L.A City Attorney To Expand Dispute Resolution Program with Police Outreach

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer announced today 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.

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