The downtown Boulder post office will now be locked at night. Employees say leaving the lobby open 24 hours has lead to safety concerns.
“It seems like on a recurring basis were having safety issues where people, customers, our customers, are having confrontations,” said David Rupert, spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service for Colorado.
Rupert says they’ve received complaints about people using the lobby as a place to sleep and some customers have been accosted by the people using the post office as a shelter.
Starting July 1, the lobby will close at 7 p.m. and reopen at 5 a.m., except for Sundays when it will remain closed all day.
Durango Steele has been renting a mailbox at the downtown post office for 24 years and says she’s seen a number of people sleeping near her mailbox, however, she’s never felt scared or threatened.
“But I understand how some people would,” she said.
While the closure will cause some inconvenience for Steele, she understands why it must be done.
Rupert says they had to lock the doors to the lobby at night in 2012 after a string of mailbox thefts.
He says this time, the change is permanent.
“In this situation we need to take the safe route,” he said.
The post office in Downtown Denver restricted their lobby hours after a similar problem. Rupert says employees there no longer have after the hours were changed.