The San Luis Obispo Police Department has taken a pledge to improve the way officers respond to people with mental illnesses.
The department announced it has joined the "One Mind Pledge" through the International Chiefs of Police.
As part of the pledge, the department is tasked with implementing the following goals over the next 12 to 36 months:
- Partner with one or more community mental health organization(s)
- Develop and implement a model policy addressing police response to persons affected by mental illness
- Train and certify 100 percent of San Luis Obispo’s sworn officers (and selected non-sworn staff) in Mental Health First Aid for Public Safety (MHFA)
- Provide Crisis Intervention Team training to a minimum of 20 percent of San Luis Obispo’s sworn officers (and selected non-sworn staff)
Police department officials say the training is needed because of a large number of police contacts involving people suffering from mental illnesses.
Nearly 70 percent of the department’s officers have received training so far, according to officials, and more training is scheduled in the coming months.