The Fresno City Council and Fresno Police couldn't settle their differences about how to settle differences. Now Fresno citizens will have a new way to air grievances about cops.
The mediation is modeled after similar programs in other cities. If someone files a low-level complaint against an officer, they can request a sit-down with the person in question.
If the officer agrees to the mediation, conflict resolution experts from Fresno Pacific University will help the two sides resolve their differences.
Reports from other cities are mostly positive. The program's supporters say citizens and police often reach peaceful resolutions, and the process is cheaper than more traditional review.
The Fresno Police Officers Association said they liked the idea, but worried about the legal language. They raised concerns about exposing themselves to possible litigation.
The City Council and the FPOA tried to find common ground but could not. Without support from the FPOA, the City Council voted unanimously to support the mediation process.
Ultimately, there's little risk for police. Entering mediation is voluntary for each opposing party.