The U.S Postal Service (USPS) today announced an update of its effort to crack down on postal crimes including attacks against postal employees, citing a recent rise in threats and attacks on letter carriers and mail theft incidents.
First announced in May, “Project Safe Delivery” is a USPS initiative backed by multiple departments within service, including the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Office of the Chief Information Officer, and the Office of the Chief Retail and Delivery Officer.
Since May, the Inspection Service has made 109 arrests for robberies and more than 530 arrests for mail theft. The Inspection Service will continue to collaborate with local, state, and federal law enforcement and conduct targeted surge operations focusing on high postal crime areas including Chicago, San Francisco, and Ohio.
“We have effectively focused our efforts with USPS on hardening both physical and digital targets to combat threats to postal employees and secure the mail. We continue to turn up the pressure and put potential perpetrators on notice; If you attack Postal employees, steal the mail, or commit other postal crimes, Postal Inspectors will bring you to justice,” Chief Postal Inspector Gary Barksdale said in a release. “We ask that the public assist us with our mission. Our rewards for information have increased substantially, highlighting the importance of the safety and security of our employees and the mail. If you see something, say something, and help us bring to justice those that cause harm to postal employees, steal mail, or commit other postal crimes.”
In other steps since launching the plan, USPS has:
The post office also offered five tips for how customers can help protect their mail and their letter carriers. First, don’t let incoming or outgoing mail sit in your mailbox for more than a day. Second, deposit outgoing mail through secure channels like your local Post Office, your place of business, or handing it to a letter carrier. Third, sign up for Informed Delivery and get daily digest emails that preview your mail and packages scheduled to arrive soon. Fourth, become involved and engaged in your neighborhood via neighborhood watches and local social media groups to spread awareness and share information. And fifth, keep an eye out for your letter carrier; if you see something that looks suspicious, or you see someone following your carrier, call 911.