Township Police Department Completes ‘One Mind’ Program

Township Police Department Completes ‘One Mind’ Program

Township Police Department Completes ‘One Mind’ Program
Posted on 01/25/2021

The Northville Township Police Department completed the requirements for the One Mind Campaign, an initiative by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), which improves the department’s response to calls involving those suffering from mental illness in the community.

The Township is the only department in Wayne County to receive this special designation and the sixth in Michigan.

The initiative focuses on uniting local communities, public safety agencies, and mental health organizations so that the three become "of one mind." To join the campaign, law enforcement agencies pledge to implement four practices over a 12-36 month time frame. Northville Township completed it in 24 months.

The four practices are:

  • Forge a partnership with one or more community mental health organizations.
  • Develop a policy addressing police response to people in crisis with mental health issues or disorders
  • Train 100 percent of the agency’s sworn officers in mental health awareness education which includes substance-use issues
  • Provide 40-hour collaborative crisis response training (The Township uses Crisis Intervention Team (CIT).) to a minimum of 20 percent of the agency’s sworn officers and selected non-sworn staff, such as dispatchers

One outcome of the Township’s participation is the Police Department helped launch the Mobile Crisis Co-Response Program in 2019 with Heigra Health Inc. of Livonia. This community resource pairs law enforcement officers and mental health professionals to assist individuals in crisis. When an officer responds to a situation with a person exhibiting behavioral needs, Hegira’s mental health experts help officers deliver intervention and stabilization resources to the person in need. It also provides an enhanced level of service to the community and is now a model for neighboring communities.

The Township’s dedication to CIT training has resulted in another success story. Community Service Officer Andrew Domzalski was recently named 2020 Officer of the Year by the Detroit-Wayne County Crisis Intervention Team (CIT). Ofc. Domzalski trains first responders across Michigan how to interact with individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. He willingly shares this expertise and his depth and breadth of knowledge has helped the Township Police Department succeed as a change agent in how agencies handle mental health interactions.

“As law enforcement leaders, we know that successful interactions between police officers and those affected by mental illness improves public trust, ensures officer safety and saves lives,” said Northville Township Police Chief Paul Tennies.

Mental illness has become a common focus for law enforcement, with some departments estimating that as many as 20% of their calls for service are related to mental health incidents. Northville Township responds to several hundred behavioral health incidents a year.

“We wanted to be proactive and the One Mind initiative fell in line with our organization’s goal to enhance positive outcomes on our behavioral response calls,” Tennies said. “We are honored to be a part of this important program.”

For more information about the One Mind Campaign, visit the IACP’s website at https://www.theiacp.org/projects/one-mind-campaign. A list of all agencies who have taken the pledge is available there. For more information about the Northville Township’s Police Department, please visit Police Department - Northville Township.