A Chicago-based trucking company fears for the safety of their truck drivers as cities across the country call to defund the police.
JKC Trucking, which serves several fortune 500 companies, will avoid doing business in cities that defund the police due to safety concerns, co-owner and Vice President Mike Kucharski told the Daily Caller.
“The only place that’s technically completely defunded the police is Minnesota, and so far we’re staying clear,” Kucharski said. “We’re staying clear just for the protection of the drivers.”
The Minneapolis City Council voted to dismantle the police department June 12 after protests over the death of George Floyd, a man who died in Minneapolis after an officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes. The city is shifting the budget towards a “community-based public safety model.” (RELATED: No Winners, Only Losers: Law Enforcement Officers, GOP Lawmakers Imagine What Would Happen In A World Without Police)
“When a truck driver is on the road by himself … his real support is the police,” Kucharski said. “And if you defund the police, they’re not gonna have nobody to rely on anymore.”
Transportation incidents accounted for the highest number of workplace-related deaths in 2018, and driver/sales workers and truck drivers had the highest number of workplace-related fatalities compared to any other occupation, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. One of the factors that make truck driving even more dangerous is that a lot of drivers make deliveries early in the morning when it’s still dark, Kucharski said.
A Gendarme (R) walks along transport trucks lined up during a blockade to access to the Frejus tunnel, early on November 21, 2017 close to the border between France and Italy in Modane.
About 50 truck drivers were blocking on November 21 the tunnel access, a major traffic route between France and Italy, to protest against the exclusion of road transport from the new European directive on posted workers. (Photo by Jean-Pierre Clatot/AFP via Getty Images)
Kucharski is concerned that if someone tried to hurt one of his drivers or steal their truck, the driver would have nobody to call.
“What are we supposed to do when we’re in trouble?” he asked. “I mean… somebody wants to hijack the truck? Somebody beats up a driver? You know, hurts my driver? We’re not going to be able to help them, and we’re not going to be able to provide the backup for them to be safe.”
Kucharski said that his drivers have expressed concerns about their safety, some even refusing to go to areas that are experiencing heightened unrest. “I don’t want to put a driver in harm’s way,” he said. “Our number one priority is to keep our drivers safe.”