Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer announced Monday that the Dispute Resolution Program his office oversees is expanding to include both traditional community mediation services and community police outreach effort.
“Bringing individuals together who have disagreements with one another in a secure, guided and meaningful conversation can cut through seemingly intractable problems and resolve disputes,” Feuer said, adding that a grant from the county “allows us to continue our successful Dispute Resolution Program and also expand a pilot project that helps resolve complaints residents might have with police officers.”
The DRP recently secured an annually renewable $140,000 grant, for a maximum period of five years, from the Los Angeles County Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services Department that covers 30% of DPR’s annual operational costs. General funds cover the remaining 70%.
The Community Police Unification Program conducts mediations between the LAPD and the community, which can include complaints of bias or discourtesy filed against police officers that can be mediated in a neutral environment rather than an internal affairs process.
“We are always looking for new ways to bolster trust and build relationships, both of which are achieved when a police officer and community member have an opportunity to meet face-to-face,” LAPD Chief Michel Moore said. “The Dispute Resolution Program is a critical component in our commitment to procedural justice and quality through continuous improvement.”
The response to the program and the willingness of people to recommend it to others has been “overwhelmingly positive,” according to the City Attorney’s Office.
More information on the DRP can be found at www.lacityattorney.org/mediation.