Mediation is used as an alternative to the traditional complaint investigation process. A neutral, professional mediator helps you and police employees resolve complaints regarding alleged police misconduct in a safe environment. Mediation provides an opportunity for police employees to hear how you perceive their actions and for you to explain what made you angry or confused. It is also a chance for police employees to explain their actions and point of view. Mediation is voluntary, confidential, collaborative, and non-judgmental.
The goal of mediation is to help participants understand the actions, behavior and motivations of each other, and thereby strengthen the relationship between the community and police department.
Both you and the police employee must agree to mediation, and it must be approved by the Professional Standards Division (PSD).
What Types of Complaints Qualify for Mediation?
Not all complaints of misconduct are eligible for mediation. Complaints that are appropriate for mediation generally include cases in which a lack of effective communication between a resident and police employee led to a complaint.
Examples of eligible incidents include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Complaints of biased-based policing
- Allegations of discourteous or rude treatment or behavior
- Cases that are unlikely to be sustained
- Cases in which future interactions with the complainant are probable
- Situations involving lack of effective communication between the resident and the police employee.
Examples of ineligible complaints include, but are not limited, to the following:
- Excessive use of force complaints
- Violations of law in which a court proceeding (traffic or criminal) is pending for the resident and the police employee is a witness
- Accusations of corruption or other criminal behavior which, if true, would result in substantial discipline or termination.
Participating in Good Faith
In order for mediation to be effective, both parties must participate in good faith. That means that people are respectful to each other, listen carefully, and tactfully express their points of view.
If the mediator rules the police employee did not participate in good faith, we will process your complaint through our traditional complaint investigation process.
If the mediation determines that you did not participate in good faith or you did not complete all the documentation, the complaint will no longer be considered and no further action will be taken against the police employee in regard to the specific complaint.
A complaint that has been mediated is considered completed. If you are not satisfied with the results of mediation, GPD will take no further action.