Greenville, SC – The Upstate Mediation Center (UMC) and the Greenville Police Department and are launching a new Community – Police Mediation Program that is designed to provide an alternative forum for resolving certain types of citizen complaints. Through this program, specially-trained professional UMC mediators will guide citizens and police officers through a face-to-face facilitated discussion in a neutral, confidential environment.
Participation in the mediation program is voluntary and is offered as an alternative to the Greenville Police Department’s formal complaint process. Complaints that are eligible for the program include demeanor complaints (e.g., discourteous or rude behavior); ineffective communication between a complainant and a police officer; and biased-based policing complaints.
Citizen complaints about law enforcement often stem from misunderstandings and poor communication during emotionally-charged incidents. The goal of mediation is to alleviate the accompanying anger, fear, anxiety, trauma, and resentment and provide an opportunity for both the citizen and the officer to tell their side of the story in a non-threatening, non-judgmental setting.
Through mediation, both parties gain an understanding of the other’s perspective, which helps to restore confidence and rebuild trust between the two parties. Every time a dispute is peacefully resolved, everyone benefits. Relationships are improved, and communities are strengthened.
Law enforcement agencies in cities such as Denver, Pasadena, and New York have successfully utilized similar programs and report that both citizens and officers leave mediation sessions with a greater sense of satisfaction than those who participate in the traditional departmental complaint process.
About the Greenville Police Department
The Greenville Police Department serves the city of Greenville, South Carolina, with a staff of over 241 employees, among whom 199 are sworn officers. The men and women of the Greenville Police Department are law enforcement professionals dedicated to their mission of service to the public. For more information, visit http://police.greenvillesc.gov/.