WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with members of the Illinois Association of Letter Carriers to discuss protecting postal workers from armed robberies while out on their delivery routes. During the meeting, Durbin spoke about his efforts to pressure U.S. Postal Service (USPS) leadership to address the uptick in armed robberies.
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“Letter carriers perform an essential service of our government, and they deserve to feel safe when they are on the job,” said Durbin. “Today, I spoke with members of the Illinois Association of Letter Carriers about ways USPS can improve route safety to protect our nation’s letter carriers.”
In February, Durbin met with Brian Renfroe, President of NALC, to discuss the steep increase in armed robberies against postal workers and to discuss improving safety protocols for letter carriers. In 2021, there were 154 armed robberies against letter carriers, up from the 36 armed robberies in 2018. When the United States Postal Service (USPS) faced a similar rise in attacks on postal workers in 2011, Durbin urged then-Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe to develop a rapid alert system to notify letter carriers if a crime had been committed near their routes and provide instructions on preventing a robbery. However, USPS discontinued the alert system in 2021 despite increased threats.
In July 2022, Durbin wrote to USPS demanding an answer as to why the alert system was abandoned as letter carriers are held at gunpoint for their arrow keys. Durbin followed up on his letter in October, urging the USPS Board of Governors to address carrier safety. Despite Durbin’s urgency, USPS leadership has only offered lackluster responses as crimes against letter carriers continue.
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