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DeJoy, Carriers' Union Clash Over Putting Postal Cops On the Street

The U.S. Postal Service's hundreds of armed, uniformed police officers guard post offices and other facilities, but don't protect employees from street crimes, leading to a clash between Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and the postal cops' union, the Washington Post reports. With mail theft on the rise, the Postal Service has mapped out plans to install 12,000 high-security blue mailboxes and electronic locks on 49,000 mail receptacles. But DeJoy says that does not mean postal police officers will take to the streets to intervene in crimes against mail carriers. “I don’t have the authority to patrol the streets," DeJoy said at a May 17 House Government and Accountability subcommittee hearing when challenged by Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.). "And they haven’t done that in the past …. We don’t have the legal authority to do that.”

Declaring DeJoy “grossly misinformed,” Frank Albergo, president of the Postal Police Officers Association, said by email that “PMG DeJoy is flat out wrong when he claimed Postal Police Officers (PPOs) have not conducted carrier protection and mail theft prevention patrols.” He cited evidence of past use of street patrols and a 2021 arbitration decision that said “Postal Police have been ‘police officers,’ with duties that are comparable to police patrol officers or sheriff’s patrol officers …. PPOs’ primary duties are very similar to the vast majority of patrol police officers’ duties.” The arbitration panel found “PPOs routinely perform police patrol officer and sheriff patrol officer duties” and were “were directed to hot spots” in Chicago “where gang activity, gang retaliation shootings, mail theft, assaults on carriers, robberies of carriers, were flourishing.” Miami PPOs previously spent their “entire workday” on mobile patrol to protect carriers and in Newark PPOs used mobile patrols to “meet with carriers, speak to them, make sure they’re okay in the bad parts of town.” DeJoy told the Post, "Past failures to adhere to that limited authority must not be a justification for continuing to do so.”


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