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Postmaster General Announces Mail Security Task Force

Wednesday, October 17, 2001

Press release from the issuing company

DENVER, CO - Postmaster General John (Jack) E. Potter today assured the American public that the U.S. Postal Service and the mailing industry are doing everything within their power to ensure the integrity of what's in the mail. Speaking here to an audience of more than 2,000 mailers attending National Postal Forum, Potter emphasized that the Postal Service has mobilized its resources to meet the challenges and announced the formation of a task force to review every plan and approach it has regarding mail security and the handling of hazardous materials in the mail. "None of us could have anticipated the events of the last week -- and how someone or some group would target the mail for such evil purposes," said Potter. But... "make no mistake, we cannot sit back and allow our nation's confidence in the mail to erode," he said, adding that federal law enforcement officers from the Postal Inspection Service to the FBI will bring to justice whoever or whatever group is behind this malicious, evil activity. The task force announced by Potter will be led by Chief Postal Inspector Kenneth Weaver. Weaver will be joined by representatives from postal unions, management associations, and the Office of the Inspector General, along with safety and medical specialists and members of the mailing industry. The problem of contaminated mail does not belong solely to the Postal Service, said Potter. It is a concern for mailers and shippers nationwide. And, while the level of risk is relatively small, it is a problem that compels everyone in the nation to be vigilant. "If we in the mailing industry can spend time now educating and bringing a commonsense perspective to what's happening, we will provide a valuable service to the nation, our customers, our employees, and the U.S. Mail," he said. What should people do if they receive something in the mail that seems out of the ordinary or raises suspicion? "Don't open it. Don't shake it. Don't smell it. Instead, keep others away from it, put it in a plastic bag and seal it. Then wash your hands with soap and water and call 911," advised Potter. "Law enforcement authorities will take it from there." "The U.S. Mail is too important to this nation to allow confidence in the mail to erode," said Potter. The Postal Service, he added, delivers 680 million pieces a day; 208 billion pieces of mail a year; represents an industry that drives American commerce; and still provides universal service for every family in the nation. "With additional vigilance -- and with additional work with our customers and the public - we won't let that confidence erode," said Potter. "Americans value what's in the mail."

 

 

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