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An exploratory study of the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board Mediation Program.

Bartels, Elizabeth C.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2005) International Journal of Police Strategies & Management. 28(4):619-630.

Purpose- This study seeks to provide an exploratory analysis of the level of satisfaction of citizens and police officers who participated in police complaint mediation. The New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board’s mediation program served as the case sample.
Design/ methodology/ approach- A two page questionnaire, of multiple choice and open-ended question, was sent to the sample population (N=285) of officers and complainants who either had their cases mediated or fully investigated.
Findings- Complainants who participated in mediation were significantly more satisfied with the police complaint, procedure, and the NYPD as a whole, than those whose cases were fully investigated. Two major areas of research concern also emerged from the data: a need for an analysis of the cases where complainants wish to avoid face-to-face meetings with subject officers, and clarification of the expectations of mediation participants.
Research limitations/implications- This study’s low response rate (18.2 percent) warrants caution in generalizing the findings of this study. Another limitation to this research was the cross-sectional survey design; a pre-post survey design would better determine whether the sample bias existed.
Practical Implications- This research helps to inform police and civilian oversight official of the effectiveness of police complaint mediation. In addition, this study highlights areas with merit future investigation.
Originality/value- This paper is the first examination of the satisfaction of police complaint mediation participants in the United States. This research is helpful for police and civilian oversight administrators considering the establishment of such a program, or those seeking the improvement of an existing one.
Keywords: Police. Police reform, Attitudes, Police misconduct, Discipline, Policing
Paper Type: Case study.


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