What is mediation?
Mediation is an informal dispute resolution process that utilizes a neutral third party, the mediator, to assist the parties involved in the mediation to resolve their differences or conflicts. Mediation allows for each party to voice their concerns in a controlled, secure, and totally confidential environment.
Why should I choose to mediate?
Mediation is an informal, non-punitive process. It allows all parties to a dispute equal input and greater control over final resolution of their issues. It is normally a much faster process to resolve differences than by using the department's more formal processes. Due to the informal nature of the mediation process, nothing will ever appear in an employee's personnel file should the employee choose mediation as a way to resolve an issue.
What issues can be mediated?
Mediation eligible issues are primarily interpersonal in nature and may include misperceptions, misunderstandings, discourtesies, and miscommunications among people. Mediation issues generally involve personal conflict between two or more parties and the mediation process is used to help resolve these conflicts. Issues involving criminal behavior, certain law and policy violations, as well as flagrant misconduct are NOT eligible for mediation. Eligibility for mediation will be determined at the time the issue is first brought forward.
Is mediation part of the department's formal investigative process?  
No. The Mediation Section of the Alternative Dispute Resolution office oversees the department's mediation process. Mediation IS NOT part of the IAD process or any other investigative process.
 Is mediation a punitive process?
No. Mediation is a non-punitive process and does not result in discipline against any of the participants, regardless of the outcome, as long as the issue can be resolved via mediation. 
How confidential is mediation?
According to state law and police department policy mediation is confidential. All mediation participants, including the mediator, must keep confidential any information either discussed or discovered during the mediation process, except as otherwise required by law.
Who can participate in the mediation process?
Mediation is available to all Houston Police Department employees, both civilian and classified. Any citizen who wishes to utilize the department's mediation process can do so via the Citizen and Employee Mediation Program.
What is a mediator? 
A mediator is a third party neutral who oversees and controls the mediation session. The mediator is not a judge and will not dictate any part of the resolution. A mediator helps to keep the mediation focused and facilitates open conversation between the parties. By law anything discussed in the presence of a mediator must be kept confidential by that mediator and the parties involved. The mediator is typically referred to as a third party neutral.
How is a mediator selected?
Mediators are chosen randomly from a list of pre-qualified trained mediators.
What is my first step if I wish to get additional information about the department's mediation process?
Contact the Alternative Dispute Resolution office at 713-308-3400. A Mediation Section staff member will explain the steps you need to follow. All inquiries remain confidential.