The District and its police union have formally declared an impasse, sending the lengthy battle over a new contract for cops to a mediator.

Kristopher Baumann, the union's chairman, confirmed to The Washington Examiner that the two sides had made the joint filing that will allow a mediator to intervene. An arbitration panel will become involved if the parties can't come to an agreement in mediation.

"The [Vincent] Gray administration can say whatever they want about respecting government employees, but at the end of the day, their actions speak for them," Baumann said. "In this case, the mayor has misled the public and the media, and there hasn't been any progress, and both parties agreed to that. Now, we have to go forward with other means because the mayor and his representatives will not move forward."

A mayoral spokesman said the city hoped mediation would result in a solution.

"We remain hopeful that working with a mediator, we can reach an agreement that is fair and mutually beneficial," Pedro Ribeiro said.

The filing came one day ahead of the mayor's State of the District Address. People familiar with the speech said Gray is planning to call for pay raises for city employees, including police officers.