(Washington, DC) The Office of Police Complaints (OPC) reached a milestone earlier this month by completing the agency’s 200th mediation session involving a citizen complainant and officer accused of police misconduct.
Since 2001, when the agency opened, OPC has brought together members of the public and officers of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) in mediation sessions that have addressed a variety of police misconduct allegations. The goal is for the parties to work together to reach a mutually-agreeable resolution of the complaint, without the stress of investigations and hearings that the participants might otherwise experience.
The mediation process involves a confidential, face-to-face meeting between the citizen complainant and the accused officer. The meeting is guided by a neutral third party. A pool of well-trained and experienced mediators conducts the sessions.
Approximately 75 percent of the cases mediated by OPC have resulted in an agreement between the citizen and the police officer since the inception of agency’s mediation program. Examples of agreements have ranged from the parties extending apologies to one another to officers promising to bring the complainant on a police ride-along.
“We are very pleased with the results achieved by our mediation program,” said Philip K. Eure, OPC’s executive director. “Mediation goes a long way towards improving police-community relations and promoting greater police accountability.”
The success of OPC’s police-citizen mediation program has gained attention around the United States and overseas. Over the years, the agency has fielded inquiries about its program from representatives of police oversight agencies in Brazil, Canada, Israel, the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland, among other places.
For more information about OPC, please visit our website at www.policecomplaints.dc.gov. To view information on OPC’s mediation program, please select the link below: