USPS Postal Inspector Jean-Lucien Souvenir addresses local Rotarians. Photo by Linda Hull
BY LINDA HULL
Rotary Club of Los Alamos
Jean-Lucien Souvenir, a Postal Inspector with the US Postal Inspector Service (USPIS), Phoenix Division-Albuquerque Domicile, spoke to the Rotary Club of Los Alamos on August1 at Cottonwood on the Greens, giving a presentation entitled The Role of a Postal Inspector. He graciously came at the invitation of Rotarian and Los Alamos Police Department Deputy Chief Oliver Morris.
Souvenir, one of 1200 Postal Inspectors across the country and one of only six in New Mexico, explained that they are first and foremost “law enforcement agents who support and protect the US Postal Service, its employees, infrastructure, and customers” by enforcing laws that “defend the nation’s mail system from illegal or dangerous use.” They enforce over 200 laws and investigate, as an example, mail theft, violent crimes, dangerous mailings, prohibited mailings, financial crimes, and mail fraud. Essentially, we are “postal police officers,” Souvenir remarked.
US Postal Inspectors also work to ensure public trust in the mail, which is reflected in the USPIS motto, Delivering Trust, Delivering Justice.
Domestic and international partnerships include federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, joint task forces, often with the FBI, consumer groups, industry groups, and the Universal Postal Union.
From one of many interesting PowerPoint slides, Souvenir noted that in 2022 “this all added up to”
–155 million mail delivery points
–154.2 billion pieces of mail
–2531 USPIS employees
Today, mail theft accounts for a significant percentage of postal crime. Thieves are intent on procuring private personal information (PPI), which can then be used directly or sold. Identity theft is so lucrative that thieves rob postal workers not only for the mail itself, looking for PPI, but also to steal postal workers’ keys that open the cluster box units seen in apartment and condo complexes and many other housing developments. One postal key gives thieves access to a windfall of PPI. PPI is so valuable that thieves have been known to remove the actual collection boxes themselves, the familiar blue boxes we find at Ashley Pond.
Souvenir cautioned that seniors are a growing target for mail fraud, with thieves using credit card applications to open bogus accounts. Be aware of scams. He urged audience members to check their mail daily and shred all mail and documents with any PPI.
In closing, Souvenir said the forensic and investigative work he does now as a Postal Inspector is that of a “true detective,” an aspiration he has held since childhood.
The USPIS was established August 7, 1775 by Benjamin Franklin, the country’s first Postmaster General.
For more information, please go to postalinspectors.uspis.com, DeliveringTrust.com
Souvenir, who grew up in Miami, has a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in criminal justice from Florida International University. He also has been trained at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in correctional techniques, and as a border patrol agent, a criminal investigator, and a deputy.
Before becoming a US Postal Inspector, Souvenir taught special education classes in a middle school in South Miami, worked as a corrections officer and teacher, and served as a border patrol agent and as a Deputy US Marshal.
As an outdoorsman, Souvenir enjoys hunting, fishing, hiking, and biking.
The Rotary Club of Los Alamos, through its 1312 Club Foundation, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and one of over 34,000 clubs worldwide. Rotary, which now has 1.5 million members, was founded in 1905; the local Club was chartered in 1966. Rotary areas of focus include promoting peace; fighting disease, particularly polio; providing clean water, sanitation, and hygiene; supporting education; saving and enhancing the lives of mothers and children; growing economies; and protecting the environment.
The Rotary Club of Los Alamos meets in person Tuesdays, 12:00-1:00, in the Community Room, Cottonwood on the Greens, at the golf course. A Zoom option is available by contacting Linda Hull, 505-662-7950. Hull is also happy to provide information about the Club and its humanitarian service. The community is cordially invited to attend meetings and consider joining us in our projects, service, and friendship activities.