CPOC is Excited to Announce the Community-Police Complaint Mediation Program is now Live!
In partnership with the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD), the Citizens Police Oversight Commission (CPOC) developed a complaint mediation program for low-level civilian complaints against police officers. As part of the City’s Pathways to Reform, Transformation, and Reconciliation work, the PPD has committed to implementing CPOC’s program as an alternate resolution to the traditional complaint process, with the intention of increasing trust and building mutual understanding between the police and community.
The Community-Police Complaint Mediation program will increase efficiency of the current complaint process by reducing the time it takes to resolve complaints, will provide resolution for complainants, will contribute to equitable policing by giving the community a voice via the complaint disposition process, and will increase understanding between police officers and community members.
In order to be eligible for a complaint mediation session, officers must meet two qualifications: the complaint must be categorized as a verbal abuse or lack of service complaint and must be in “first complaint” status. This means that an officer must not have had a verbal abuse or lack of service complaint filed against them in the past two years. CPOC works with PPD’s Internal Affairs Department to screen for eligibility. Once it is determined that your case meets the criteria, the CPOC Mediation Program Coordinator will reach out to both parties to inform them of their options. If you decide to move forward with the mediation session, the mediation coordinator will move forward to schedule the session at a mutually agreeable time and date.
Mediation sessions typically last one to two hours and can be scheduled in person, or they can also be held virtually on Zoom. The mediation session will be led by a trained and experienced mediator. The mediator will keep the conversation focused, productive, and free from offensive or abusive language. All that is required during mediation is for both parties to participate in good faith. There is no requirement or expectation for anyone to apologize or come to an agreement. It’s ok to agree to disagree! As long as everyone feels heard and respected, the session will be considered a success.
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