By MyFM's Rick Michaels - The Franklin Police Department is announcing the department has completed a pledge officers took, to improve their response to those suffering from mental illness in their community. The pledge is part of an initiative called the One Mind Campaign started by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, with the association providing training, technical assistance, and recruitment services. To join the One Mind Campaign, law enforcement agencies must pledge to implement four promising practices in a 12-36 month period to ensure successful future interactions between police officers and persons with mental illness. Franklin Police Chief Thomas Lynch says in the law enforcement community, mental illness has become a common focus, with some departments estimating that as many as 20% of their calls for service are related to mental health declines. Chief Lynch made the decision to join the One Mind Campaign because of the need to better his officers’ interactions with those suffering mental illness, something that was being seen in daily response to calls for service. In completing the One Mind Pledge, the Franklin Police Department established a sustainable partnership with a local mental health organization, developed and implemented a model policy to address officers’ interactions with those affected by mental illness, and ensured that all of their officers received some type of mental health awareness training, with at least twenty percent of the department completing the more intensive Crisis Intervention Training. The 40-hour Crisis Intervention curriculum is designed by local agencies to train a team of specialized officers to respond to calls that involve individuals with mental health disorders such as depression or intellectual disability. The curriculum includes education on various de-escalation techniques as well as live role-play scenarios of officers responding to persons who need mental health assistance.