Local 330 Achieves New Safety Measures With Pepper Spray Policy

Approximately 70 Probation Officers with Illinois’ 16th Judicial Circuit Court will soon be equipped with protective pepper spray and new safety protocols thanks to the diligence of Teamsters Local 330 representatives.

For seven months following the members’ most recent contract negotiations, Local 330 President Dominic Romanazzi effectively lobbied the Circuit Court of Kane County to institute a safe weapons policy for its Teamster-represented Probation Officers. After drafting letters to Chief Judge Judith Brawka and circulating petitions of support amongst members, Local 330 secured new measures this month to protect officers, who often work in high-crime areas.

The Circuit Court’s Safety Committee recently approved usage of pepper spray and necessary training for the Probation Officers, even though Local 330’s original proposal for such measures was rejected during regular contract negotiations.

“By remaining professional and determined in our efforts to attain fairness, safety and equity on the job, Local 330 is proud to have established these safeguards for our members,” Romanazzi said. “This is what being a Teamster is all about. Even when the union and the employer can’t reach an agreement on all issues at the bargaining table, the Teamsters will never give up on our members. We do what needs to be done to protect workers’ rights and advantages on the job.”

The Circuit Court Probation Officers’ current contract was overwhelmingly ratified in April 2014. The new policy allowing officers to carry pepper spray will be an important provision of all future agreements for the union, as Local 330 remains committed to improving employee morale and peace of mind for its law enforcement membership.

“Probation Officers who work with offenders on a daily basis and often travel to perform their duties must be able to properly protect themselves,” Romanazzi said. “Local 330 is thankful to have a partner in the Circuit Court and in Chief Judge Brawka who ultimately recognized the sensitivity and significance of the Teamsters’ campaign.”

Teamsters Local 330 is an affiliate of Teamsters Joint Council 25, America’s premier labor union for Chicago, Illinois and northwest Indiana.