Police escort Harvey postal carrier

Mail service resumes in neighborhood
October 23, 2008 3:04:10 PM PDT
A mail carrier who says she was caught in the crossfire of a drive-by shooting returned to her job-- with a police escort.The 15-year veteran who did not want to be identified was not injured in the shooting two weeks ago. But, she said she was scared to return to her job in the Harvey neighborhood without security.

Since the shooting on October 9, residents in that Harvey neighborhood have not received their mail.

"It's not right, we're taxpayers also, we should have been notified in the first place on what they were doing," said William James, neighbor.

James lives in one of 52 homes where mail service was suspended. He says only a handful of neighbors were notified. He says he found out second hand that they had to go to the post office to get their mail.

"It's been hectic because it takes time out of my day to go to the post office. When I don't understand why they can't deliver it here, I know the high crime scene, it's just hectic," said Tonesha White.

According to the post office, someone was sent to the neighborhood to let people know what had happened.

"Unfortunately not everyone was home and we do apologize to those individuals, we had to secure the carrier, make sure the carrier was safe," said Jose Aguilar, spokesperson, U.S. Postal Service.

It wasn't until Wednesday, October 22 that the post office asked Harvey police for help. Harvey officials said they are frustrated because they were not informed about the decision to stop mail service on the block.

"It's unfortunate that the post office made the decision with out contacting the city... Maybe we could have... Made some other provisions to make sure their workers feel safe," said Sandra Alvarado, spokeswoman for Harvey.

As for the police escort - residents aren't convinced it will make a difference.

"If that's what it takes for us to get out mail. But hopefully she decides that she'll come alone. It's a shame you can't walk up and down the street," said Ireather Harris, neighbor.

The post master and mayor of Harvey met this afternoon. They talked about installing a drop box at the end of the block, but decided to continue door-to-door service as usual. There are no plans to continue the police escort. But Harvey police say they will help out again if they are asked.

"It's been hectic because it takes time out of my day to go to the post office, to go get my mail, when I don't understand why they can't deliver it here. I understand with the high crime scene around here and everything, but it's just hectic," said Tonesha White, neighbor.

Harvey officials say they are frustrated with the postmaster because the city wasn't informed about the decision to stop mail service to the block.

"It's unfortunate that the post office has made this decision without contacting the city and letting us know what their decision was, because maybe we could have come to an agreement. We could have made some other provisions to ensure that their workers felt safe in that area," said Sandra Alvarado, city spokesperson.

The mayor of Harvey met with the postmaster to come up with a strategy Thursday morning.

The postmaster says they are considering installing a drop box at the end of the block instead of having the mail delivered to the doorstep. Neighbors ABC7 spoke with said they would not be happy with that decision.


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