Over the past three years, assaults against postal employees delivering mail has increased by 231 percent
Washington, D.C – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) in a bipartisan bill to address the steep increase in armed robberies against postal workers, who are often targeted by attackers looking to steal large quantities of mail. The Postal Police Reform Act would ensure that Postal Police Officers are allowed to work outside of U.S. Postal Service (USPS) property to protect letter carriers on their routes.
The Postal Inspection Service reports that armed robberies of letter carriers increased sharply between 2018 and 2021, rising from 36 incidents to 154 incidents. Their “arrow keys” can command thousands of dollars on the clandestine market because they allow access to cluster mailboxes and their contents, which include Social Security checks, prescriptions, and other valuable items.
“The increase in mail theft and violence against letter carriers in Nevada is unacceptable, and it’s vital that Postal Police Officers have the authority to protect employees all along their routes,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “This legislation will eliminate Postmaster General DeJoy’s dangerous rule limiting Postal Police Officers’ jurisdiction and make sure postal workers can continue to safely deliver the prescriptions, checks, and other necessities Nevadans rely on.”
Specifically, the Postal Police Reform Act of 2023 would clarify provisions in federal law to ensure that Postal Police Officers may be assigned to duty outside of Postal Service property for the purpose of protecting the mail, customers, and Postal Service employees. This clarification will allow the Postal Service to assign Postal Police Officers to protect letter carriers against robberies and provides the USPS with the flexibility to use the Postal Police without imposing additional costs on the Postal Service. The Postal Police Reform Act has earned endorsements from the National Association of Postal Supervisors and the Postal Police Officers Association.
Senator Cortez Masto has consistently worked to address delays at the USPS and ensure the agency has what it needs to ensure timely delivery of prescriptions and other mail critical to Nevada veterans, businesses, and families.