📮 Assaults on U.S. Postal Service letter carriers have increased 22%

📮 NJ congressman calls for armed postal police to be placed on patrol

📮 The U.S. Postmaster General says he does not have the authority

Citing a rise in the number of assaults on mail carriers, New Jersey Congressman Bill Pascrell is calling for armed postal police to be sent on patrol to protect the men and women delivering the mail.

Pascrell was joined in front of the Paterson Post Office by postal police union president Frank Albergo in urging congress to pass the Postal Police Reform Act (H.R. 3005).

"Every day, a letter carrier has a gun stuck in his face in America. That is not an exaggeration," Albergo declared.

The Postal Service does have a police division that is authorized to carry a firearm, but in 2020 Postmaster General Louis DeJoy ordered an end to street patrols.

Albergo says it made no sense then, and even less sense now. Especially as the number of attacks of mail carriers are rising.

"Americans are entitled to get their mail,” Pascrell, "We must stop handcuffing postal law enforcement officers. Let’s let police do what they do best."

DeJoy, however, claims he does not have the authority to order street patrols. He curiously told the House Oversight and Accountability subcommittee postal police officers have never done street patrols.

Pascrell says that's simply not true, and as recent as 2016 postal police were conducting thousands of street patrols in New Jersey.

Attacks on postal workers are on the rise in NJ and the U.S.

Assaults on carriers have been increasing with the number of robberies up 78% in 2022, which the letter carrier's union said is “unacceptable.”

The Postal Service reports more than 300 robberies this year alone.

“The National Association of Letter Carriers is outraged and angered by the assaults, armed robberies and even murders that America’s letter carriers increasingly face as they deliver the mail. These attacks are completely unacceptable,” Paul Barner, the union’s executive vice president, said.

USPS Truck (Manchester Police)
USPS Truck (Manchester Police)

Thieves are often after the "arrow key," a universal key that opens the collection boxes and cluster boxes where mail is stored by carriers awaiting delivery. Thieves can then get their hands on checks, cash and credit cards that have been left for pickup.

Brutal letter carrier attacks in New Jersey

In July, a letter carrier on his route in Vineland was attacked in broad daylight.

The carrier was on the job for less than a week when a man jumped him as he walked on Washington Avenue.

Suspect in assault of a USPS letter carrier in Vineland
Suspect in assault of a USPS letter carrier in Vineland (USPS)

The robbery shocked the local community and renewed calls for better protections.

At the time, the Postal Service said it was adapting and implementing new measures to address the robberies, but did not mention the possibility of returning postal police to foot patrol.

In 2022, Three mail carriers on were robbed at gunpoint in Newark by assailants who demanded their mail.

On Thursday in Paterson, Albergo says that has to change. "We’re protecting buildings. We’re not protecting postal workers," he said.

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