To further its mission, NACOLE works to bring together the growing community of civilian oversight practitioners, law enforcement officials, journalists, elected officials, students, community members, and others to meet and exchange information and ideas about issues facing civilian oversight and law enforcement. In addition to it's annual conference, NACOLE conducts regional training and networking events, and gathers academics and scholars from different fields to discuss and encourage multi-disciplinary work on police oversight, and encourage relationships between civilian oversight practitioners, police professionals, and scholars.
Strategies for a Successful Mediation Program
Mediation, a form of alternative dispute resolution, is often used in civilian oversight as a process for resolving citizen complaints against the police through a face-to-face meeting, during which a professional mediator serves as a neutral facilitator. Studies have shown that police and civilian mediation participants are more satisfied with the complaint resolution process than those involved in complaints subject to investigation. In addition, mediating complaints has been shown to help build police-community understanding and reduce costs and case-completion times.
Join us Tuesday, March 28, 2017, 1:00PM ET, as we hear from the directors of two civilian oversight agencies that have built and currently operate successful mediation programs: Lisa Grace Cohen of the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) and Rochelle Howard of the Washington, DC Office of Police Complaints (OPC). In addition to discussing the nuts-and-bolts of their programs, they will suggest tools and resources for creating successful mediation programs such as consulting with mediation experts; leveraging existing research studies; and building support with police and union officials, city law departments, and legal and community advocates.
Represented Mediation Programs
New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board’s Mediation Program
The New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) is an independent agency empowered to receive, investigate, prosecute, mediate, hear, making findings and recommend actions regarding complaints filed by civilians against member of the New York City Police Department. In 1993, the legislation enacting the CCRB contained an unusual provision for its time mandating that the agency establish a mediation program. In 1997, the first year the program was in operation, the Mediation Unit was responsible for closing four cases. Since that time, the CCRB mediation program has become the largest voluntary mediation program, of its kind, in the country. In 2016, the Medication Unit closed over 400 cases.
Participation in the mediation program is voluntary for both civilians and officers. After a successful mediation (about 90% of mediated complaints are successful), the complaint is closed, there is no further investigation, and the officer is not disciplined. The CCRB mediates a wide range of allegations within its jurisdiction (that is, allegations of force, abuse of authority, offensive language, and discourtesy). The agency generally does not mediate cases in which there are allegations of property damage or physical injury, an arrest arising from the incident complained about or a pending or contemplated lawsuit. The mediation program satisfaction survey indicates that approximately 90% of officers and civilians are satisfied with both the mediation process and the outcome.
Washington, D.C. Office of Police Complaints’ Mediation Program
The Office of Police Complaints (OPC) mediation program is a key component of serving the agency’s mission: to increase community trust in the District of Columbia police forces by providing a fair, thorough, and independent system of civilian oversight of law enforcement. The OPC’s mediation program is statutorily authorized, nationally recognized, and currently resolves approximately 13% of all OPC complaints through the use of independently contracted, neutral third-party mediators. Several factors are used to determine if a case should be referred for mediation including the type of misconduct allegation, the nature of the interaction between the complainant and the officer, and whether there seemed to be a misunderstanding between the complainant and the officer. The OPC is authorized to refer a case to mediation without first obtaining the consent of the officer, and to mandate that the complainant and officer participate in the mediation in good faith.
To evaluate how its mediation program is serving the agency’s mission and its customers, the OPC asks complainants and officers who participate in mediation to complete an anonymous survey about their experience. OPC uses its mediation program as an efficient and effective way to resolve complaints while improving the relationship between the District of Columbia police forces and the community they serve. The OPC’s mediation program has served as a model for alternative dispute resolution programs in civilian police oversight agencies around the country and is a source of great pride and accomplishment within the agency.
Moving Forward Together: Civilian Oversight in a Time of Transition
NACOLE is excited to annouce that the next event in the 2017 Regional Meeting Series will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana. On April 28, 2017, those working in and around civilian oversight of law enforcement will gather with local and national experts to discuss civilian oversight, reform efforts, and how we work to move forward in a time of political transition.
In addition to the neworking opportunities, attendees will have the opportunity to come together to learn and discuss the following topics:
Civilian Oversight in a Time of Transition
Outreach to Immigrant & Other Vulnerable Communities
- The Open Data Initiative and the Importance of Access to and Accuracy of Data
What Investigators & Civilian Review Boards Should Know about Investigative Techniques
Front-end Accountability and the Importance of Policy Analysis
In addition, the end of the day will include an opportunity for the overisght practitioners in attendance to meet and discuss the work they are doing, their challenges, and the opportunities ahead.
NACOLE Regional Events allow those working in, for, and around civilian oversight to gain knowledge and the opportunity to establish additional connections with those doing similar work in the area of police accountability.
There is no cost to attend this event, however seating is limited. Please note that registration for this event will close Wednesday, April 19th.
Please check back soon for additional event and registration information.
Civilian Oversight in a Changing Landscape
Increased attention given to incidents of police misconduct has, in turn, given increased attention to civilian oversight and its important role as a necessary component of sustainable reform. This has been demonstrated by the establishment and strengthening of civilian oversight agencies throughout the country, its inclusion in the Final Report of the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing, and the overwhelming votes to strengthen civilian oversight in the cities of Denver, Honolulu, New Orleans, Oakland, and San Francisco in the November election.
Although attention on civilian oversight has increased nationally, those working in, around, and for civilian oversight are navigating a changing landscape. New leadership at the federal level has already questioned the need for and results of police reform efforts over the last several years. Despite the challenges these changes have already made clear, there may be other opportunities for continuing those efforts. With the continuing need for expanding and institutionalizing civilian oversight, it is imperative that we work to identify and make the most of those opportunities.
Join us this September in Spokane, Washington as NACOLE and the oversight community comes together to discuss the changing landscape, inevitable challenges, and the determination to continue the work to affect real and sustainable reform. This year's annual conference will feature four tracks:
- Current and Emerging Issues
- 21st Century Policing
- Effectiveness & Impact
- Correctional Oversight
Within these four tracks conference attendees will be able to choose from 31 different concurrent and plenary sessions covering topics such as Building Community Trust, Trauma Informed Policing, Mental Health and Segregation in Prisons, Auditing for Accountability, and Evaluating Police Use of Force. In addition to attending these sessions, you will be with hundreds of others in the ever-growing community of civilian oversight practitioner, community members, law enforcement and correctional officials, journalists, elected officials, students and others working for greater accountability, transparency, and trust. You will be a part of a learning and networking event that will provide inspiration, ideas, and practical knowledge to overcome the challenges ahead and continue the work.
The County and City of Spokane, Washington will serve as our hosts and, in the midst of a schedule full of training and the discussion of current and emerging topics, they will share with us their work as a community to rebuild trust between the police and the communities they serve.
Cancellations & Registration Transfers:
Please note that all cancellations must be made in writing and emailed to the NACOLE Director of Training and Education at email@example.com. Cancellations made before August 18, 2017 will be refunded, minus a $30 processing fee. NACOLE will not be able to refund any portion of the registration fee for cancellations made on or after August 18, 2017. If you need to transfer your registration to another person in your organization rather than cancelling, please contact Cameron McEllhiney at firstname.lastname@example.org for further assistance.