The U.S. Postal Service declined WCCB’s request for an interview. They sent us this statement instead:
“Every day, the U.S. Postal Service safely, securely, and efficiently delivers mail to more than 163 million addresses, including millions of checks, money orders, credit cards and parcels. Unfortunately, such items are also attractive to thieves. And like other businesses and/or companies, the Postal Service is not immune to crime. To address these crimes, the Postal Inspection Service is engaged on multiple fronts with various partners to combat robberies and prosecute these criminals. Some of the steps we are taking include:
• The U.S. Postal Inspection Service engages with its local, county, state, and federal law enforcement partners, including the Department of Justice, to address violent crimes committed against Postal Service employees and other Postal crimes.
• The U.S. Postal Inspection Service participates in violent crime tasks forces including the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force which include local, county, state, and federal law enforcement officers. These task forces target violent crimes including those perpetrated against on-duty USPS employees.
• The U.S. Postal Inspection Service employs Special Assistant United States Attorneys throughout the United States to specifically prosecute mail theft related cases including those associated with the robberies of on-duty USPS letter carriers.
• The U.S. Postal Inspection Service employs local law enforcement officers as task force officers in various locations throughout the United States to address mail theft and other crimes with a postal nexus
• The U.S. Postal Inspection Service deploys additional Postal Inspectors to locations around the country where robberies, mail theft, and other postal-related crimes warrant more focused attention.
• The U.S. Postal Inspection Service utilizes the latest technology and techniques to target cyber-enabled financial crimes including those associated with robberies and mail theft.
• The U.S. Postal Inspection Service works closely with other stakeholder groups within the Postal Service to develop, test, and deploy new and improved hardware, tools, and technology to enhance mail security.
• The U.S. Postal Inspection Service has a program called “Safe and Secure”, which focuses on continuing employee education and prevention efforts through talks, presentations, and training videos to help employees prevent robberies, assaults, and theft from postal vehicles and facilities.
The safety and well-being of USPS employees is a top priority for the Postal Inspection Service. Postal Inspectors respond to all reports of threats, assaults, and robberies.
Postal Police Officers (“PPOs”) do not investigate mail theft or robberies of letter carriers on the carrier’s route. PPOs are the uniformed security force of the Postal Service and play an important role in the protection of employees, assets, and mail on Postal Service property. PPOs are armed, wear uniforms, and use clearly marked vehicles to deter crime and provide physical security at Postal Service facilities. By law, the jurisdiction of PPOs is limited to Postal Service real property, and as such, the primary role of PPOs is to provide physical security for Postal Service property at their assigned work locations. USPS and the Postal Inspection Service work closely with the Postal Police Officers Association (PPOA) on policy matters relative to postal police officer duties.
While the narrative the Postal Police Officer union President discusses may seem compelling, it is inaccurate and paints a false picture of the work every Postal employee does to keep the U.S. Mail safe. The Postal Inspection Service is committed to the effort to protect Postal employees and prevent mail theft. From investigating, to working with prosecutors and other law enforcement, we will not rest until we can put an end to crime impacting the U.S. Mail.”