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Postmaster General Marvin Runyon, saying the nation is suffering from "a disease called violence," Tuesday unveiled an expanded program to head off workplace violence in the postal system.

The training program is designed to help supervisors identify situations that pose a risk of violence and find ways to prevent violent behavior by workers."We will roll out the leadership program on workplace violence to more than 40,000 managers, postmasters, supervisors and local union officials," Runyon said at the Postal Service's second forum on workplace violence.

Since the post office's first workplace violence forum 16 months ago, the agency has set up committees to discuss and seek solutions to the problems of violence, has introduced new background screening for job applicants and has added new security courses to its management training.

Runyon said postal workers are statistically less likely to suffer workplace violence than people in other jobs.

However, the post office has suffered several highly publicized tragedies in the past few years involving worker fatalities.

Only last month, a former postal worker was charged with shooting to death four men in a holdup in a Montclair, N.J., post office.

"The sad truth is, America as a nation is suffering from a disease called violence," Runyon said, citing graphic images of mayhem on TV shows and movie screens.

He said that starting in January, the Postal Service, the Defense Department and Amtrak began refusing to advertise on programs that contain excessive violence.