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Summit County Commissioners encourage residents to utilize community resources to resolve conflicts in constructive ways
Contact:Commissioner Karn Stiegelmeier970-471-2298, firstname.lastname@example.org
SUMMIT COUNTY – The Summit Board of County Commissioners proclaimed October to be Conflict Resolution Month in Summit County Tuesday. In doing so, the BOCC joins with individuals and organizations across Summit County and the State of Colorado committed to productive and nonviolent strategies for dealing with conflict, dispute and disagreement.
“Dealing with conflict in your personal or professional life can be stressful and difficult,” Commissioner Karn Stiegelmeier said. “This October, our community is shining the spotlight on resources available to help people work through conflicts in ways that produce satisfying, long-lasting results for all parties.”
Conflict Resolution Month is a statewide initiative that builds awareness of practices such as arbitration, mediation, restorative justice and non-violent communication, helping Coloradans deal constructively with conflict.
“I am pleased to be involved with this effort to promote peaceful resolutions to conflict,” Colorado State Representative Millie Hamner said. “While conflict among individuals and in our communities is inevitable, we would all like to see less violence and more opportunities to resolve our differences more effectively.”
Gov. John Hickenlooper has issued a statewide proclamation declaring October as Conflict Resolution Month. Locally, a diverse coalition of organizations has come together to advance conflict resolution.
The Conflict Resolution Coalition of Summit County was organized in September 2014 to expand awareness of conflict resolution programs and services in the area. The coalition includes more than 40 members, including attorneys, juvenile diversion professionals, the Keystone Policy Center, Summit School District, law enforcement agencies, Summit County Library, the faith community, social services administrators and others.
In one example of proactive conflict resolution employed locally, the Summit County Sheriff’s Office has hired professional mediators to resolve protracted or escalating disputes between neighbors. Such disputes have the potential to result in criminal activity and subsequent charges, typically with significant involvement by Sheriff’s Office deputies. But when a mediator engages all parties in a facilitated process to resolve the conflict, criminal activity can be averted, and law enforcement resources can be put to better use.
“We don’t utilize these services often, but in circumstances that merit this approach, it results in better outcomes for the neighbors involved and reduces the number of calls for service that our deputies have to respond to,” Sheriff John Minor said.
Members of the Conflict Resolution Coalition have organized the following events and activities to take place during Conflict Resolution Month: