Arbitrator sides with Postal Police union on patrol debate amid arrow key attacks

ORLANDO, Fla. — The head of the union representing Postal Police officers is blasting the United States Postal Service after a ruling backed up what he’s been arguing for nearly three years.

He told 9 Investigates that his officers want to patrol outside of post office buildings to protect mail carriers. It comes after a series of attacks on mail carriers nationwide and here in Central Florida.


“This is so simple.  You have police officers, use them,” Frank Albergo said. Albergo is the president of the Postal Police officers’ union.

Channel 9 showed you surveillance photos of a Jeep Grand Cherokee and an accused robber, targeting two USPS workers on two different days in October 2022 out delivering mail in Pine Hills.

Read: Attack on Seminole County mail carrier for special key the latest in growing crime trend

Months earlier, two other robbers, who have not yet been identified or arrested, were caught on surveillance video before brutally attacking a mail carrier in Orlando.

In those cases, the crooks were after the carriers’ master arrow key, which can open big blue mailboxes or clusterboxes where hundreds of pieces of mail are stored in one place. The ultimate goal is to steal your mail.

Read: Postal carrier attacks on the rise nationwide: Here’s what most robbers are after

“It’s outrageous. Carriers are being attacked every day. Mail is being stolen every day. Americans are suffering. Bank accounts are being drained. And yet, the Postal Service is sitting on their hands. It doesn’t make sense,” Albergo said.

The Postal Police Officers Association has been fighting for the right to go back to proactive patrolling since August 2020, when they were told they were only allowed to perform law enforcement duties inside USPS property. Now, an arbitrator has sided with the union, meaning the Postal Service could allow its officers to follow carriers and protect them.

Read: Union leaders say postal police could protect mail carriers

“You have carriers being robbed. They’re having guns stuck in their face. It’s just a matter of time before somebody gets seriously hurt. And they just refuse to use Postal Police officers,” Albergo said.

The Postal Service confirmed it has no plans to change policy, despite the arbitrator’s ruling. Channel 9 told you the agency has known about this problem for at least three years. An audit initiated in 2019 found management controls over arrow keys were ineffective, the number of arrow keys in circulation is unknown, and that new technology, including keyless locking and key tracking, could improve management controls over lost keys and protect workers.

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Karla Ray

Karla Ray, WFTV.com

Karla Ray anchors Eyewitness News This Morning on Saturday and Sundays, and is an investigative reporter for the 9 Investigates unit.