Whatever one might think of the U.S. Postal Service — and polls conducted over the years actually suggest Americans have long held a positive view — the level of failure, neglect and outright abandonment of service in the Baltimore area over the past two years is shocking. The latest evidence of this, contained in a USPS inspector general’s audit released this week, ought to boil the blood of any Marylander whose blood wasn’t already simmering. If not for the Chicago area taking the top spot, Baltimore would have led the nation in missing mail inquiries from October 2019 to this June.
The audit, conducted at the request of U.S. Reps. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger and Kweisi Mfume and others in Maryland’s congressional delegation, focused primarily on Dundalk, Essex and other eastern Baltimore County communities and city neighborhoods where problems have been reported before. If it’s any comfort, people who found themselves missing prescription drug shipments, checks, letters and even Christmas gifts were not simply imagining things. Auditors found December mail sitting around Dundalk’s post office six months later in June. Hadn’t anyone taken a look at the stuff piling up in the corner? There were an estimated 972,000 pieces of missing mail at nine local post offices. It boggles the mind.