Frequently Asked Questions on Death of William E. Sparkman, Jr.
Statement from Census Bureau Director Bob Groves:
“We are all deeply saddened by the loss of our co-worker, William Sparkman. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Sparkman’s family and friends. We are monitoring the developments closely.
“The work of everyone in the Census Bureau depends on the success of our field representatives. They are the front line of the work we do. Mr. Sparkman was a shining example of the hard-working men and women the Census Bureau has in the field. The work they do on a daily basis is not easy but is a great and important service to our nation.”
Q: What can you tell us about the investigation or the circumstances of Mr. Sparkman’s death?
- A: The extent of information we have about the investigation is that the FBI is currently gathering evidence to determine whether this death was the result of foul play. Any other questions related to the investigation or the circumstances surrounding Mr. Sparkman’s death should be directed to:
- Kyle Edelen
- Kentucky U.S. Attorney’s Office
Q: When did the Census Bureau learn of Mr. Sparkman’s death?
- A: After the Census Bureau was informed of this tragedy by the FBI on September 12, Census Bureau Director Bob Groves and local regional director Wayne Hatcher flew to Kentucky to meet with law enforcement officials and the family of Mr. Sparkman to convey our condolences and to offer any assistance they could. They also met with other Census Bureau field representatives in the area to share our grief, to thank them for their service, and to advise them to seek any counseling that they might wish to have.
Q: Are you worried about the safety of other Census Bureau staff?
- A: We have no information that this tragedy was related Mr. Sparkman’s work with the Census Bureau. Over the past decade Census employees have maintained a high level of safety on the job.
- Employees learn that safety is of the utmost importance from their first day on the job, when they receive intensive training on steps they can take to protect themselves in a variety of settings. All employees receive ongoing reminders to take safety precautions when they are in the field. That practice will continue. Violence against Census Bureau employees is extremely rare.
Q: How many people are going door to door in the field?
A: We have an ongoing workforce of approximately 5,900 field representatives who conduct the American Community Survey and other surveys the Census Bureau conducts throughout the year and throughout the decade. In the spring of 2010 we will have nearly 700,000 temporary workers in the field conducting follow-up on the 2010 Census.