WASHINGTON — There are growing calls for a crackdown on the spike in violent attacks against U.S. Postal Service (USPS) mail carriers.
Sen. Dick Durbin sent a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland this week with more than a dozen questions about what is being done to address this problem.
“In addition to my concern about this brazen criminal activity and its impact on victims, I also worry deeply about the downstream consequences of such crime,” Durbin wrote. “For example, certain neighborhoods may become delivery deserts where residents cannot rely on the mail for delivery of critical items like medication and food.”
Durbin notes that despite requesting information from the DOJ in April about its efforts to address this issue, “DOJ did not provide an informative response about its efforts to work with USPS and USPIS to hold accountable those committing these crimes.”
He did point out that USPS has taken steps — including starting a nationwide initiative to replace arrow locks with electronic locks, since arrow keys are a major target for thieves.
According to USPS, the initiative also includes installing high-security collection boxes.
The spike in attacks against mail carriers has been a topic of concern on Capitol Hill.
“Robberies of postal carriers have increased by 78% resulting in nearly 500 robberies alone in 2022,” said Rep. Kweisi Mfume (D-MD) during a May hearing.
Durbin is asking the DOJ and USPS about how many prosecutions there have been and whether this problem is being prioritized.
He is also asking for details about the process to switch to electronic locks and about efforts to secure election mail.
USPS confirmed it has received the letter and said it will answer the Senator directly.
Durbin has requested a response within three weeks.
So far, we have not heard back from the DOJ about the letter.
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