Bayou bust

The USPS and Postal Inspection Service employees.

The Postal Inspection Service recently helped New Orleans police recover a missing USPS truck at a “chop shop” where thieves disassemble stolen cars for parts.

Thieves broke into the USPS Vehicle Maintenance Facility in New Orleans in June and stole two vehicles: a newly purchased flatbed wrecker truck and an older vehicle.

“The good thing was we had the wheels turned [on the new truck] and they couldn’t jimmy the lock,” said Robert Bavido, the facility’s manager.

After a passerby spotted the newer vehicle in a local boat launch the next morning, postal inspectors Chris Stifflemire and Matthew Pedersen got involved.

With help from Wayne Bergeron and Rick Schwalenberg, two other employees at the facility, the inspectors reviewed video footage, conducted surveillance and eventually traced the older vehicle to the chop shop.

The inspectors arrested one of the suspects involved in the theft.

“Protecting the Postal Service, its employees and its customers is integral to our mission,” said Adrian Gonzalez, the Houston Division’s inspector in charge. “That includes Postal Service property as well.”

He thanked the facility’s employees and the New Orleans Police Department for “bringing the offenders to justice and recovering these valuable assets.”

Irma update

Military rescue workers help elderly woman

The Postal Service is continuing to update employees and customers in the aftermath of Irma, which was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm Sept. 11.

The storm brought rain and strong winds to several southeastern states, including Georgia and South Carolina, where dangerous flooding has been reported.

The USPS Service Alerts and USPS Newsroom sites have the latest information.

Irma struck the Caribbean last week before making landfall in Florida, where the storm produced extreme winds and torrential rain.

The Postal Service is also continuing to restore service in Texas following Hurricane Harvey, which caused severe flooding in late August and early September.

Throughout the recent hurricanes, USPS has urged employees to stay safe and provided information about available resources, including the Postal Employees’ Relief Fund and Employee Assistance Program.

Delivering excellence

Baltimore Letter Carrier Simon Rawlins

Simon Rawlins believes in the power of great customer service.

The Baltimore letter carrier began working for the Postal Service shortly after emigrating from England in 1986.

“When I do my job, I want to do it really well,” Rawlins says. “Our customers really depend on us every day.”

Employees who make customer service a priority help USPS strengthen its reputation, according to Delivery Operations VP Kevin McAdams.

“Our employees represent our brand,” McAdams says. “Every interaction is an opportunity to increase customer loyalty.”

Rawlins has three tips for his fellow employees:

• Always try your best. Demonstrate a strong work ethic by exceeding customers’ expectations.

• Be a role model. Rawlins strives to impress co-workers and family alike. “I love my family, wife, children and grandchildren and want them to know I do the best at my job,” he says.

• Stay positive. By being friendly, you can make a customer’s day.

Rawlins also enjoys mentoring USPS newcomers.

“I tell them to always be on time and be courteous to every customer you see,” he says. “Be nice and have something nice to say because you never know who you might end up talking to.”

“Best practices,” a new series on employees who demonstrate on-the-job excellence, appears regularly in Link.

Need to know

Christmas Carols stamp sheet

Holiday hymns. The Postal Service will release its Christmas Carols stamps Oct. 5.

The stamps, which USPS announced last fall, feature images that illustrate four beloved carols: “Jingle Bells,” “Deck the Halls,” “Silent Night” and “Jolly Old Saint Nicholas.”

USPS will offer the stamps in booklets of 20, with each design appearing five times.

The stamps will be dedicated Oct. 5 in New York City and can be pre-ordered through usps.com. The news release has more information.

Protect and serve. The Postal Service prioritizes cybersecurity to ensure operational continuity and protect employees’ and customers’ information, Chief Information Security Office Greg Crabb writes in a new trade publication.

To combat modern cyberattacks, USPS has developed cyberawareness, fortified network monitoring and strengthened telecommunications response capabilities, the CIO Review essay reports.

“It is our collective responsibility to stay vigilant in the face of increasing cyberthreats and take the necessary steps to protect our networks, our employees, and our customers,” Crabb writes.

The full article is available on the CIO Review site.

Because of the Postal Service’s efforts, Crabb is also nominated for a FedScoop cybersecurity leader of the year award.

Got news for “Need to know”? Email your submissions to uspslink@usps.gov.