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Union Leaders Demand Policy Change After On-Duty Murder Of Md. Postal Worker

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LANDOVER, Md. (WJZ)— Prince George’s County Police are on the hunt for the person who shot and killed a mailman as he was making his last few deliveries. Now union leaders are asking for the district manager to step down.

Rochelle Ritchie has more on the demand for change.

Police have not said if the man was robbed to at least give an idea of the motive behind his murder. Union representatives are now demanding a change to save lives.

U.S. Postal Service police search a wooded area in Prince George’s County, where 26-year-old Tyson Barnette was gunned down while delivering the mail.

His murder is now a call for a change in policy.

“I told them this was going to happen,” said Kenneth Lerch.

Lerch is the union representative for the National Association of Letter Carriers. He says the amount of letter carriers in the capital region has decreased by 1,400, and he’s been persistent in telling district leaders to change the workload or change the hours.

“The vast majority of letter carriers carry at night every night. That’s totally unacceptable,” Lerch said.

Barnette was killed just after 7 p.m. Saturday when the sun had already set.

Union reps say letter carriers work under a substantial amount of pressure and many try to make their deliveries under the safety of daylight, but with cutbacks that’s not always possible.

In a statement to WJZ, a spokesperson with the U.S. Postal Service released a statement saying “We are all deeply saddened by this tragic incident and our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and co-workers of Tyson Barnette. The safety and welfare of our employees is our primary concern.”

But postal workers beg to differ, expressing deep concern and fear for their lives at a candlelight vigil.

“If they’re not providing you anything to deliver your job as safe as you can, why are we out here,” a female letter carrier said.

“It’s dark out here. Especially as a female, I want to be able to go home to my husband and my daughter. This could have been me out here,” said Karen Middleton, letter carrier.

Barnette worked for the U.S. Postal Service for four years and was on his assigned route when he was killed.

Prince George’s County Police are offering a $25,000 reward for information that could lead to an arrest in his murder. The U.S. Postal Service is offering $100,000.

If you have any information you can call Prince George’s County Police or the U.S. Postal Service Police.

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