Alternative Conflict Resolution (ACR) Pilot Program

Print
Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

In October 2013, the City of Davis engaged a consultant to facilitate Dialogue Sessions between Davis community communication bubblemembers – selected and recommended by the Human Relations Commission – and the Davis Police Department on the topic of racial profiling. 

Discovery sessions in October 2013 lead to dialogue sessions held from November 2013 through January 2015 and resulted in the creation of this Community-Police Alternative Conflict Resolution (ACR) Pilot Program, designed to restore the Davis community when conflict occurs between Davis community members and Davis Police Department employees.

ACR Pilot Program

The ACR Pilot Program is an informal, confidential mediation process based on two restorative practices: circle processes and non-violent communication. Through the ACR Pilot Program, community members with a specific complaint about an interaction with Davis Police employees, and the Davis Police employee(s) meet in a face-to- face, restorative process with the assistance of a team of two trained Circle Co-Keepers, who are members of the Davis Community.

The ACR Pilot Program allows the participants to the interaction giving rise to the complaint to safely explore, understand, and/or mutually resolve the issues of the interaction, with the objective of healing the conflict. This may result in agreement, or an agreement to disagree. Participants are not required to reach a formal resolution. The expectation however, is that by “coming together in a good way,” the relationship between the participants will be restored.

Requirements 

Requirements are specific characteristics that are critical to participants’ satisfaction with the ACR Pilot Program. The program is informed, in its design and implementation, by these participant expectations.justice

  • Keep Confidentiality. Confidentiality is an essential element of the ACR Pilot Program. All participants must feel free to speak candidly. Confidentiality has special relevance for public complaints. Participants must be assured that any apology or acknowledgement of wrong doing will not be used against them, either by the Police Department or by a private attorney, in any subsequent proceeding of any sort.

Confidentiality does not preclude the Department from capturing general statistical information necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of the ACR Pilot Program.

  • Be Voluntary. Community Members and Police Employees must choose voluntarily to participate in the ACR Pilot Program. Much of the power of circle processes comes from affirming that the participants have the ability to choose for themselves. Making choices is empowering.

Circle processes invite participants to drop their ordinary identity and protections that create distance between people. A circle process is designed to create an environment where strong emotion and feeling – truth, conflict, silence, paradox, and opposite opinions – can be safely engaged.

  • Maintain Safety. The role of the Circle Co-Keepers is to initiate an environment for conflict resolution that is respectful and safe. Additionally the Circle Co-Keepers engage the circle participants in sharing responsibility for maintaining that space of safety and respect. The safer the environment, the greater the potential for participants in the ACR Pilot Program to explore their issue(s), come to some understanding, and/or resolve or heal the conflict.
  • Be Non-Hierarchical. Circle processes share power. Nothing in a circle process should convey rank or privilege. All participants in a circle process, not just the Circle Co-Keepers, are responsible for what happens during the circle process. All participants in the circle are equal community members. Development of the circle’s values, guidelines, and decisions are arrived at together. 
  • Use Non-Violent Communication. The ultimate aim of Non-Violent Communication (NVC) is to develop societal relationships based on a restorative, "partnership" paradigm and mutual respect, rather than a retributive, fear-based, "domination" paradigm. NVC focuses on three aspects of communication: self-empathy (defined as a deep and compassionate awareness of one's own inner experience), empathy (defined as listening to another with deep compassion), and honest self-expression (defined as expressing oneself authentically in a way that is likely to inspire compassion in others).
  • Be Transparent. Although the outcome of the ACR Pilot Program is unknown as participants begin this journey, the process will be transparent to the participants. Transparency allows participants to have trust in the circle process that they voluntarily are agreeing to engage in.
  • Be Flexible. Humans are unique. Human relationships are unique.  The ACR Pilot Program is designed and delivered in a way that recognizes and accommodates the needs of its participants. Circle Co-Keepers will create strong circle plans to allow participants to engage one another “in a good way.” As needed, these plans are flexible to better respond and be of service to the participants and the journey they are taking together.

Types of Eligible Complaints

Complaints involving the following allegations will be considered for the ACR Pilot Program:

  • Biased policing and rude conduct complaints with no additional allegations of misconduct.
  • Biased policing and rude conduct complaints with other allegations of minor misconduct.

Initially, complaints involving the following situations will not be considered for the ACR Pilot Program:

  • Force used.
  • Ethnic remark or other specific discourtesy directed at a class of person.
  • An employee was assaulted.
  • A lawsuit was filed.
  • A person was injured.
  • Excessive delay in reporting allegations.
  • Allegations of criminal misconduct.

Complaint Referred

The Office of The Police Chief refers a complaint to the ACR Pilot Program when all the following criteria are met:

  • The complaint of the alleged misconduct is either non-disciplinary or, if the allegation were found to be true (sustained) through a formal investigation, could/would result in minor discipline (e.g., discourtesy, general conduct, minor policy violations, or a minor neglect of duty, etc.), or involves an allegation of biased policing, as alleged by a community member; and
  • The Police employee(s) involved has/have no apparent pattern of similar behavior (normally limited to the past two years) for which s/he is accused or a sustained finding for such.

Cases not approved for the ACR Pilot Program shall be processed for investigation according to the Department’s existing citizen complaint policy.