Mediation may be proposed in situations where the parties are willing to resolve the matter with the assistance of a neutral third party. As with Informal Resolution, the complainant, the respondent officer and the police chief must all agree. This process is coordinated by the OIPRD.
If the OIPRD approves mediation, an OIPRD staff mediator or a mediation service approved and contracted by the OIPRD will be engaged to determine whether the case can be mediated. If the complaint cannot be mediated, it will be returned to the police service or the OIPRD for investigation.
If it is determined that the case can be mediated, the mediation will be conducted. If the mediation is successful the parties will sign an agreement, which must be approved by the Director. There is no cooling off period. The complaint case will then be closed as “Informal Resolution via Mediation.”
A decision not to participate in mediation will have no impact on a complainant’s or respondent officer’s rights in the complaints process.
The OIPRD encourages the use of community mediation, a facilitative and transformative model of conflict resolution that best suits the goals of the OIPRD’s mediation program. It encourages individuals in conflict to share their recognition of each other’s perspectives and provides an opportunity for both the complainant and the respondent officer to learn from their interactions. Mediators are impartial and work in the interests of the parties involved in a conflict.
The OIPRD accesses mediation services on an “as required” basis by selecting a mediation service from the Ontario government vendor of record roster for each assignment. Mediation services are chosen based on location and availability to undertake the mediation quickly.