Commissioner Evans is pleased to announce the Boston Police Department Mediation Program. This program, done in partnership with the Harvard Mediation Program at Harvard Law School, has been created to provide a setting for Boston Police Officers and the citizens of Boston to meet and discuss grievances in a fair and respectful manner. Additionally, it allows the parties to improve communication and understanding between themselves while crafting mutual agreements and resolving conflict. Mediation reinforces the Community Policing philosophy of the Boston Police Department by encouraging communication and understanding between the police and the public.
This program is a voluntary alternative to the standard complaint intake and internal investigation process. Should the circumstances of a complaint be deemed appropriate, officers will be given the opportunity to opt into the program and review their cases with mediators independent of the Department. This opportunity can minimize the number of internal affairs complaints made against officers that often can be avoided or resolved through mutual understanding and conversation.
This program is being implemented while complaints against officers in Boston continue to decline. Since 2010, excessive force complaints against Boston officers have dropped nearly 65% and overall citizen complaints have declined 23%. “This program seeks to involve the public in the process of resolving complaints,” said Commissioner Evans. “Bringing the public into the process will further enhance my commitment to transparency and building trust with the community.”
For more information on the mediation program, click here.