State Workers Request Pepper Spray After Multiple Homeless Attacks

Last week, the International Union of Operating Engineers filed a grievance with the Department of General Services, requesting that workers be supplied with pepper spray in order to protect themselves from homeless attacks.

“Any violent attacks against visitors or staff that work around the Capitol are unacceptable, and taken very seriously,” Lynda Gledhill, a Government Operations Agency spokeswoman, told The Sacramento Bee.

This request comes after five workers were attacked by vagrants at the state capital, in just the last couple of months, according to union representative Brandy Johnson.

“We’ve been telling (the Department of General Services) for the last few months it’s going to escalate, and now here we are; our folks are being assaulted,” Johnson said.

So now, they want action.

The grievance requests that the Department of General Service provide all groundskeepers with pepper spray, as well as training.

“Everyone has a right to a safe and secure working environment," Gledhill added. "The California Highway Patrol, which oversees security at state buildings, including the State Capitol, is enhancing patrol efforts to ensure the safety and security of staff and members of the public. There are also ongoing referrals to city and county services for resources available to homeless individuals. We will continue to track this issue closely.”

Read more here.

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