CITY OF CENTRE POLICE DEPARTMENT ACHIEVES
100% “ONE MIND” PLEDGE MENTAL HEALTH TRAINING
In March 2016 The International Association of Chiefs of Police convened a panel of law enforcement and mental health experts to address law enforcement’s response to mental health issues and this collaboration resulted in the “One Mind Campaign”, asking departments nationwide to pledge to train 100% of its sworn officers in Mental Health 1st Aid.
Chief Kirk Blankenship is pleased to announce that his department has joined the select group that has achieved 100% personnel training.
There are only total of 383 agencies nationwide that has taken the “One Mind” Pledge and only 3 in the state of Alabama. The primary goal of the One Mind Campaign is to increase the number of successful outcomes for interactions between law enforcement and persons affected by mental illness. The benefits to agencies pledging to this Campaign, and the communities they serve, are significant: 1) increased community member and officer safety, 2) enhanced community-police trust, 3) and creating innovative and sustainable partnerships between mental health and police professionals.
Chief Blankenship has always been involved in sensitive and innovative policing procedures, but he became aware of the One Mind Campaign due to the “Stepping Up: Reducing Mental Illness in Jails” Initiative of the National Association of Counties brought to Cherokee County by District #3 Commissioner Marcie Foster and Chief Blankenship was in attendance for the May 16, 2018 Day of Action Program at the GSCC Arena. When asked for comment Commissioner Foster stated that “she was elated to have a department with 100% participation in Cherokee County and was grateful to Chief Blankenship for his efforts”.
More information about the “One Mind” Campaign can be found at www.theiacp.org/onemindcampaign
Centre Police Chief Kirk Blankenship meets Alabama State Department of Mental Health Commissioner Lynn Beshear during the “Stepping Up Day of Action” event held in the Arena on the campus of Gadsden State Cherokee in Centre on Wednesday, May 16th (2018).