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Carrying the torch

Postal inspectors go the distance, a manager switches to Plan Bee and a Post Office does a safety check

A group of participants run in formation carrying the torch and flags during an event for the Special Olympics
Carroll Harris, right, carries the torch during the Special Olympics run in Los Angeles this month.

A team representing the Postal Inspection Service’s Los Angeles division recently participated in an annual running event to support the Special Olympics.

Since 1981, the Law Enforcement Torch Run has raised awareness and money for Special Olympics athletes.

This year’s postal team of almost 30 runners — which included postal inspectors, Postal Police officers and others — ran in formation while carrying the torch for a relay leg of 2.5 miles.

“It’s healthy for us as an organization for team building, increasing morale and camaraderie, and providing a win for the public,” said Carroll Harris, the division’s inspector in charge.

Spectators along the Route 66 stretch of Colorado Boulevard, also the route of the New Year’s Day Rose Parade, watched and cheered on the runners in support of their cause.

“It feels good when we’re running by, and people see the torch and what it represents. They stop what they’re doing and clap,” Harris said.

Bee prepared

Mike Smith, a distribution operations manager at the Lexington, KY, Processing and Distribution Center, received a call from the dock on a recent Sunday telling him a truck arrived with its contents improperly secured.

The contents? Bees. Lots of bees.

Rather than run for the hills, Smith contacted an apiarist acquaintance for advice and was told to move the truck to a dark place to get the bees to settle down.

With the help of the center’s maintenance team, he fashioned a makeshift beekeeping suit using coveralls, gloves and a safety mask and proceeded to secure the scary load.

Not a single sting was reported.

Now that’s putting hive mind to good use.


Some letter carriers were recently stopped on the road by authorities — but the only citations issued were tips on staying safe.

The Frankfort, KY, Post Office held a “safety roadblocks” observation session to ensure that carriers are employing best practices while behind the wheel.

Sessions like these are common at postal facilities, part of the organization’s emphasis on employee safety.

“We checked for seatbelt use, headlights and the use of their blinkers,” said Alicia Boniface, a customer services supervisor.

“We stopped them to either discuss any improvements we observed or thank them for a job well done.”

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