US Postal Inspection Service: Ethics, Integrity, Professionalism

June 2, 2016 8:40 am Last Updated: June 2, 2016 8:40 am

One of America’s most iconic structures is the James A. Farley Post Office Building, formally known as the General Post Office Building, located at Eighth Avenue between 31st and 33rd Streets in New York City.

Although this magnificent architectural masterpiece is conveniently located across from Penn Station and Madison Garden, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, perhaps it is best known for prominently bearing the inspirational inscription carved above its Corinthian colonnade that reads as follows:

“Neither son nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

The first few words of the U.S. Postal Service's official slogan are displayed above the General Post office building in New York City on Oct. 26, 2001. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
The first few words of the U.S. Postal Service’s official slogan are displayed above the General Post office building in New York City on Oct. 26, 2001. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Protecting Couriers, Employees, Infrastructure, Customers

Behind the scenes of this landmark facility representing America’s postal service, is the federal law enforcement and security arm of the U.S. Postal Service.

The mission of this agency is “to support the U.S. Postal Service and its employees, infrastructure, and customers; enforce the laws that defend the nation’s mail system from illegal or dangerous use; and ensure public trust in the mail.”

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is one of America’s oldest federal law enforcement agencies, founded by Benjamin Franklin. It is critical to defending the American public from criminals who seek to violate our laws by attacking the postal system.

As detailed on the U.S. Postal Inspection Service website, the goal of this agency is to “ensure confidence in the U.S. Mail and to assure that American business can safely dispatch funds, securities, and information through the U.S. Mail, that postal customers can entrust their correspondence to the mail, and that postal employees can work in a safe environment.”

The responsibilities of this agency include revenue protection, facility security, asset forfeiture, global security and investigations, homeland security; and preventing mail fraud, mail theft, identity theft, violent crime, child exploitation, and dangerous mail.

U.S. Postal Service headquarters at L'Enfant Plaza in Washington, D.C. It was designed by architect Vlastimil Koubek. (Coolcaesar/Wikipedia, CC BY-SA)
U.S. Postal Service headquarters at L’Enfant Plaza in Washington, D.C., designed by architect Vlastimil Koubek. (Coolcaesar/Wikipedia, CC BY-SA)

Leadership Training and Development Empowerment

On Thursday, May 16, I was privileged to conduct a leadership training and development program for over 40 members of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s New York Division.

The program, titled “America’s Postal Inspection Service: Ethics, Integrity, Professionalism,” was made possible through the leadership of Philip R. Barlett, inspector-in-charge of the New York Division.

Attendees included detectives, inspectors, administrators, and uniformed officers and it took place at the Morgan General Mail Facility, another New York City landmark located just across the street from the James A. Farley Post Office Building.

Members of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service's New York Division, including detectives, inspectors, administrators, and uniformed officers, listen to Vincent J. Bove on May 16, 2016. (Courtesy of Vincent J. Bove)
Members of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s New York Division, including detectives, inspectors, administrators, and uniformed officers, listen to Vincent J. Bove on May 16, 2016. (Courtesy of Vincent J. Bove)

This building is one of America’s largest mail processing facilities with over 1,000 employees on site. It was built in 1933 to connect the High Line Rail Road, now High Line Park, to support over 8,000 mail trains crossing the country.

The Morgan General Mail Facility handles up to 12 million pieces of mail each day.

America’s Head-On Collision

During this presentation, I used my signature metaphor of a head-on train collision causing catastrophic chaos, painting the picture of America’s crisis of leadership and culture of violence.

As highlighted in a graphic presentation, the crisis of leadership included the following:

  • Massive and pervasive arrests, indictments, convictions, and imprisonments of public officials on the federal, state, county, city, and local levels. For example, New York State Assembly Sheldon Silver was recently sentenced to 12 years in prison on corruption charges.
  • Continuous corporate fraud cases including Enron, WorldCom, Purdue Pharma L.P., Schering Plough, the narcissistic arrogance of Lehman Brothers’ Richard Fuld, and the long tentacles of Bernard Madoff’s $50 billion swindle that wreaked havoc on so many lives
  • Scandals within the world of sports, including the Major League Baseball and the National Football League, indictments of high-ranking officials and corporate executives associated with FIFA, and the fall from grace of Olympic champions
  • Crimes in religious communities, including the sexual abuse of children in the Roman Catholic Church compounded by disgraceful cover-ups from bishops who failed to protect society from contemptuous crimes that screamed to heaven for justice
  • The entertainment world’s crisis of stars involved with substance abuse, domestic violence, and shootings

The crisis of violence was depicted in events including the following:

  • Sexual assaults of teenagers by their peers with reprehensible postings of the attacks posted online that led to the heart-breaking suicides of numerous victims
  • Horrific incidents of school and campus violence, including Columbine, Virginia Tech, Newtown, and Yale University, where a murdered student’s missing body was found on what would have been her wedding day
  • Senseless workplace violence massacres that include the killing of 14 at a Binghamton, New York, Immigration Office, the killing of 12 people during a “Batman” movie in Colorado, and the Navy Yard mass shooting that left 13 dead
  • On-going violence at houses of worship, once considered sanctuary, that include people shot dead during worship services and the killing of pastors and priests
  • Senseless acts of terrorism including the Boston Marathon attack, 9/11, and the lone-wolf attack of NYPD officers

Following my assessment of America’s crisis of character and culture of violence, I shared practical points with attendees, on the importance of ethics, integrity, and professionalism, as well as principles of crisis management, security, and violence prevention.

Final Reflections

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is vital to securing couriers, employees, facilities, customers, and America’s infrastructure.

It is vital that this federal law enforcement agency receive the encouragement, funding, training, and appreciation they deserve as they are essential to protecting our way of life, democracy, and liberty.

Vincent J. Bove
Vincent J. Bove

Vincent J. Bove, CPP, is a national speaker and author on issues critical to America. Bove is a recipient of the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award for combating crime and violence and is a former confidant of the New York Yankees. His newest book is “Listen To Their Cries.” For more information, see www.vincentbove.com

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