I-TEAM: Postal police union head talks lawsuit over patrols
A federal police union is suing the United States Postal Service (USPS) saying they want their officers to be able to be protect mail carriers in the wake of increasing attacks.
While the post office does have its own police force, the USPS previously told the I-Team that they would not be reassigning their postal police officers back to do. Its an assignment they were taken off of in the fall of 2020.
>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Postal Police union head reacts after Postal Inspection Service refuses to reinstate route patrol
Since then, attacks on letter carriers have been on the rise across the country, including in the Miami Valley. Robbers have been taking arrow keys, or the master key to all the big blue mailboxes.
As the I-Team previously reported, the postal police union filed a grievance challenging the 2020 decision limiting their patrol powers and waited two years for a decision. Despite an arbitrator siding with the union, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service confirmed they wouldn’t be changing the policy.
Monday, the Postal Police Officers Association filed a federal lawsuit against the post office to try and reinstate outside patrols.
The I-Team spoke with Postal Police Officers Association president Frank Albergo Wednesday. He said it was a “little odd that a labor union would request more work” and their employer would deny that request.
>> RELATED: Postal Police union sues USPS over decision to not reinstate route patrols amid mail carrier attacks
“Police officers only want to do their jobs. Letter carriers are being threatened. Mail is being stolen and we know we can make a difference,” Albergo said.
He said the lawsuit is an attempt to correct the mistake by the postal service and give him and more than 400 other postal police officers across the country their ability to patrol mail carrier routes back.
“For some incredible reason, the Postal Service just refuses to deploy postal police officers. It’s readily apparent that the Postal Service would rather win a. Labor dispute then protect its own employees. It’s it’s a remarkable situation,” Albergo said.
In a statement to the I-Team, Senator Sherrod Brown said Postmaster General Louis DeJoy should reinstate the patrols and called for DeJoy’s resignation.
“An arbitrator agreed with the Postal Police Officers (PPOs) but DeJoy is still refusing to reverse his wrongheaded 2020 decision to stop PPOs from patrolling postal carrier routes - something they had been doing for 50 years,” said Sen. Brown. “DeJoy has failed to protect mail carriers and failed to protect Ohioans’ mail – he needs to resign.”
The I-Team reached out to USPS for comment on the lawsuit. They told us “no comment.”