Mediation Program

The mediation program is managed by the Office of the Independent Monitor and is a collaborative effort with the Denver Police Department, the Denver Sheriff Department, and Community Mediation Concepts. 

Community-Police Mediation is an alternative to the traditional way of handling police complaints.  Complainants have the chance to sit down with officers and deputies in a neutral and confidential setting, with the assistance of a professional mediator.  This voluntary process allows both sides to be heard.  Complainants talk about the behaviors they felt were harmful or discourteous and help officers see the incident from their perspectives.  Officers and deputies have the chance to explain what happened from their perspectives as well, and often share what kind of information they had going into the situation as well as relevant policies and procedures that may have impacted their decisions. The mediator facilitates the conversation virtually or in a private, neutral location, allowing both parties to bring closure to the encounter.  

Mediation has proven to be a meaningful experience for the majority of complainants and officers who participate.  Most complainants do feel that they were heard, that they impacted officer and deputy future behavior, and that they achieved closure through the process.  

Community Mediation Concepts

Frequently Asked Questions

What is mediation?

Mediation is an alternative to the traditional complaint and disciplinary process.  It is a voluntary and confidential process in which a professional mediator helps community members, officers, and deputies talk and listen to each other. It is also a chance for officers and deputies to hear how their actions affected community members and vice versa.

If the complainant and the officer or deputy agree to mediate, and a mediation is completed, the complaint will be considered resolved and closed.

Mediation does not have a legally binding outcome, nor are the participants forced to participate, apologize, or reconcile. 

What are the benefits of using mediation?

 The benefits of mediation include:

  • The opportunity to allow officers, deputies, and community members to resolve complaints themselves, rather than depend on the judgment of others;
  • A more satisfying experience than the regular complaint process. The majority of those who have mediated say they would recommend it to others;
  • The chance to make a real difference in the understanding, attitude, and behavior of participants; and
  • A step towards Improving relationships between community members and law enforcement.

How are mediation cases selected?

Complainants are generally offered the option of mediation during the intake process, but it can also be offered after the investigation has begun.  Mediation is completely voluntary.  Forcing parties to talk to one another defeats the spirit of mediation.  Potential mediation cases must also be reviewed and approved by the Office of the Independent Monitor and either Denver Police Department and Department of Safety.  If the officer or deputy agrees to participate, mediations are scheduled for a mutually agreeable time and place (including weekends and evenings). Most mediations take place at the Wellington Webb Municipal Building downtown, but they can occur at libraries or city council offices if it is more convenient for the parties.