Shaphan Roberts is the Director for Los Angeles City Attorney’s Dispute Resolution Program and an Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine University where he earned his MBA in their PKE program. Mr. Roberts manages the coordination of all programmatic aspects of the Dispute Resolution Program, including community mediation, the Community Police Unification (CPU) Program, and growth in line with the goals of the City Attorney’s Community Justice Initiative. Mr. Roberts also serves as the head liaison with public and private alternative dispute resolution programs; with federal, state, and local agencies as well as colleges, universities, and other community-based organizations. Additionally, he manages the recruitment, training, and certification of the DRP’s volunteer mediator workforce. He is often requested to train city departments and community organizations on conflict management, de-escalation, and cross-cultural communication. In mid-2020, the City Attorney selected Mr. Roberts to serve as a part of a team that organized and convened city-wide conversations with protesters and police officers after the death of George Floyd. Prior to, Mr. Roberts led an inter-agency collaboration between the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office and the Los Angeles Police Department to develop and implement a 36-month pilot program currently known as the CPU Program, the city’s award-winning community-police mediation program. The CPU aims to cultivate a better understanding between the police department and the community it serves by creating an opportunity to bring community members and law enforcement together to mediate selected complaints of biased policing or discourtesy. As part of his efforts in this area, he spearheaded the design of the program’s Responsivity Tool which aids in an informed matching of mediators with mediation participants. After completing the pilot program, the Los Angeles Police Commission unanimously passed a resolution recommending the permanent adoption of the Community Police Unification (CPU) Program. Mr. Roberts is routinely asked to speak to law enforcement departments nationwide about the CPU model and process. Mr. Roberts continues to lead with passion and advises city and state municipalities across the country regarding police reform and community relations. In his daily work, he is looked upon to support the City Attorney in his efforts to respond to our constituents’ fears relating to the rise of hate and bullying, the lack of trust over police-community relations, and the need for greater engagement with clergy and other community stakeholders.
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