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To Curb Dog Attacks On Postal Workers, USPS Goes High-Tech

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Cincinnati had 23 dog attacks in 2018; Dayton had 17.

The risk of getting bitten by a dog in Cincinnati is sizable if you're a mail carrier. The Post Office says the city ranks eighth nationally when compared to cities its own size. But the USPS is taking steps to cut down on the attacks, including warning the carriers on Mobile Delivery Devices, or MDD.

Mark Bedel has delivered mail for the last five years, most recently in the Pendleton/Mt. Auburn area. "When you do your training at the very beginning when you get hired," he says, "they let you know right away that you are going to be dealing with dogs throughout your entire career and the chances of getting bit are pretty good."

Bedel used to carry paper cards with information about potential problem dogs, including the dog's name, whether or not the dog was friendly and the gate to enter. While the information was good, it increased the weight of his mail and sometimes it wasn't timely.

Credit Ann Thompson / WVXU
Tressa Johns, customer service manager at USPS Mid-City Branch, and mail carrier Mark Bedel look at the Mobile Delivery Device (MDD).

But with the MDD, there is a alarm tied to the GPS information. "You just can't ignore it. Until you acknowledge it, it will continue to go off," Bedel says.

Where Does The Data Come From?

The USPS sends out 3D postcards asking for information about your dog. You can also report it on the package pickup application at usps.com. It also sends that information to your neighbors without giving an exact address. Your neighbors and the mail carrier can also report the information.

How Do You Know Where Dog Attacks Were?

There is an interactive map here.

In Central and Southern Ohio, these are the cities with the most dog attacks in 2018:

  • Columbus: 37
  • Cincinnati: 23
  • Dayton: 17
  • Hamilton: 9

Ann Thompson has years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology