Friday, September 12, 2014

America’s Leadership Crisis: Reigniting Our Character

America must pause and honestly assess our leadership crisis.

Throughout every facet of society—corporate, government, sports, entertainment, and even faith-based communities—we see alarming stories of scandal and corruption.

America is privileged to have democracy, prosperity, and cherished freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.

But, character must be the center of our privileges and freedoms. Character must be the heartbeat of the nation.

We must heed the words attributed to Thomas Jefferson, one of our Founding Fathers:

“Yes, we did produce a near perfect republic. But will they keep it? Or will they, in the enjoyment of plenty, lose the memory of freedom? Material abundance without character is the path of destruction.”

“The decline and fall of the Roman Empire” has become an iconic phrase. Many attribute the fall to the decline of morals, values, and character.

America must learn from the demise of the Roman Empire and not allow history to repeat itself. Our nation must rise to heights of greatness with character as our foundation.

Recent Scandals
On Sept. 4, a jury returned guilty verdicts against former Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell and former first lady Maureen G. McDonnell.

Robert McDonnell was convicted of 11 of 13 counts and Maureen McDonnell was convicted of 9 of 13 counts. These included honest services wire fraud, obtaining property under color of official right, and obstruction of an official proceeding.

“Robert McDonnell and his wife turned public service into a money-making enterprise, abusing the commonwealth’s highest office to benefit a Virginia businessman in exchange for more than $170,000 in gifts and loans,” said assistant Attorney General Caldwell.

In the sports world, a time of reckoning scorched the NFL after release of two separate videotapes of Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice.

In the first video, Rice manhandles his fiancée by pulling her limp, unconscious body off an Atlantic City elevator.

In the second video, Rice viciously knocks her unconscious in the elevator with a full force punch to the head.

The scandal is not only related to Rice’s sickening and callous crime but it also demands accountability from the NFL commissioner and a prosecutor.

These are only two recent examples of the crisis of character taking place throughout the nation.

The sports scandal follows years of NFL player arrests. These include domestic violence, aggravated assault, resisting arrest, DWI, disorderly conduct, unlawful possession of a firearm, burglary, drug possession, and murder. By now one would think that “zero tolerance” is more than a catch phrase.

Public corruption has been a serious problem and a fundamental threat to America’s security and way of life. It includes bribery, witness tampering, illegal kickbacks, extortion, fraud, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and election crimes.

Abraham Lincoln: Model of Character
America has been temporarily derailed from the character we are destined for.

It has taken generations for us to get to this point and it will take time to get back on track.

This is why character education must be paramount in our schools. The heart of the nation must be resuscitated by character. We must give hope to our future through our youth.

Character must be reignited in America and we must do so in every facet of society, especially through our schools and colleges.

Abraham Lincoln is the pre-eminent representative of America’s character.

As one studies Lincoln’s actions, speeches, and writings, as well as personal accounts from those who knew him, inspiration is ignited for the nation.

Lincoln is the paragon of a great American, one who made the decision to serve with full realization that decisions must always be grounded without reservation with character and in moral responsibility.

Janay Rice (L) and her husband, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, speak to the media during a news conference in Owings Mills, Md., on May 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Blog is Vincent's column titled "Reawakening the Nation" from the Friday, Sept. 12, 2014 edition of the Epoch Times.

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Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Honor 9/11: Solemnity, Vigilance, America

As the nation pauses on Patriot Day, Thursday, September 11, 2014—the thirteenth anniversary of the day that changed America forever—it is necessary to honor the fallen, their loved ones, and the heroes who served and continue to serve and to do so eternally. The remembrance of 9/11 also compels us to transform the nation.

The victims from the World Trade Center, Flight 11, Flight 175, Flight 77, Flight 93 and the Pentagon will forever remind us of that fateful day. All across America—in our churches, synagogues, mosques, communities, homes and hearts—we must pray for the repose of their souls and for peace in the hearts of their families and friends. We must also remain vigilant and rededicate ourselves to the virtues inspired by the tragedy: patriotism, compassion and perseverance.

The anniversary of 9/11 also inspires the nation to honor the countless heroes who served victims and their loved ones. These heroes, many whom are unsung, represent the best in all of us and rose to the occasion from every imaginable profession, nationality, religion and ethnicity. America is forever grateful for these dedicated men and women and their tireless service to the community.

May we rise together from the trials and tragedy of that day and commit to a new era of renewal and triumph in our great land.


Friday, September 05, 2014

NFL Domestic Violence Scandal: Time for Action

Domestic violence is in the national spotlight due to the National Football League scandal.

In short, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell demonstrated a flagrant lack of judgment when he handed a star player a two-game suspension for a disturbing domestic violence incident. The incident was captured on video and showed the player manhandling his unconscious fiancée off an Atlantic City casino elevator.

The commissioner later modified the NFL policy after public outrage on the video that went viral.

Domestic Violence Statistics
Statistics found on the Partnership Against Domestic Violence website include these:

•Nearly 5.3 million incidents occur each year among U.S. women ages 18 and older. This violence results in nearly 2 million injuries and nearly 1,300 deaths.
•One in four women experience domestic violence in their lifetime.
•On average, more than three women a day are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in the United States.
•15.5 million children in the United States live in families in which domestic violence occurred at least once in the past year. Seven million children live in families in which severe partner violence occurred.
•One in three teenagers report knowing a friend or peer who has been hit, punched, kicked, slapped, choked, or physically hurt by their partner.
One Life
With domestic violence initiatives, I always call for ethical courage. Society must do everything possible to prevent and assist all afflicted by the scourge of domestic violence.

If our awareness, planning, and action, as either an individual, corporation, law enforcement agency, or community organization, can save even one person from suffering, then we must do all we can to prevent a tragedy.

When it comes to even one life, we must do what is morally right, not what is convenient, politically expedient, publicity seeking, or cost-effective.

In simplest terms, we must learn to care for one another.

Domestic Violence at the Workplace
Aside from concerns in families and communities, domestic violence is also an issue at work. It involves behaviors that interfere with an individual’s ability to perform. Problems include harassing, repeated telephone calls, text messages, and emails, unauthorized appearances at work, restraining order violations, assaults, and even homicide.

Domestic violence not only endangers the abused employee but can also be an endangerment to the entire workforce.

These issues can also place a liability on employers who do not take reasonable measures to safeguard employees. Yet employers have more than a legal concern to prevent domestic violence. Each of us has a moral obligation to prevent and alleviate human suffering.

To this end, an objective assessment of the company’s culture (including policies, procedures, training, employee assistance, and professional development) must be a top priority. Training must be comprehensive and include ethics, the cycle of violence, policies, procedures, law enforcement issues, and warning signs.

Warning Signs
It is difficult to know what is happening in a coworker’s personal life, however these are some warning signs developed by
•Frequent injuries with the excuse of accidents
•Frequent and sudden absences
•Fear of the partner
•References to the partner’s anger
•Personality changes, including social withdrawal
•Excessive fear of conflict
•Inordinate submissive behavior
•Isolation from others
•Insufficient financial resources due to the partner’s control
•Depression, low self-esteem, crying

Knowing and responding to warning signs is the first step in creating a supportive workplace with employees who care.

A Collaborative Response
A unity of effort is necessary for a safe workplace including the employer, employees, law enforcement, security, human resources, and employee assistance.

Victims of domestic violence often need our help. We must respond and give them hope. Sometimes this is best expressed through a simple question, “Are you safe at home?”

Each of us must have the courage to listen, care, and respond with ethical courage to the answer.

As published in Vincent's weekly "Reawakening the Nation" column in the Friday, Sept.5,2014 edition of the Epoch Times.

Kacey Mason (C) delivers remarks with her mother Merry Jackson (L), 63, and her husband Dave Mason during a news conference announcing new domestic violence legislation at the U.S. Capitol on July 29, 2014. Merry Jackson was shot and seriously injured and her daughter, Lori Gellatly, 32, was killed when Gallatly’s estranged husband broke into the Jackson’s home and shot them both. The Masons are now caring for Gellatly’s 1-year-old twins. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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Monday, September 01, 2014

Policing in America: Protect, Respect, Community

During a walk through Times Square on a recent Saturday evening, I was greatly impressed with expressions of respect and vigilance by members of the NYPD.

Assigned to the crossroads of the world, the NYPD serves not only New Yorkers but also visitors from throughout America and the world.

The NYPD officers also reflected diversity, one of the great treasures of American society. Diversity within the rank and file is priceless to police departments and the communities they protect and serve.

Staten Island Protest
Earlier on that Saturday, I followed coverage of NYPD officers assigned to the march of over 2,500 people through Staten Island to protest the death of a man being taken into police custody on July 17.

Despite the controversy of this tragedy, the service of the NYPD—as well as the orderliness of the protesters—was honorable. The event respected police–community dynamics highlighted by Sir Robert Peel, the father of modern policing:

“Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police …”

During the protest, dozens of NYPD officers were present in soft-style uniforms consisting of polo shirts, pants, and baseball hats. Although some were also present in the traditional NYPD formal blue uniforms, there was no riot gear and there were no arrests.

America’s Violence Culture
America is experiencing challenging times due to incidents of violence in communities, schools, workplaces, military bases, and even places of worship.

Compounding horrific incidents such as Columbine and Newtown that have received international attention, headlines throughout the nation continually present an alarming commentary on violence. These are only some during the month of August:
•Aug. 25—LAPD Warns Public to Remain Vigilant After String of Shootings Kills 3
•Aug. 24—5 People Shot, 2 Killed While Going to Church, LAPD Seeks SUV Driver
•Aug. 25—Soldier Dead After Shooting Incident at Fort Lee, Army Says
•Aug. 24—Three People Shot Outside Spotsylvania Restaurant
•Aug. 23—Deadly Square: 43 People Shot in Miami’s Liberty Square in 2014
•Aug. 22—Newark Shooting: Fourth Homicide in as Many Days
•Aug. 18—21 Hurt, 2 Killed in Weekend Violence in NYC
•Aug. 18—7 Killed, 29 Wounded in Spate of Weekend Chicago Violence
•Aug. 17—4 Shot, 1 Dead in NJ Violence
•Aug. 2—3-Year-Old Girl Killed, 3 Others Shot in Philly

Police are also victims of violence. On Aug. 24, a Texas police chief was shot to death during a traffic stop that went awry.

Violence affects the people and the police. All of us must work together to turn the tide.

Protect, Respect, Community
For many years, I have been privileged to participate with numerous leadership initiatives with the United States Military Academy at West Point.

The three words of World War II Gen. Douglas MacArthur are the heart of West Point: “Duty, Honor, Country.” These are ideals for all who aspire to serve our nation as U.S. Army officers. These are also inspiring ideals for all who love America.

Our nation is experiencing critical times due to our violent culture and the civil unrest that recently took place in Ferguson. Violence in America may increase before it gets better, and additional civil unrest anywhere in the nation is always a possibility.

Therefore, we must appreciate police officers who are dedicated to protecting our communities and work together in a spirit of collaboration. The police cannot transform communities without the people and the people cannot do so without the police.

As “Duty, Honor, Country” inspires West Point, let us encourage and appreciate every police officer committed to a pressing need of American society, “Protect, Respect, Community.”

The police officer in collaboration with law-abiding citizens is pivotal to reawakening the nation. Let “Protect, Respect, Community” be the heart of their creed and also seared into the soul of each member of every community.

As published in Vincent's weekly column titled "Reawakening the Nation" for the Epoch Times Friday, Aug. 29, 2014 edition.

1. NYPD posing with children in Times Square, Aug.23, 2014 (Vincent J. Bove)
2. NYPD in Times Square, Aug. 23, 2014 (Vincent J. Bove)
3. NYPD assisting visitor in Times Square, Aug. 23, 2014 (Vincent J. Bove)

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Friday, August 22, 2014

Ferguson's People-Police Chaos: America's Warning

Ferguson, Mo., has ignited with intense civil unrest and is now in the national spotlight for all the wrong reasons.

The chaos began after an unarmed man was shot dead by a police officer. This incident is now the flashpoint challenging the dynamics of time-tested police–community relations based on Sir Robert Peel’s principles.

Peel’s nine principles define the heart of effective policing as a mutual and respectful cooperation between the people and the police. These two principles are essential to events unfolding in Ferguson:
•Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice, and warning is found to be insufficient.
•Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police.

Ferguson must be a warning to communities throughout America of the criticality of forged people–police partnerships. The civil unrest there can easily recur in other communities especially when there are misunderstandings, tensions, or distrust between people and the police.

America must exercise leadership, vigilance, and collaboration to prevent additional, senseless turmoil and suffering.

Ferguson Overview
Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager was shot and killed on Aug. 9 by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson. Conflicting accounts of the incident are in dispute and under investigation.

A preliminary private autopsy report requested by the family shows Brown was shot six times.

Protests have included peaceful demonstrators but also looting, firebombs, gunfire, and vandalism. Authorities have responded with tear gas, rubber bullets, arrests, militarized vehicles, and a curfew.

Gov. Jay Nixon has deployed the National Guard to assist with restoring peace and maintaining law and order.

Ferguson’s leadership and police department are predominately white. There are 53 commissioned officers on the police force; three are black.

According to the 2010 census information on the official Ferguson website, there are 21,203 residents, of which 14,297 are black, 6,206 are white, and 260 are Hispanic or Latino.

There is a high unemployment rate in the city with an alarming number of residents living in poverty.

Ferguson’s Restoration
Cooperation between the people and police must be enhanced in Ferguson to restore the community. Mechanisms for cooperation include the following:
•Speedy release of accurate, unbiased, and pertinent information by a law enforcement spokesperson respected by the people. A measured intervention based on competent, verifiable, and authorized investigative findings must also swiftly take place.
•Partnerships with civic, religious, and educational leaders
•Collaboration of the numerous law enforcement agencies and the National Guard with one another and the community
•Assessment of the appropriateness and effectiveness of military-style vehicles into the community
•Transparent communication between the authorities and the people with assurances of commitment to enhance community relations by assessing police and community affairs
•Channels for the people to safely exercise their constitutional rights to peaceably assemble
•Apprehension and prosecution to the fullest extent of the law of criminals and gang members who seek to exploit the tragedy
•Responsibility of the media covering events that assists to quell the unrest and not sensationalize the violence
•Review of law enforcement hiring, training, and certification programs including collaborative policing as well as body camera and dash cam policies
•Review of all interagency emergency preparedness initiatives on the city, county, state, and federal levels
•Assessment of the police department’s community relations, diversity, and school resource officer initiatives
•Assessment of all gang awareness, prevention, and intervention programs
•Review of the commitment to character education initiatives throughout all city schools

America must be fully dedicated to reawakening the nation by working together to enhance and forge partnerships between the people and the police.

We must also commit ourselves to revitalizing economic issues as the financial decay that compounded the crisis in Ferguson is also a concern in communities throughout the country.

As published in Vincent's weekly "Reawakening the Nation" column for the Epoch Times on Friday, Aug. 22, 2014.

1. Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson speaks to media on West Florissant Ave. in Ferguson, Mo., on Aug. 19, 2014. (Michael B. Thomas/AFP/Getty Images)
2. NYPD community affairs preparing for a youth event in Central Park on Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014. The event was organized by Patrol Borough Manhattan North. (Vincent J. Bove)

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Respect: The Heart of the Police Officer

Twenty years ago, I met a law enforcement professional from the Hackensack, N.J., Police Department. This began a partnership that led to countless community initiatives.

Sgt. Patrick Fay, who later retired as Lt. Fay, demonstrated law enforcement’s most effective community tool: respect.

Although he is a former U.S. Marine with a commanding presence, Fay’s greatest ability to prevent a crisis was the trust he inspired from respecting the community. Respect was his foundation for over 30 years of police service to a very diverse inner city. Fay had the respect of the community. The community knew he cared about their concerns.

Fay personified respect, the essential ingredient for all police officers. Respect and trust are indispensable requirements for all police professionals. Respect must be the heart of each and every police officer.

Police-Private Partnership
As a security professional responsible for numerous programs, I developed with Fay a unique police–private partnership. His insights as a police professional assisted my security responsibilities. My experiences assisted his community dedication.

Our partnership led to many initiatives including:
•personal safety presentations
•school violence prevention
•citizen police academies
•domestic violence awareness
•law enforcement leadership training
•workplace violence prevention
•crime prevention practitioner certifications
•community policing certifications
•senior citizen scam prevention
•national night out
•diversity training
•police–community conferences
•terrorism awareness and prevention

Aside from his responsibilities to the City of Hackensack, Fay was also president of the North Jersey Regional Crime Prevention Officers Association. In this capacity, he developed interagency partnerships with additional programs including:
•youth police academies
•neighborhood revitalization
•gang awareness and prevention
•police–citizen recognition events
•security officer certifications

Fay’s leadership inspired my own law enforcement, violence prevention, and crisis management presentations. These have now reached over 50,000 law enforcement, educators, community leaders, and students nationwide.

Police–Community Tensions
Due to the realities of the human condition, crisis is an ever-present concern in America’s communities.

To prevent and mitigate a crisis, the dedication of law enforcement professionals—who earn respect and trust within communities—is paramount.

An unbreakable bond between the police and public is only possible when respect is the foundation with community members.

The NYPD is currently experiencing a police–community crisis based on a recent “chokehold” death of a citizen while being taken into custody.

Continual developments are unfolding related to the NYPD tragedy, including an upcoming protest across the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, an interfaith gathering hosted by the New York Roman Catholic Archbishop, and the Richmond County district attorney’s investigative results.

This tragedy has led to a commitment by Police Commissioner William Bratton for enhanced training of all 35,000 members of the NYPD. This program will include proper use of force as well as communication skills and likely last for years and cost millions.

In Ferguson, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis, there is another police–community crisis inflaming outrage.

This crisis includes conflicting reports over the death of an unarmed teen by a police officer.

One story reports the teenager surrendering to police with his hands in the air. Another story is the teen attacked an officer in his patrol vehicle attempting to take his service weapon. The FBI and U.S. Department of Justice are investigating the incident.

Emotionally charged civil unrest is escalating in Ferguson with vandalism, looting, protests, tear gas, and scores of arrests.

Cultivating Respect
The most influential characteristic of a police professional is the ability to inspire respect. Respect must be cultivated interdepartmentally and with all members of the community.

Hopefully, the example of law enforcement professionals like Lt. Patrick Fay and countless other dedicated police officials throughout America committed to their noble profession will shine in our communities.

The respect a police officer cultivates will be the catalyst of community relations, crime prevention, and reawakening the nation.

As published in Vincent's weekly "Reawakening the Nation" column in the Friday, August 15, 2014 edition of the Epoch Times.

1.Sgt. Patrick Fay, Rtd. of the Hackensack New Jersey Police Department and author Vincent J. Bove receive the 1998 North Jersey Regional Crime Prevention Officers Association awards for Police Officer and Citizen of the Year.
2.Author Vincent J. Bove shares opening remarks at the request of the Livingston New Jersey Police Department during National Night Out on Aug. 5, 2014.
3.Youth interaction with a police officer at the Summit New Jersey Police Department National Night Out on Aug. 5, 2014.(Vincent J. Bove)
4.A child speaks with police officers at the Livingston New Jersey Police Department National Night Out on Aug. 7, 2013.(Vincent J. Bove)

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Friday, August 08, 2014

NYPD Chokehold Tragedy: Police-Community Collaboration

Each day there are countless acts of courtesy, respect, and protection of New Yorkers and visitors performed by dedicated NYPD officers.

New York is the greatest city in the world because of the NYPD’s dedication, commitment, and professionalism to protect and serve.

Nevertheless, the frailties of the human condition are bound to at times come into play through tragedies and incidents contradictory to ethical behavior.

When these deficiencies and controversies arise, it is a clarion call for transparent leadership, integrity, and the moral courage to do what is right.

Chokehold Tragedy
Currently, the NYPD is in the process of profound soul-searching, reform, and renewal.

On July 17 the death of Staten Island resident Eric Garner from a police chokehold—a violation of NYPD policy—placed police–community relations into the national spotlight.

In the videotape of the incident, Garner can be heard repeatedly saying, “I can’t breathe.”

Emotions were further exacerbated on Aug. 2 when the city medical examiner ruled the death of 43-year-old Eric Garner a homicide, saying the chokehold killed him.

The medical examiner stressed that the compression of the neck and chest, along with Garner’s prone position while being restrained by police, caused his death.

The emotional repercussions from his death have led to examination of police–community issues including:
•broken windows policing
•use of force
•internal affairs
•district attorney and federal investigations
•race and class
•civil rights
•law enforcement training/certifications
•crime prevention
•police accountability, tactics, morale
•Stop and Frisk
•principles of effective policing
•mayoral commitment and leadership

Peelian Policing Principles
Law enforcement professionals refer to the Nine Peelian Principles for the foundation of an ethical police force. These were developed by Sir Robert Peel (1788–1850), whose visionary philosophy underscores trust, respect, and approval of the public toward the police.

This police–public cooperation is diametrically opposed to the tactics of fear, intimidation, and distrust of the law-abiding public.

Although all nine principles are essential to this police–public cooperation, these four now have a particular relevance:

• Police seek and preserve public favor not by catering to public opinion but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.
• Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient.
• Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police.
• Police should always direct their actions strictly toward their functions and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.

NYPD Mission
Peelian principles perfectly uphold the NYPD mission statement:

“The MISSION of the New York City Police Department is to enhance the quality of life in our city by working in partnership with the community and in accordance with constitutional rights to enforce the laws, preserve the peace, reduce fear, and provide for a safe environment.”

As detailed by Commissioner Bratton on his NYPD blog, Sir Robert Peel is his longtime hero because of his innate cutting-edge grasp of the complex police–public interplay that is the heart of policing in a free society.

Bratton’s attitude, complemented by his admirable public service accomplishments and stellar crime-reduction credentials make him the right person at the right time for the NYPD and the people of New York.

Collaborative Policing
The NYPD and law enforcement professionals nationwide must be completely dedicated to enhancing police–community collaboration.

The recent tragedy on Staten Island is the opportunity for the NYPD to shine in reawakening the nation through ethical integrity forged through community partnerships built on trust with the law-abiding public.

This will require leadership, vigilance, collaboration, and especially a moral courage that honors the words on every NYPD vehicle—courtesy, professionalism, and respect.

As published in Vincent's weekly column for the Epoch Times on Friday, August 8, 2014.

1. Commissioner William Bratton on April 23, 2014 (Allen Xie)
2. NYPD at corner of 6th Avenue and 42nd Street (Vincent J. Bove)
3. NYPD Cruiser (Vincent J. Bove)

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Tuesday, August 05, 2014

National Night Out: Police-Community Collaboration

At the request of the Livingston Police Department I delivered opening remarks on police-community collaboration at their National Night Out.

The event was held at Livingston High School and was an outstanding success with over 2,500 attendees from the community.

This was my 20th anniversary of participation in National Night Out as memorialized in previous posts.

National Night Out: Community Policing Par Excellence---August 6, 2013 blog

On Tuesday, August 6, 2013, America celebrated a community policing initiative par excellence, National Night Out. At the request of Police Officer Gary Mankowitz, President of the Essex County Crime Prevention Officers Association, I attended the event in his jurisdiction; Livingston, New Jersey.

This year marked my 19th National Night Out, which I have participated in at the request of different police departments, as memorialized in my August 5, 2009 post:

National Night Out: Police and Community Partnerships

On Tuesday, August 4, 2009, communities throughout America gathered to celebrate National Night Out a police & community partnership initiative. At the request of the Livingston, New Jersey Police Department, I was invited to share remarks during the opening ceremony with Essex County Prosecutor Paula Dowd, Police Chief Craig Handschuch, Township Manager Michele Meade, Mayor Charles August and Police Officer Gary Mankowitz. Officer Mankowitz coordinated this first National Night Out for Livingston with true professionalism.

As a crime prevention specialist, I have been privileged to participate in and encourage involvement with National Night Out celebrations for the last 15 years. I first experienced this event at the invitation of Patrick Fay, retired Lt. from the Hackensack Police Department in New Jersey. For many years while managing a private security company, I would send a team of employees to meet the Hackensack Community and to fingerprint children so their parents could have these records as a safety measure.

Last night's event—held at the spacious fields of Livingston High School—was remarkably successful and attended by thousands of Livingston residents as well as people from throughout Essex County and New Jersey. These included families, law enforcement agencies, first responders and the generous businesses who donated time, foods, refreshments and prizes for hundreds of children.

Reprinted from the National Night Out website

National Night Out is America's Night Out Against Crime designed to:

  • Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness;
  • Generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime programs;
  • Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and
  • Send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

The Livingston Police department, especially Chief Handschuch, Officer Mankowitz and the entire community policing unit is to be commended for their first National Night Out which enhanced police–community partnerships and gave Livingston families a night to remember.

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Friday, August 01, 2014

NYPD Mission: Develop 35,000 Ethical Protector's

Ethics is the law of right conduct and must be paramount in law enforcement’s mission to protect and serve society.

Ethical training initiatives must also be world class for police because of their moral responsibility to communities and the nation. American law enforcement deserves every tool necessary to stand countercultural to a society that at times holds ethical values in contempt.

NYPD Commissioner’s Mission
William J. Bratton was announced as the NYPD Commissioner on Dec. 5, 2013.

During his introduction, Bratton stressed the policing principles of Sir Robert Peel (1788–1850), the father of modern policing. Peel’s principles include:

•The basic mission of which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.
•The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of their actions.
•Police must secure the willing cooperation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.
•The degree of co-operation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.
•Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient.
•Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police.

Recently, Bratton announced a steering committee in response to a tragedy resulting in the death of a civilian in police custody. Bratton’s response to the tragedy expressed transparent honesty and the NYPD’s complete dedication to retraining all 35,000 officers.

Although policies, procedures, and protocols regarding the use of force will be an important facet of this retraining, Bratton wants the NYPD to also focus on ways of not having to use force. One such method is commonly referred to as verbal judo.

Training Initiatives
The NYPD has the resources to enhance training, yet, some initiatives I have experienced are worthy of consideration. These are based on lessons learned from my presentations to thousands of law enforcement officials nationwide over the last 16 years.

Along with these presentations, I served as a primary community policing instructor for a six-year U.S. Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services program. This program certified law enforcement as well as civilians on modules, such as the following:
•Conflict Resolution
•Community Partnerships and Resources
•Crime Prevention
•Problem Solving

Complementing this certification program was a recent Inaugural Character, Ethics, and Leadership Conference convened for law enforcement on May 12.

This pro bono collaboration of the Rodgers Group LLC, Resolution Group International, and Vincent Bove Speaker Services in partnership with the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and the United States Military Academy was quickly filled to capacity.

The conference focused on character, ethics, and leadership as indispensable law enforcement qualities.

The Ethical Protector
Another initiative that would benefit the NYPD is a customized Conflict Resolution Ethical Protector certification by Resolution Group International.

This three-day program based on ethical ideals of the U.S. Marine Corps includes the following topics:
•Ethics and Personal Integrity
•Communication Skills
•Cross-Cultural Conflict Resolution
•Verbal Judo
•Martial Arts and Self defense Tactics

The heart of this course is “Wherever I go, everyone is a little safer because I am there. Wherever I am, anyone in need has a friend…”

Dedication to Ethics
As the world’s most renowned law enforcement agency, the NYPD must rise to the occasion. Their development of enhanced training initiatives, including cultivating certified ethical protectors, community partnerships, public-private initiatives, and the timeless principles of Sir Robert Peel, are worthy of full-force dedication and will serve as a model to law enforcement agencies worldwide.

Ethical principles are critical to every member of the NYPD and all American law enforcement professionals. A complete dedication to ethics within law enforcement is critical to community enhancement and reawakening the nation.

As originally published in Vincent's weekly "Reawakening the Nation" column for the Epoch Times on Friday, August 1, 2014.

1. NYPD in Central Park on July 25, 2014 (Vincent J. Bove)
2. Chief Joseph Fox of the NYPD (3rd from left) prior to his keynote for a Community Policing Summit developed by Sgt. Patrick Fay of the Hackensack Police Department (2nd from right) and Vincent J. Bove (4th from right). Over 300 law enforcement officials attended the 2002 event held at Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, NJ.
3. Lieutenant General Robert L. Caslen, Superintendent of the United States Military Academy delivering the keynote at the “Inaugural Conference: Character, Ethics, Leadership” on May 12, 2014. The filled to capacity event by over 250 law enforcement officials at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. (Vincent J. Bove)
4. Resolution Group International’s September 27, 2014 graduates including law enforcement officials and the author Vincent J. Bove

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Friday, July 25, 2014

NYPD SHIELD: America’s Public-Private Collaboration Model

NYPD Commissioner William J. Bratton used a stark metaphor to highlight the necessity for collaboration in security:

“Regarding terrorism, all roads lead to New York, which makes collaboration between law enforcement and private security professionals critical to safeguarding our city.”

As detailed on the NYPD SHIELD open source website, this public–private sector security partnership is dedicated to protecting New York City by Countering Terrorism Through Information Sharing.

This partnership complements findings of “The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.” This official report, released on July 22, 2004, details events leading to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. It should be required study for all dedicated to terrorism awareness and prevention.

Although the 9/11 report recommends a “unity of effort” for the intelligence community, Congress, and across the foreign–domestic divide, unity for defending America is certainly necessary through public–private partnerships.

Public–private partnerships have also been recommended by the document “Operation Cooperation: Guidelines for Partnerships between Law Enforcement and Private Security Organizations” released in 2000 by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Partnerships are critical for protecting America. Law enforcement and private security professionals must collaborate, cooperate, and communicate with one another.

NYPD SHIELD Methods and Conference
NYPD SHIELD provides training and information sharing through numerous methods including:
• Intelligence and Analysis Briefings
• Counterterrorism training
• Website postings and documents
• Informal conferrals with Patrol Borough Counterterrorism coordinators
• Alert email messages to members
• Conferences

On July 16, 2014, NYPD SHIELD held a summer conference for over 400 law enforcement and private security professionals at One Police Plaza.
The event was moderated by John J. Miller, Deputy Commissioner Intelligence and Counterterrorism for the NYPD.

Miller stressed that the level of concern for a potential act of terrorism was as high as it has been since 9/11. This concern is due to events worldwide including those in Israel, Iraq, and Syria.

After Miller’s remarks, Bratton stressed that we need to not only adhere to the expression “If You See Something, Say Something” but also to “If You See Something, Do Something.” Remaining proactive, said Bratton, was essential not only for terrorism prevention but also for gangs, crime, and other disorders.

Bratton was followed by Rebecca U. Weiner, director of intelligence analysis for the NYPD. Weiner gave an overview of problems throughout the world including the deteriorating security in Iraq and the displacement of millions of Syrians.

The NYPD SHIELD summer conference concluded with a presentation by Edward F. Davis, Boston police commissioner at the time of the Boston Marathon attack. He covered the following topics in detail:
• The devastation of the two improvised explosive attacks that detonated on April 15, 2013, at the finish line of the Boston Marathon attack. The bombs killed three people and injured over 250.
• The bombers alleged plan for a follow-up attack in New York City’s Times Square.

Davis highlighted that lessons learned from the Boston Marathon attack are vigilance, preparedness through tabletop and full-scale drills, and partnerships between law enforcement and private security.

The NYPD SHIELD program is an extraordinary partnership dedicated to safeguarding New York. It deserves dedicated participation by law enforcement and private security professionals who can get involved through

The program is also deserving of duplication by other law enforcement agencies and private sector security professionals to prevent an act of terrorism elsewhere in America.

Safeguarding the nation is enhanced when individuals work together. Teamwork is an irrefutable and essential quality that America needs now more than ever when it comes to preventing terrorism.

This teamwork can be called collaboration, cooperation, or partnership but unequivocally it is a unity of effort between the public and private sector. This cohesiveness is essential for America’s security.

As published in Vincent's weekly column titled "Reawakening the Nation" in the Friday, July 25, 2014 edition of the Epoch Times.

1. NYPD SHIELD conference flyer. (Courtesy of the NYPD)
2. Over 400 law enforcement and private security professionals attending the NYPD SHIELD summer conference on July 16, 2014. (Vincent J. Bove)

An expanded version of this column was authored for the September, 2014 edition of The New Jersey Police Chief Magazine.

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