Mail carriers will soon get ‘panic buttons’

RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) — The U.S. Postal Service will soon equip their mail carriers with devices that have “panic-buttons” to help prevent attacks on postal workers.

The government agency reported 4,000 assaults on postal workers in 2014 and 5,700 dog bites; both are increases over the past previous years.

To assist their employees in situations like these, the U.S. Postal Service is launching the new mobile device that will allow workers to immediately call for help. The devices track the mail carrier’s location and allow their supervisor to quickly call for help.

In Raleigh, 11 postal workers were bitten by a dog while working in 2014, which puts the city 29th in the country. The only other North Carolina cities on the list were Charlotte with 23 (17th) and Wilmington with 10 (30th).
Postal Service officials say losing mail carriers ends up costing them and their customers.

“We have to replace those carriers, we have to pay the medical expenses they face as a result of those dog attacks, so it costs everyone,” said Monica Coachman, the Communications Specialist for the U.S. Postal Service at the North Carolina office.

Many of the mail carriers are already equipped with the device; the “panic-button” feature will be activated sometime in the fall.

To prevent dogs from biting mail carriers, the Postal Services asks dog owners to place their dog in a separate room and close the door before a letter carrier delivers mail or packages to the front door.

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