ELBURN – The value of joining the One Mind Campaign was presented to Village Board members by Elburn Police Chief Nick Sikora at the March 5 committee of the whole meeting.
Sikora said the department is looking to join the One Mind Campaign, a national program formed to ensure successful interactions between police officers and individuals with mental illnesses.
Joining the One Mind initiative involves creating relationships between local communities, public safety organizations and mental health organizations so the three become “of one mind,” according to information from the International Association of Chiefs of Police website.
Police departments “taking the pledge” are required to establish a partnership with a community mental health organization, develop a policy regarding police response to individuals with mental illness, and provide training for sworn officers and others in mental health first aid as well as crisis intervention team training.
Sikora said that as hospitals and clinics treating people with mental illnesses have closed, police officers increasingly have come into contact with these individuals within the community.
“The idea is to lessen the amount of force used when we deal with mentally ill people,” he said.