Cutline 1: New Postmaster Kyle Browning relaxes at his new desk during a rare break from his duties as the new man in charge at the Effingham post office. Bill Grimes photo
Cutline 2: Postmaster Kyle Browning checks out what bulk mail technician Terry Budde is doing at the Effingham post office. Bill Grimes photo
Fifteen years ago, Kyle Browning was a Mattoon police officer.
He didn't mind patrol or helping people. But with a growing family, he minded the hours.
"I was working rotating shifts, and I wasn't able to be with my family as much," Browning said. "I wanted to be able to take my family to church, and I knew if I took a job with the Postal Service, I'd be off Sundays."
The Brownings are active at the Apostolic Center in Mattoon.
After beginning his Postal Service career as a flex carrier in 1999, Browning has steadily moved up the ranks. Monday, he began duties as the Effingham postmaster.
Browning admits his new job will have its share of challenges, particularly in these modern times when so much business is conducted online.
"Unfortunately, mail volume is declining due to electronic alternatives," he said. "That's true for the younger generation in particular."
But Browning said there's still a place for the Postal Service in today's increasingly electronic society.
"We want to educate people that the United States Postal Service is a reliable, economical means of communication," he said. "Some items have been doubling and tripling in price in the last few years, but you can still get a first-class stamp for 46 cents."
On top of that, Browning said, the Postal Service does have an online presence. Known as "Click and Shop," the computer-savvy customer can send items from home.
Browning said the Postal Service is also trying to generate more interest in the Every Door Direct Mail program that has been in place for several years.