You are on page 1of 3


October 24, 2017

Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge No. 77

Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge No. 77 (FOP #77) is the union for Juvenile
Detention Officers (JDOs) working in the Lancaster County Youth Services Center

For several years, FOP #77 has repeatedly warned the County and the YSC
administration that the YSC is not adequately staffed to protect staff and residents
from resident assaults. These warnings and concerns have been dismissed. Instead
of hiring additional JDOs, the YSC has used its existing administrative staff to
patch holes in JDO staffing.

Over the past several months, other incidents have caused JDOs additional concern
that their safety is not a priority of the YSC. For example, in June 2017, FOP #77
had to notify the County that the YSC had permitted several JDOs certifications in
defensive tactics training to expire. Upon notification, the County offered JDOs
abbreviated training to correct the issue.

In September 2017, a resident bled and spit on a JDO during an incident. The JDO
requested permission to change his clothes following the incident, and that request
was denied. Therefore, the JDO continued working the remainder of his shift
wearing clothing soiled with a residents blood and spit.

The most recent troubling example occurred in October 2017.

During the afternoon of October 8, 2017, a JDO documented rising tensions among
a particular group of male residents, and recommended the YSC call in additional
staff to prevent an altercation. Some of those same male residents commented to
the JDO that the YSC was short on staff. YSC did not call in additional staff or
take any other preventative measures.

On the morning of October 9, 2017, a female JDO told the YSC she did not feel
safe working with the same group of male residents due to rising tensions. She

requested an additional staff member be assigned to help her, which the YSC

Not long thereafter, two physically mature male residentsthe same residents who
JDOs had warned the YSC aboutassaulted several staff members. One JDO
suffered an ocular contusion, swollen-shut eye, and a broken hand that required
surgery. Four other JDOs received medical attention for their injuries. At the
conclusion of the assault, one of the perpetrators bragged about the amount of staff
blood on the floor.

Unfortunately, the October 9, 2017, assault is not an isolated incident. The

following chart lists the number of YSC Incident Reports classified as resident-to-
resident and resident-to-staff assaults since 2014:

Incident Reports Classified Incident Reports Classified

Resident-to-Resident Assaults Resident-to-Staff Assaults
2014 22 3
2015 25 2
2016 31 7
2017 (through 39 6
October 13, 2017)

Despite this dramatic increase in assaults, the number of full-time JDOs employed
by the County has decreased. In July 2012, the YSC employed 36 full-time JDOs.
In October 2015, the YSC employed 32 full-time JDOs. Now, the YSC employs
30 full-time JDOs.

Following the October 9, 2017, assault, FOP #77 conducted an anonymous survey
of its members, asking a variety of questions related to safety and security. All 19
members of FOP #77 responded, and their answers are set forth below:

Question Yes No I dont know

Do you believe the Youth Services Center 0 19 0
is adequately staffed to protect Juvenile
Detention Officers from assaults by
Do you believe the Youth Services Center 0 18 1
is adequately staffed to protect residents
from assaulting each other?
Do you believe the Administration gives 0 19 0
sufficient attention to safety and security
concerns of Juvenile Detention Officers?
Do you believe the existing policies and 1 18 0
directives of the Youth Services Center
provide adequate safety and security for
Juvenile Detention Officers and residents?

Please direct all inquiries to Thomas P. McCarty, attorney for FOP #77: 402-475-