The U.S. Postal Service doesn’t have an official motto, but on the James Farley post office in New York City, there’s an inscription paraphrasing the Greek historian Herodotus stating, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”
Not in Brooklyn.
In the area known as Brownsville, violence is so rife from gangs that postal workers have stopped delivering the mail. One frightened postal worker said, “The neighborhood is bad. I wouldn’t want to go into those buildings. Have you seen this neighborhood? It’s on the news every day.”
When the mail is undelivered, it winds up back at the post office until another worker delivers it or residents come to get it, either of which can take several days.
Over last weekend, scores of residents from the crime-infested area demonstrated in front of the post office to protest the service. One resident allowed, “The postal workers have a right to fear for their life. It doesn’t give them the right not to deliver the mail. Just because this place is bad, you’re not going to deliver the mail? But I do understand why the mailmen feel fear. If I feel unsafe going into certain buildings, they must also.”
State Sen. Eric Adams, who is running for borough president, loftily noted that he would call for an investigation, then said, “That is unbelievable. Government services can’t be stopped at the boundaries of high-crime areas. They need to re-read that motto — through hail, sleet and snow.” But he wouldn’t say whether that any postal workers had been assaulted or robbed.
Another resident, who claimed she had not received letters from her doctor and lawyer, stated:
Our carrier had a heart attack, so she can’t walk upstairs. Now we have a different person delivering every day, and it’s inconsistent. They don’t deliver mail until after 8, and if they can’t get in the building by buzzing someone, they don’t come in because they don’t have a key. We’re getting bad service here because it’s Brownsville — people on Riverside Drive get their mail at 10 in the morning. Something’s got to change.