SOUTH PORTLAND — The Police Department is the first in the state to comply with an International Association of Chiefs of Police campaign intended to “ensure a broadened and enhanced response to those suffering from mental illness in our communities.”

The One Mind campaign requires agencies to implement a written policy that addresses interactions with persons affected by mental illness; establish”sustainable relationships” with local mental health organizations, and train all sworn staff in “Mental Health First Aid.”

According to a news release, the frequency of use of force and control incidents involving individuals with mental illness have increased every year for the past five years. In 2017, just under 78 percent of such incidents involved a person “who was believed to be in crisis or on substances.” In 2018, that number had increased to almost 87 percent of all use of force and control incidents – none of which involved the use of deadly force.