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A Ticket to Mediation

(Bel Air, MD – February 27, 2007) — Harford County Sheriff’s Deputies are issuing a new type of ticket in the county. The Sheriff’s Office has partnered with the Harford County Community Mediation Program (HCCMP) to issue mediation referral tickets to citizens involved in disputes.

Mediation referral tickets will be issued to citizens involved in many types of conflict to include: neighborhood disputes, noise – parking & animal complaints, property boundary issues, landlord / tenant issues, harassment –vandalism & littering complaints, teen / adult family problems, elder / senior well being issues, consumer / merchant disputes, and student / school relationships.

The cost of the ticket books have been funded by a state grant through the Maryland Mediation & Conflict Resolution Office.

Although the Mediation Program is for willing participants it is hoped that mediation referral tickets will provide a needed nudge to get disputants into the program. “We are hoping that the tickets empower citizens to solve conflict in a more positive fashion” commented Lieutenant Jim Eyler. “To often conflict festers and grows into a much bigger problem that if not resolved leads to the police being called.”

“90% of all cases mediated end successfully, we [HCCMP] are trying to make each case a win-win situation for both parties” stated Mediation Coordinator, Jennifer Noffke. “I’m very enthusiastic about the partnership with the Sheriff’s Office and look forward to expanding this program to include other police agencies in the county.” Noffke added “To our knowledge this type of partnership is a first in the State.”

For more information on the Mediation Program you can contact them at 410-836-4154 or visit their website at www.harford.edu/CET/Community/Mediation.