Frequently Asked Questions about Mediation (continued)
- To be fully heard and understood.
- To speak directly with the officer and resolve the complaint outside of the disciplinary process, rather than having the complaint decided by others.
- To give the officer feedback.
- To prevent similar incidents in the future by helping the officer see the incident from your perspective.
- To regain confidence in police services and respect for officers.
- To hear the officer's perspective.
Why would I, as a law enforcement officer, choose to mediate?
- To be understood- officers can't always explain their actions in the field.
- To hear the civilians' perspectives.
- To speak directly with the community member, rather than having the complaint decided by others.
- To improve relations with individual civilians as well as whole communities.
- To resolve the complaint outside of the disciplinary process.
Will I be forced to apologize or admit wrongdoing?
No. You may not have done anything wrong. In any case, what you say is up to you. Some participants do apologize to each other- if they choose to do so.
The incident was unpleasant the first time, won't mediation be the same?
Not necessarily. Generally, people have already seen each other at their worst during the incident. Mediation can even work with difficult people. Mediators are trained to help people resolve issues in constructive ways.
What if the other party just wants an opportunity to verbally attack me?
It is part of the mediator's job to prevent a mediation session from deteriorating into
verbal attacks. While some venting (on both sides) is common, neither verbal abuse nor threatening behavior is acceptable in mediation. Mediators may separate the parties and work with them individually or terminate the mediation if necessary.
Could something said in mediation be used against me later in court?
The mediation sessions are confidential. Before the mediation session begins, all participants must sign a confidentiality agreement.