This weekend, police chiefs from across the globe will convene at the annual conference for International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). The agenda will include strategies for officers to improve their response to calls involving mental health issues through the One Mind Campaign. Other sessions will speak on community engagement and forming tighter knit relationships with residents and sadly, some sessions will have an open discussion on how to respond to active shooters and mass casualty incidents such as the tragedy that unfolded in Las Vegas.
For Rave, the annual conference is an opportunity to learn from the men and women that oversee police forces across the country, and it also provides us with the chance to demonstrate how Rave's 911 enhancing solution, the Rave911 Suite, can play in integral role in addressing the issues discussed throughout the conference. There are a couple of sessions and topics in particular that I am particularly excited to sit in on, and they focus around two common themes; Community Engagement, and the One Mind Campaign.
One thing that struck me about this year’s schedule is the focus on improving community relations by facilitating dialogue between residents and the officers that protect and serve. Community policing strategies have dramatically impacted the way officers interact with members of the public, and Rave has been at the forefront of enabling the exchange of life-saving information in emergency situations. Whether a family inputs a detailed medical history or simply provides a dispatchable address, the Rave911 Suite’s ability to present critical information leads to a more effective response. This is a crucial way to develop a stronger relationship with families and individuals, and helps paint a more holistic picture of the community. For example, the understanding that a family has a child with autism in the home and may have some additional concerns when dialing 9-1-1, or knowing when the person on the other end of the phone suffers from clinical depression and is on antidepressants represents information as the first step toward building trust and improving relationships in towns and cities across the country.
The One Mind Campaign
For me, the most exciting conversations this year will include the One Mind Campaign. One Mind is an innovative approach that will help bridge the gap between law enforcement and those who suffer from a mental illness. One Mind hopes to provide enhanced training, encourage partnerships with mental health organizations, and outline a more comprehensive approach to mental health emergency response.
Today, 264 agencies across the country have taken the pledge, and their commitment will improve outcomes during these high stress calls, and foster a better line of communication between members of the community who suffer from a mental illness and the police who risk their lives each day in service to their communities. Rave has spent a lot of time understanding the needs of those with a mental illness, and the challenges faced by first responders during these emergency situations. That research can be found in our whitepaper on Police and the US Mental Health Crisis.
Rave has also worked with nonprofit organizations to raise awareness for the Rave911 Suite. In states like Michigan, Arkansas, and Delaware, where the Rave911 Suite is available on a statewide basis, there are a number of cases where residents were able to engage more effectively with first responders by taking personal safety into their own hands. By signing up today at Smart911.com, you can provide information on you or your loved one’s mental health status, identify any medications you may be taking, and even list your caregiver as an emergency contact so that they can be contacted in an emergency. The information you input is only visible during a 9-1-1 call and can provide first responders with critical knowledge that enables a more effective response during emergencies. This technology offers a way to enact the goals of the One Mind campaign by taking the training that officers receive and combining it with critical data that. If responders can identify a resident with a mental health issue quickly, it will allow for a more informed and effective intervention and response.
IACP is a whirlwind show, and with so many educational sessions and events, it’s a unique opportunity to understand what law enforcement officials across the country have on their mind. This way, we might better understand how Rave fits into the larger picture of emergency response and community safety. One thing I do know is that Rave will remain at the forefront of leveraging new technology to improve community engagement and mental health response. We will also continue to support the One Mind campaign, and other initiatives improve relationships between members of the community and the police departments dedicated to protecting the residents that depend on them.
Be sure to come see us at Booth #1649 and learn how Rave can partner with your law enforcement and first responder agencies to protect residents and improve emergency response of all types.