Some days are just more disappointing and difficult then the rest, and this is one of those days.
I sent an email to the town council in question about the residents' requests yesterday and one of the officers called me today. He explained that the town council felt they could not comply with some of the requests as the TC needs to protect their employees. He was also concerned that if there was a written apology, the residents might use it and file a police report with it. I pointed out that if that was the concern, the residents at the meeting had told us that they did not want to go down that route, and something could be put in the letter to that affect (which in fact one of the residents had suggested earlier too as a gesture of goodwill on their part).
I also said this was not about protecting an officer in the course of their normal job scope. Of course any company tries to protect their employees, but not if their employees are doing something wrong or illegal. I asked the officer what would happen if a hypothetical TC officer was found stealing during the course of his job. The officer said that he would file a police report - and I pointed out that this was the same thing. He said he would speak with his General Manager about it again.
In addition, they did not want to have the employee apologise as they felt the town council had already done so,. I said that the caregivers were satisfied that the town council was not involved - but that this particular officer was, and there was no point having the TC apologise.
The officer said they also felt a letter was unnecessary saying that the GM would warn all the officers because he had already told Michelle and I when they met with us. While we had conveyed the message, I think the residents would like to hear it from TC directly - speaking with some residents, I don't think they are insisting it even has to be in a written form as long as they hear it directly from the TC.
While I appreciate that the TC does not want to feel as if they are being held hostage in any way, I also believe that the residents feel that they are compromising on their part, because they are trying to spare the TC unnecessary embarrassment by not pursuing a police report or going to the press (which some people were suggesting earlier). However they do want to be reassured that the matter will not be dropped and that some action will be taken and they want to hear it from the horse's mouth. I believe they are hoping the TC will meet them half way and I said as much to the officer.
I really hope that an amicable method can be found. It is not our position to tell either side what to do - but we really hope to mediate so that a middle ground can be found. However it looks less and less likely we can do anything, and I suggested to the TC that they go back to what we suggested right from the beginning - meet with the residents directly. Right now, we're just passing messages to and fro because we're not in a position to make any of these decisions. If both parties sit down and talk, the situation can be resolved much easier.