engaged and able to help persons affected by mental illness. To that end, all sworn officers and those selected non-staffers also received certification in CIT training, which means the Augusta University Police Department exceeded the 20 percent required by the One Mind Campaign.
Since they began this undertaking in April 2017, the Augusta University Police Department has worked to fulfill their pledge to the One Mind Campaign and the core values of the university.
“Our department strives every day to live up to our core values and to adhere to the highest standards of service to our community through integrity, professionalism, respect and excellence,” said Major Eugene Maxwell. “Our pledge to support the One Mind Campaign is one way our department can ensure we are doing everything possible to provide valuable assistance to those in our community who are vulnerable and need our help.”
Mental illness has become a common focus in the law enforcement community due to increasing mental health-related calls; some agencies report that now 20 percent of calls are related to mental health declines.
To date, there are only 447 law enforcement agencies across the nation that have signed the One Mind Campaign pledge. The Augusta University Police Department is one of 31 agencies in Georgia to volunteer and fulfill the requirements.
For more information about the One Mind Campaign pledge or Augusta University’s role in campus and community outreach, email the Augusta University Police Department or Major Eugene Maxwell or call 706-721-1257.