Fedweek

The USPS, its inspector general’s office, the Postal Inspection Service and postal unions have been highlighting the issue of crimes in recent years. Image: DuskyJay/Shutterstock.com

A second bipartisan bill (S-4356) has been offered in Congress in response to crime against U.S. Postal Service employees and the agency in general, including provisions to require every U.S. Attorney’s office to designate an individual to coordinate and supervise the investigation and prosecution of alleged offenses.

The bill also would “establish the premise that the Attorney General should vigorously prosecute any case of assault against a postal employee” and require the U.S. Sentencing Commission to “amend guidelines so that the assault or robbery of a postal worker is treated in the same manner as assaulting a law enforcement office,” a summary says.

The bill joins one previously offered (HR-7629) with many similar provisions. The measures further would provide funding for the USPS to replace legacy streetside mail boxes with more secure versions.

The USPS, its inspector general’s office, the Postal Inspection Service and postal unions have been highlighting the issue of crimes in recent years, citing robberies—sometimes armed—of mail carriers and theft of keys to streetside mailboxes, apartment panels and cluster boxes.

An IG report last year said the inspection service logged more than 2,000 assaults or robberies of carriers over 2020-2022, more than double the prior rate.

The USPS last year began a program called Operation Safe Delivery, which also involves replacing legacy mailboxes; increasing rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of persons for offenses against employees; increasing training of employees on safety and preventing mail theft; and more.

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