Any time car and truck traffic moves in New York, we are there. Members of Local 983, along with our Brothers and Sisters in CWA Local 1182, are on the streets, in the tow trucks, at the tow pounds. We are doing our jobs and enforcing the law, and we also deserve the protection of the law when we find ourselves in danger.
Traffic Enforcement Agents have been dragged behind cars, have been shot, have been punched and beaten. One of our women miscarried after such a beating. It’s time for this to stop.
When angry motorists vent on a Traffic Enforcement Agent and cause injury, they need to arrested immediately and put behind bars. That’s why we had a new law passed back on July 22nd, sharply raising the penalty for assaulting Traffic Enforcement Agents and why, on March 25th, we held a press conference on the steps of Brooklyn’s Borough Hall with Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Bronx DA Charles Hynes, who is putting extra staff on line to enforce the law.
DA Hynes has put the word out to the Police Commands. If the police can prove physical injury, there will be an arrest and felony charges. Now, it’s up to the public to support us as well. Please tell your friends and co-workers, don’t vent your anger on a Traffic Enforcement Agent. Don’t hurt the people who keep our traffic moving, and who are just doing the jobs they are paid to do.
Our agents, as well as those represented by CWA Local 1182 under the leadership of James Huntley, their jobs without guns, without mace, but with dedication, pride, and a commitment to enforce the law.
Mark Rosenthal is the President of Motor Vehicle Operators Local 983, DC 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO