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A complaint may be considered for mediation if an incident resulted from a failure to communicate or a lack of communication such that the allegation would be resolved better through talking and listening rather than through a formal disciplinary process. Examples of such cases include, but are not limited to:

  • Discourtesy
  • Rudeness 
  • Use of profanity 
  • Racial profiling
  • Procedural issues related to pedestrian, traffic stops, or police action 
  • Vehicle operations (e.g., speeding, use of sirens, code responses, etc.)

If all parties agree, a complaint may be considered for mediation.  Mediation is an attempt to resolve disagreements by talking through an issue with a neutral third party facilitating the discussion.  It is an alternative to the traditional complaint and disciplinary process that must be entered voluntarily by both parties and allows the deputies and residents to resolve complaints themselves, rather than depend on the judgment of others.

Some reasons residents mediate:

  • To be fully heard and understood.
  • To hear the employee’s perspectives.
  • To speak directly to the employee, rather than having the complaint decided by others.
  • To give the employee feedback.
  • To prevent similar incidents.
  • To regain the confidence in law enforcement services.

Some reasons the employee mediates:

  • To be understood….sometimes the employee can’t always explain their actions while in the field.
  • To hear the residents' perspective.
  • To speak directly with the residents, rather than having someone else decide the outcome of the complaint.
  • To improve relations with the community.
  • To resolve the complaint outside of the disciplinary process.

If you wish to request a mediation, you may do so in the following ways:

  • By calling us at 206-263-8870.
  • By visiting in person at 401 Fifth Avenue, Room 131, Seattle, WA 98104

Questions about what happens next?  See the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.


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