At a police / community event on September 9, the Zionsville Police Department touted its progress over the past year, including the creation of its REACH unit and use of force council.

Last year, the department created its REACH unit, intended to help people facing behavioral health, mental health or drug addiction crises. REACH is an acronym for “community resources, assessment, assistance”. The unit works with community partners to connect residents in crisis with mental health, social and addiction service providers.

In addition to helping residents, the ZPD wants to “reduce the risk of injury to first responders and people in crisis, reduce and prevent crime, maximize self-reliance and improve quality of life” across the unit.

Staff Sgt ZPD. Elizabeth Frost said the unit has responded or been referred to 19 situations in which individuals have been identified and 11 in which individuals have not been identified since the unit was established at the end of the year last.

“People are so happy to have something like this to help the community and make it better and healthier,” Frost said. “It was a huge success.

For more information about the unit, contact Frost at [email protected] or 317-873-5967, ext. 8023.

The ministry also created a use of force council last year. Five people sit on the board of directors: Captain ZPD Marius Klykken, Lieutenant Drake Sterling and Staff Sgt. Josh Samuelson and Zionsville residents Kenneth Johnson and Monisha Mitchell. Board members work with the department to review activities, provide feedback, and discuss national-level use of force cases and practices to ensure the ZPD is using best practices. So far, it has revised the ministry’s policy on the use of force and the ban on strangulation holds and reviewed incidents where officers could have used force but did not.

“We examine them to see, ‘Hey, how did this officer do that? What training they received and how can we continue this stuff, ”Klykken said at the event.

The ministry has participated in several training initiatives over the past year. In October 2020, he partnered with Dr Abbie Robisnson Armstrong to provide training on implicit bias and diversity to all staff in the department. This year he began offering leadership and supervision training to all new hires in classified positions in the department.

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