Please Mr. Postman

Look and see, is there a mugger waitin' for me?

Many of the employees who choose to drive to work try to park in the bank parking lot next door. The bank employs a security guard. "They've never had any problems over there," Cox says. Although he and other workers have requested better security, he says nothing gets done.

Darrell Nichols, a neighborhood resource officer for the Miami Police Department who patrolled the area around the Little River Post Office for four years, says police don't have the resources to place an officer at the post office full-time. Besides, he says, most of the crimes are occurring on postal property, so it should be up to the post office to provide the necessary security. "A business should be responsible for protecting its clientele," Nichols argues. "The car thefts and the assaults are going to continue unless some means of security is employed. But the federal government is not going to listen to us. They don't feel they have to answer to anybody. This is sad and it is just an eventuality that someone is going to get seriously hurt."

According to Cesta Ayers, a U.S. Postal Service spokesman, it is unlikely guards will be placed at the Little River branch or any other neighborhood post offices. "We're not going to provide that kind of security at every branch," Ayers says, and referred all further questions to Rivera and the postal inspector's office.

But Rivera and his inspectors, who commonly investigate mail fraud, seem unlikely candidates for the job. "We're federal law enforcement officers," explains the inspector. "We're not security guards or a cop that walks a beat. Just because someone has a car stolen doesn't mean we can station a man out there to guard the parking lot.

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