Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

NALC – Protect Our Letter Carriers Act introduced in House

March 14, 2024


On March 13, the Protect Our Letter Carriers Act (POLCA) (H.R. 7629) was introduced in the House by Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Greg Landsman (D-OH). The bill was announced at a press event outside the Capitol in Washington, DC, where President Brian L. Renfroe, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, Rep. Greg Landsman, Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), and Rep. Donald Norcross (D-NJ) spoke in support of the legislation.

AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Fred Redmond, TTD President Greg Regan, and two letter carrier attack victims also spoke at the event.

This bipartisan legislation would provide $7 billion in funding for the Postal Service to secure its infrastructure, including the installation of high-security collection boxes and the replacement of items carried by letter carriers with more secure electronic versions. The funding would be appropriated over five years, $1.4 billion annually in fiscal years 2025-2029. When key infrastructure is devalued and more secure, letter carriers will be safer on their routes.

Additionally, the legislation would increase prosecution rates for these crimes by requiring the Attorney General to appoint an assistant U.S. attorney in each judicial district to prioritize any case involving an assault or crime against a letter carrier. Their principal responsibility in the district would be to coordinate and supervise the investigation and prosecution of these crimes.

The bill would also strengthen sentencing guidelines for these crimes, ensuring that they are treated in the same manner as assaults on federal law enforcement officers.

Since 2020, there have been more than 2,000 crimes committed against letter carriers on the job. Many of these attacks involve a gun or another weapon. Letter carrier robberies climbed to 643 last year, an increase of nearly 30 percent, and the number of robberies resulting in injuries doubled, according to the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS).

“The rise in robberies and violent assaults being committed against letter carriers in recent years is deeply concerning and Congress must act to ensure their safety,” Rep. Fitzpatrick said. “I am proud to be leading this bipartisan effort, which provides necessary resources to protect our dedicated letter carriers while making sure we are punishing criminals to the fullest extent of the law. The men and women of the postal service are often the backbone of a community, and they work hard around the clock, rain or shine, to deliver essential goods, and I will always have their back.”

“Our letter carriers are such a big part of our lives, and we have to keep them safe. This bipartisan effort will do just that,” Rep. Landsman said.

“I urge the House to pass this bill that would protect the nation’s letter carriers who dutifully deliver medications, checks, ballots, packages, and other essential mail that all Americans depend on,” President Renfroe said.

TAKE ACTION

Click here to ask your member of Congress to cosponsor the Protect Our Letter Carriers Act.

Click here for the fact sheet.

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