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Acton Town News

Posted on: August 19, 2019

Acton Police Dept. Completes One Mind Campaign Pledge to Help those Suffering from Mental Illness

PD Patch

Chief Richard Burrows is pleased to announce that the Acton Police Department has completed its pledge through the One Mind Campaign to improve its response to those suffering from mental illness.

In the fall of 2017, the Acton Police Department pledged to join the One Mind Campaign, an initiative that was started by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) in an effort to improve the interactions between law enforcement agencies and those with mental illnesses. Departments that pledge to join the campaign are challenged to implement practices within their agency to improve mental health programming, training and procedures within a one to three year time period. 

The IACP also provides resources to departments that pledge to join the One Mind Campaign. This includes a toolkit produced by the Bureau of Justice Assistance with resources for law enforcement agencies looking to partner with mental health providers, a model policy for law enforcement when responding to persons suffering from mental illness, and resources for planning mental health first aid and crisis intervention team program training. 

To fulfill the One Mind Campaign pledge, Acton Police completed several initiatives:

  • Issued a new policy to guide officers in the best practices when responding to situations involving people with various mental health issues.
  • Partnered with Eliot Mental Health Services, located in Concord, Massachusetts. The department also became a member of a jail diversion partnership with seven other towns and Hanscom Air Force Base, which are in the jurisdiction of Concord District Court. The group meets regularly to discuss specific cases in their communities.
  • All officers have completed mental health first aid training as part of the department's annual in-service training.
  • Twenty officers, or 47 percent of the department have completed Crisis Intervention Team training. The department will continue to train officers until all members are trained. 

"The One Mind Campaign has led our department to really focus on one of the largest challenges facing law enforcement today, which is mental health," Chief Burrows said. "Completing this pledge has made us a better department and we look forward to continuing to grow and adapt to better serve our community members."

The Acton Police Department received a certificate of completion for fulfilling the goals of its One Mind Pledge from the IACP in July.

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