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Office of Police Complaints Will Conduct 100th Mediation Session

Monday, October 31, 2005

(Washington, DC) The Office of Police Complaints (OPC) will pass a milestone this week by completing the agency's 100th mediation session. Since the agency opened in 2001, OPC has brought together members of the public and police officers in 99 mediation sessions that have addressed police misconduct allegations. Second only to New York City in the number of mediations involving citizens and the police, Washington, DC, is a leader in the United States in mediating such complaints.

OPC's mediation program allows complainants and police officers in eligible cases to meet face-to-face to resolve issues raised in police misconduct complaints. This alternative dispute resolution program strives to improve relations between the public and police while eliminating the stress of investigations and hearings that the parties might otherwise face.

OPC selects complaints that are appropriate for mediation. The agency does not mediate complaints alleging the use of unnecessary or excessive force resulting in physical injury. OPC relies on a pool of well-trained and highly-experienced individuals to conduct its mediation sessions.

To encourage candor and openness during mediation, the parties must sign a confidentiality agreement before each session starts. All agreements resolving complaints are voluntary and must be agreed to by both parties. Complainants and police officers have reached agreements in approximately 75% of the cases mediated by OPC.

"We are pleased that our mediation program has led to greater understanding between members of the public and police officers in Washington, DC," said Philip K. Eure, OPC's executive director. "We consider the program to be an essential part of achieving greater police accountability and, therefore, better policing in the nation's capital."

The success of OPC's mediation program has attracted attention around the world. OPC has received a number of inquiries about its program from cities and police departments around the United States as well as from Canada, the United Kingdom, and Israel.

For additional information about OPC's mediation program and examples of complaints that the agency has mediated, please visit our website's Mediation page.

OPC Mediation Program