Mediation is an alternative method of responding to citizen complaints against police officers. The mediation process involves the complainant and the officer meeting to discuss the incident/complaint, with a professional mediator supervising the session. Mediation sessions generally last about one hour. Neither side is expected to admit guilt or responsibility, although they may choose to do so. The point of mediation is for each of the two sides to listen to the other side and express his or her own side. “Success” is defined in terms of the listening process. Complaints that are successfully mediated are removed from the officer’s discipline file.
The Denver Office of the Independent Monitor has one of the most successful mediation programs in the country.
Read the OIM’s 2015 report on its mediation program (which includes comparative data from seven other mediation programs: mediationdenveroim2015
Read the complete 2015 OIM Annual Report: denveroim2015-annual-report-final
Mediation and Community Dialog in Pasadena
The Pasadena, California, Police Department implemented a combined program of mediating citizen complaints and conducting a series of community dialogs designed to improve police-community relations. Read the report on this effort by the Police Assessment Resource Center (PARC): PasadenaMediation
Examples of Mediated Cases
Curious about what kind of cases are mediated, and the outcomes? Here are three examples taken from the web site of the Office of Police Complaints (OPC) in Washington, DC. Go to the OPC web site for additional information here.
Case#1: Insulting Language: mediationinsultinglanguage
Case#2: Race Discrimination: mediationracediscrim
Case #3: Hostile Behavior: mediationhostilebehavior