WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin is demanding the United States Postal Service immediately reverse a directive that is banning postal police officers from performing their patrol duties in safeguarding our nation’s mail and letter carriers.
Baldwin’s letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and the USPS Board of Governors comes after media reports detailed an August 25 directive confining postal police officers from leaving USPS real estate to conduct patrols that protect letter carriers and deter mail theft, only months before an election where millions of Americans are voting by mail due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This comes after Senator Baldwin has been demanding answers from the Postmaster General on continued mail delays in Wisconsin. Baldwin has also repeatedly called on Postmaster DeJoy to reverse the changes he implemented that were causing mail delivery delays in Wisconsin.
In her letter, Baldwin is now demanding USPS reverse this change to ensure the safety of our nation’s mail and letter carriers. She writes, “With the November 3, 2020 general election approaching, the integrity of our mail system and the safety of USPS personnel is paramount. The August 25, 2020 directive instructing postal police officers that they were confined to postal real estate upends long-standing practice and violates congressional statute and intent.”
Baldwin continues, “For years, uniformed postal police officers have served a vital role protecting mail outside of postal real estate, ensuring that blue collection boxes and postal vehicles are not victims of theft, that letter carriers receive protection on their routes, and that high value mail shipments are protected. Despite this, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service inexplicably decided to confine highly trained officers to postal real estate, only months before an election where millions of Americans are planning on voting by mail due to the COVID-19 pandemic. USPS has yet to provide an adequate explanation for this change.”
Senator Baldwin heard from Diana in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, who is concerned that this directive threatens the safety of her daughter, a letter carrier in the Milwaukee metropolitan area. On September 29, 2020, about a month after postal police were instructed to stop patrols, a letter carrier in Milwaukee was robbed in broad daylight.
Baldwin notes, “With postal police officers sidelined, deterrents against mail theft disappear and thieves seeking credit cards and personal identification information can more easily obtain this information – and also leave ballots behind.”
Senator Baldwin is requesting answers from USPS to the following questions:
- Did Postmaster General DeJoy or any members of the Postal Board of Governors have communication with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service about this directive before it was presented to postal police officers on August 25, 2020?
- Did the Postmaster General or members of the Board provide directions, instructions or give approval of this directive or view the directive before it was presented to postal police officers on August 25, 2020?
- Was Postmaster General DeJoy aware of this forthcoming directive when he testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on August 21, 2020 or the House Oversight Committee on August 24, 2020?
- Please report the number of instances of mail theft and crimes against letter carriers per week for this calendar year in the cities of Chicago, Milwaukee, Detroit, Philadelphia, Miami and Atlanta.
The full letter is available here.
An online version of this release is available here.