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Vandalism and safety concerns lead to after-hours cutback at Kokomo post office

Posted at 4:50 PM, Mar 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-27 21:11:36-04

KOKOMO — Safety concerns and vandalism are among the reasons the downtown Kokomo post office branch will lock up at night starting April 1.

Until now, the lobby in the branch at 308 East Sycamore Street has been open around-the-clock, 7 days a week.

This allowed people with post office boxes access to their mail at any time.

But Postmaster Dennis Sweeney says homeless people have been sleeping in the lobby overnight.

There's also been vandalism, and Sweeney says knives have been found stowed away behind pictures.

The Kokomo Rescue Mission is located just a few blocks from the downtown post office and has enough beds available for people who need a place to stay, according to Chief Administrative Officer Pam Givens.

But Givens says some homeless people don't like the structured atmosphere of the mission, so they end up in places like the post office lobby.

Postmaster Sweeney is concerned for the safety of early-morning postal employees and customers who might want to get to their mail boxes during off-hours.

The lobby of Kokomo's main post office at 2719 South Webster Street will remain open around-the-clock and has a self-service stamp machine.

Sweeney stresses that the downtown branch's main business hours will not change and the lobby will be open until 8 p.m. everyday except Sunday.