On Jan. 9, 2018, an arbitrator decided to grant the Sheriff of Grundy County his proposal of sending one Grundy County Correctional Officer on transports of dangerous inmates across county lines. While Teamsters Local 700 was against this proposal and demanded that two officers should be sent together during these transports, the Sheriff prevailed and stated in a press release dated April 10, 2018 that he is ‘pleased with the award as it provides stability for our employees.’
Grundy County Sheriff Kevin Callahan mandates that the correctional officers to do these transfers alone, thus exposing the officers involved to very unsafe and unstable working conditions.
“The citizens of Grundy County should be aware of the kind of risk that is being taken by sending one officer to transport these unpredictable inmates on a route that starts right in their backyard,” said Teamsters Local 700 President Becky Strzechowski.
Both male and female correctional officers are individually put in charge of inmates and must get them into a van, and then drive them to another location without any assistance. The officers have told the union that they are afraid to drink any water while on the job because they cannot go to the bathroom and leave the inmates unattended.
“For someone that declares his employees deserve better, the Sheriff clearly cares more about his own image than his officers’ safety,” said Strzechowski. “By using the media to blame our business agent for spending taxpayers’ money, the Sheriff is trying to advance his political career while putting his officers in imminent danger.”
Teamsters Local 700 represents more than 5,000 law enforcement officers across Illinois, including 30 hardworking men and women that work as Grundy County Correctional Officers.