Every single officer to be equipped with powerful information to serve the community’s most vulnerable residents
September 17, 2019 – When the City of St. Louis Park set its four strategic initiatives for 2019, leaders promised residents, and their family members, they would focus on mental health and the community’s most vulnerable. By adding the Vitals™ app to the City’s Police Department, St. Louis Park takes another very big step in fulfilling a promise of inclusivity and support.
“Our residents take pride in the way the City collaborates to make sure no one is forgotten and ensures everyone can thrive. When I explained the advantages of our officers using the Vitals™ App, the St. Louis Park American Legion pledged a generous donation to assist with acquiring this innovative new tool. Having the Vitals™ App not only shows our commitment to supporting our most vulnerable residents and their loved ones, it helps us provide compassionate responses to some of our toughest calls. Our ultimate goal is to help people find the support they need in difficult times,” Chief Mike Harcey explained.
The Vitals™ App provides first responders with crucial information about vulnerable individuals, increasing the effectiveness of situational response and vastly expanding the potential for successful and safe resolutions. Vitals™ enrollees, or their family members, voluntarily provide the individualized information in this cutting-edge program revolving around technological innovation. When officers respond to calls regarding Vitals enrollees, they immediately receive important information on their smart phones that will help them de-escalate a potentially volatile situation by providing a response catered to a person’s specific needs and vulnerabilities.
“One aspect of St. Louis Park PD’s (SLPPD) community policing work that really impresses us at Vitals™ is the proactive model they’re using to connect their community members to crucial services that will help people thrive after a crisis. We are proud to partner with such a forward-thinking agency,” Vitals™ CEO Janeé Harteau explained.
The SLPPD has taken the lead in mental health support and advocacy through a partnership with Hennepin County, where officers and social workers follow up with individuals right after an interaction with law enforcement. The proactive initiative aims to reduce repeat calls for service; especially calls where police response may not be the best way to solve an issue. The Department also has a diverse working group of nine officers (detectives, school resource officers, patrol officers, etc.) who meet weekly to discuss mental health calls for service and the potential referrals that would help those in need.
“Every officer on the Department, from the Chief on down, will be trained and have access to the Vitals™ platform. As far as community connections, the more we know about one another, and the more we understand each other, the more powerful our police-public collaboration becomes. This technology will help us continue our community policing mission,” Lt. Mikael Garland said.
All told, the SLPPD has 56 sworn officers who serve a city of 49,000 people. The City’s population grows by thousands each day with the influx of people who work and play in St. Louis Park.
Vitals™ Aware Services was launched in August of 2017. Approximately 70 first responding agencies and two school districts are now using the community-based service.
About Vitals™ Aware Services
Vitals™ works by equipping first responders with information voluntarily provided by Vitals™ enrollees. Law enforcement and other first responders download the Vitals™ First Responder app on their cellphones. The service allows a vulnerable person to register online, then wear a beacon that takes the form of a keychain, necklace, debit card or bracelet. An Android phone can also serve as the beacon. When a Vitals™ user comes within 80 feet of an officer or first responder equipped with the service, the officer will get a notification about the person’s diagnosis and how they may best interact with them.
To learn more about Vitals™, go to www.thevitalsapp.com.