Cheyenne Police Respond to Group Concerned With Police Practices
The Cheyenne Police Department has compiled a report detailing how the agency is leading Wyoming in applying the best practices of policing standards.
Officer Kevin Malatesta says the Community Conversation Report -- released in response to questions from the Wyoming Alliance Non-Partisan Group -- details how officers are screened and selected for employment, how officers are trained to deescalate unpredictable situations and how officers are preventing crime while defending the rights of the community.
"It stemmed from the Albany County shooting (that involved Sheriff's Deputy Derek Colling)," said Malatesta. "That's what prompted this group to form here in Cheyenne."
"They had a bunch of questions about how we react to minorities in the community and what we do to train officers on diversity (and) interacting with mentally ill individuals," he added.
Malatesta says one of the significant details outlined in the report is how the department has adapted the One Mind Campaign, a national movement to improve police responses to people affected by mental illnesses.
"As one of CPD’s 2019 goals, the department pledged to train its officers in Mental Health First Aid classes as well as to increase the number of officers trained to respond to mental health crises," said Malatesta. "Currently, the CPD is the only law enforcement agency in Wyoming to sign this pledge."
"While the national pledge calls for agencies to have 20 percent of their officers trained as a Crisis Intervention Team, 45 percent of CPD officers have undergone this 40-hour training," he added. "The training extensively prepares officers to respond to mental health calls for service including mood and thought disorders, personality disorders, PTSD, suicide and mental disabilities."
Malatesta says the department continues to invite community discussion and is open to hearing the concerns of Cheyenne residents through the Police and Community Together group.