Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Terrorism Concerns Accelerate: Protecting America

Terrorism is a contemptuous evil against life, justice and charity as well as a cowardly assault against human rights, moral law and the dignity of humankind.

On Feb. 21, al-Shabaab, an East African affiliate to al-Qaida encouraged attacks-comparable to the Sept. 2013 Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya-on “America or Jewish-owned” facilities.

The Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, one of the nation’s most prominent, was specifically mentioned.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary was prompted to “warn the public to be vigilant” emphasizing that “anytime a terrorist organization calls for an attack on a specific place we’ve got to take that seriously…public vigilance, public awareness and public caution in situations like this is particularly important.”

Recent Terror Incidents, A Partial List
Feb 14-15: gunman opens fire at a Copenhagen café killing a civilian and wounding three police officers. Later, a Jewish community member was killed outside the Great Synagogue.
Feb 13: ISIS releases horrific video of Jordanian pilot being burned alive while caged.
Feb. 1: parents of Kayla Mueller, an American aid worker abducted by ISIS confirm she is dead.
February: although the exact date is unclear, 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians are beheaded by Islamic state militants.
Jan. 8: two heavily armed extremists enter the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo killing 12 including 2 police officers.
Oct. 22, 2014: a radical extremist charges four NYPD officers with a hatchet injuring two.

NYPD SHIELD
NYPD SHIELD held a conference at police headquarters on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 attended by hundreds of law enforcement and private security professionals.

The purpose of NYPD SHIELD is countering terrorism through information sharing by building collaboration between the public and private sector.

Nicholas J. Rasmussen, Director of the National Counterterrorism Center stressed that a formidable threat to our homeland hovers with brutal terrorists in more places than ever.

Rasmussen also emphasized that although law enforcement monitors homegrown terrorists, preventing attacks is difficult and the possibility of replicating the recent Paris attack is a concern.

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton stated that terrorism has morphed into many directions with propaganda and social media used to inspire lone wolf attacks such as the hatchet attack against NYPD officers.

Michael Morell, former deputy director of the CIA, stated that threats to America’s homeland are categorized as:
•Complex simultaneous attacks that kill thousands
•Weapons of Mass Destruction
•Single attacks that kill hundreds
•Single attacks that kill dozens or less
•Unsophisticated lone wolf incidents

Morell stated lone wolf attack possibilities against America have never been greater and we must do everything to keep our enemies on the defense. He recommended evaluating Indonesia, a Muslim country that has done a remarkable job with minimizing extremism and radicalization.

The NYPD SHIELD program is an extraordinary collaboration dedicated to safeguarding New York. This unity of effort deserves participation by law enforcement and private security professionals not only here but nationwide.

Safeguarding New York
Complementing NYPD SHIELD, I have conducted numerous “Leadership Principles: Crisis Planning, Community Partnerships, Violence Prevention” keynotes to safeguard New York City.

The goal is to inspire ethical protectors, fully dedicated to reawakening the nation by safeguarding lives, property, and information.

Attendees included NYPD, FDNY, security directors, and property managers, as well as representatives from other law enforcement agencies, including the FBI.

Events focusing on safeguarding facilities and infrastructure included:
•museums hosted by the Metropolitan Museum of Art
•financial institutions and corporations hosted by The New York Stock Exchange
•hospitals hosted by Rockefeller University
•commercial and residential properties hosted by The Union Club of New York
•colleges and universities hosted by both Columbia University and the New York Athletic Club

As with crisis management events nationwide—complemented by published works including this Epoch Times weekly column—these initiatives serve to provide the tools needed to safeguard society.

The practical tools include physical, personnel, and procedural security but have ethics, honor, and valor as foundational principles.

Finally, all members of our communities are needed to be the eyes and ears of law enforcement officials as we are all in this together.

Note Well:
Due to the current dynamics of terrorism concerns, this blog has been updated and revised from its original version which remains posted on www.vincentbove.com as well as in the publication section of Linkedin.

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As authored for Vincent’s weekly column (Feb. 27, 2015) titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times, 35 countries, 21 languages and growing.

Photos
1.NYPD on post at Rockefeller Center, Oct. 10, 2014. Regarding the Feb. 21, 2015 ‘threat’ NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Public Information Stephen Davis stated, “We are aware of the recent ‘threat’ and we have been in touch with our international and federal liaisons. Although there is no direct threats against New York City, as well as no credible intelligence of such, we have taken appropriate precautionary measures, such as alerting our Critical Response Vehicles and our ‘Hercules’ (special counter-terrorism) Teams. This is something we regularly do in response to terror incidents/threats in other areas of the world that may impact New York City.” (Vincent J. Bove)

2.NYPD SHIELD attendees listening to opening remarks of John J. Miller, Deputy Commissioner Intelligence & Counterterrorism on Feb 17. Miller began the conference stating that major incidents are no longer month-to-month but accelerating day-to-day and even minute-to-minute. (Vincent J. Bove)

3.Visitors at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Feb. 14, 2015. The MET along with museums throughout NYC sent security management to Vincent’s keynote on museum security hosted by MoMA on May 16, 2013. (Vincent J. Bove)

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Terror Incidents Accelerate: America, Remain Vigilant

NYPD SHIELD held an outstanding conference at police headquarters on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 attended by over 400 law enforcement and private security professionals.

The purpose of NYPD SHIELD is to build collaboration between the public and private sector, countering terrorism through information sharing.

The information shared was sobering and must serve as a wake-up call for leadership, vigilance and collaboration to safeguard New York City and the nation.

Conference Highlights

John J. Miller, Deputy Commissioner Intelligence & Counterterrorism began the conference stating that major incidents are no longer month-to-month but accelerating day-to-day and even minute-to-minute.

Nicholas J. Rasmussen, Director of the National Counterterrorism Center stressed that a formidable threat to our homeland is dynamic and dangerous with brutal terrorist actors in more places than ever.

Rasmussen also emphasized that it is a new era for terrorists with attacks against America through the airlines remaining a desirable and symbolic target. He also stated that although the FBI and NYPD are dedicated to monitoring homegrown terrorists, these type attacks are difficult to prevent and the possibility of replicating the recent Paris attack is a great concern.

Commissioner Bill Bratton of the NYPD stated that terrorism has morphed into many directions with propaganda and social media continually utilized to inspire lone wolf attacks such as the hatchet attack against NYPD officers. Bratton stated that 2015 will be a year of extraordinary technological advances for the NYPD and increasing highly trained officers with special equipment for prevention and response.

Michael Morell, former deputy director of the CIA, stated that threats to America’s homeland can be categorized as the following:
•Complex simultaneous attacks that kill thousands
•Weapons of Mass Destruction
•Single attacks that kill hundreds
•Single attacks that kill dozens or less
•Unsophisticated lone wolf incidents

Morell expressed concern that lone wolf attacks against America have never been greater and we must always do everything to keep our enemies on the defense. He also recommended that we learn from Indonesia-a highly populated Muslim country- on how to prevent radicalization as they have done a remarkable job with minimizing extremism.

Naureen Kabir, NYPD Intelligence Research Specialist, stated that the October 23, 2014 hatchet attack against four NYPD officers is the type of incident inspired by terrorist propaganda and especially difficult to detect and deter.

Jordan Carpenter, NYPD Intelligence Research Specialist shared takeaways from the Charlie Hebdo Magazine attack in Paris including:
•Multiplicity and simultaneity
•Hostage taking
•Soft targets

Teamwork

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 www.nypdshield.org.

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.

Safeguarding New York City

Complementing the outstanding NYPD SHIELD initiative, for many years I have conducted “Leadership Principles: Crisis Planning, Community Partnerships, Violence Prevention” keynotes to safeguard New York City.

Attendees included NYPD, FDNY and security directors, and property managers, as well as representatives from other law enforcement agencies, including the FBI.

Initiatives focused on safeguarding facilities and infrastructure including:
•museums hosted by the Metropolitan Museum of Art
•financial institutions and corporations hosted by The New York Stock Exchange
•hospitals hosted by Rockefeller University
•commercial and residential properties hosted by The Union Club of New York
•colleges and universities hosted by both Columbia University and the New York Athletic Club

As with my crisis management events nationwide—complemented by extensive published works including my Epoch Times weekly column—these initiatives serve to encourage professionals and provide the tools needed to protect society.

The heart of my work is to inspire ethical protectors who cherish American values and are fully dedicated to safeguarding lives, property, and information. The practical tools include physical, personnel, and procedural security that has ethics, vigilance, and collaboration as its foundation.

Lessons learned by attendees at these initiatives have principles fit to serve New York during these challenging times. These lessons apply not only to preventing terrorism but any acts of violence and mitigating consequences of natural disasters.


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Photos
1. NYPD SHIELD conference attendees, Feb. 17, 2015 (Vincent J. Bove)
2. NYPD cruiser in Times Square, Jan. 17, 2015. (Vincent J. Bove)
3. NYPD, Rockefeller Center, Oct. 10, 2014 (Vincent J. Bove)
4. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, Feb. 14, 2015. (Vincent J. Bove)
5. NYPD on post at Saint Patrick's Cathedral, Fifth Avenue, Dec. 26, 2014. (Vincent J. Bove)

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Monday, February 16, 2015

Law Enforcement and Race: FBI Director’s Hard Truths

The words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. could have headlined the timely address recently delivered by FBI Director James B. Comey at Georgetown University, “We must learn to live together as brothers or we will all perish together as fools.”

Director Comey urged law enforcement and citizens to face the “hard truths” about the disconnect in places not only like Ferguson, Missouri and New York City, but all over America.

Comey emphasized that lethal encounters including Michael Brown and Eric Garner-both Afro-Americans, followed by protests nationwide and the assassination of NYPD Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, now have police and community relations at a crossroads.

“We can choose to have an open and honest discussion about what our relationship is today-what it should be, what it could be, and what it needs to be-if we took more time to better understand each other,” Comey said.

Law Enforcement, Race: Renewal Requires Truth

Comey’s call to understanding through discussion is complemented by his example of visiting FBI offices throughout the United States and having audiences with staff, law enforcement partners, community leaders and citizens.

It was my privilege to be a guest of the FBI Newark Division’s Nov. 14, 2014 audience with Director Comey. I was impressed with his candor, respectful listening and exemplifying community policing by his personal rapport with attendees.

During his Georgetown University address, Comey was truthful about the scandalous side of law enforcement including bias a century ago against Irish immigrants-from whom Comey descended-and the improper surveillance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

These types of injustices are a reason Comey requires all new FBI agents and analyst’s to visit Dr. King’s memorial in Washington, as well as the Holocaust Museum, to inspire diversity and respect for human rights.

An Honest Assessment

During his address, Director Comey stressed:
•Law enforcement overwhelmingly attracts people who want to help all people.
•Cynicism can influence their decisions and initiatives must take place for minority communities to be enhanced through role models, improved education and employment opportunities. These are essential for avoiding a life of crime and imprisonment.
•Law enforcement must work-in the words of NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton-to really see each other. We must simply see the people we serve.
•Citizens also need to see law enforcement as people and to appreciate the risks and dangers they encounter. The community needs to understand law enforcement challenges and give the respect needed so they can do their work.

Community Policing: Critical to America

Throughout his address and most importantly by his actions, Director Comey personified community policing.

Complementing Director Comey, I continually affirm that the heart of unifying law enforcement and race is immortalized in the Nine Principles of Sir Robert Peel. These are the heart of effective policing, especially that “the 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…”

The police-public dynamics have been stressed in my Epoch Times columns including:
•Building Police-Community Trust: Wake Up America
•Police-People Unity: All Lives Matt
•Ferguson’s People-Police Chaos: America’s Warning
•NYPD, Inspire America: Courtesy, Respect, Community
•Respect: The Heart of the Police Officer
•The Police and the People: Unity of Effort
•NYPD Mission: Develop 35,000 Ethical Protectors

Lincoln, Catalyst: Police, Race Renewal

Comey wisely delivered his address on Lincoln’s birthday, whom I believe is the preeminent catalyst for America’s police-race renewal.

Through the prophetic words of Lincoln’s Gettysburg address proclaiming “a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal”, America must rise to the occasion.

America’s future demands honesty about all aspects of our law enforcement, race history. Yet, we live with confidence that our destiny of reawakening the nation- inspired by the example of Abraham Lincoln-will be ignited by moral courage, persevering integrity and transformational leadership.

Join my Linkedin Group: The Sentinel: Reawakening the Nation

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As authored for Vincent’s weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times, 35 countries, 21 languages and growing.

Photo

1. FBI Director James B. Comey addresses students and faculty at Georgetown University, Washington, D. C. on Lincoln’s Birthday, Feb. 12, 2015. (Photo Courtesy FBI)
2. NYPD Officer with youth in Times Square, Aug. 23, 2014. (Vincent J. Bove)
3. Abraham Lincoln

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Abraham Lincoln, Catalyst: Law Enforcement, Race Relations

As America honors Abraham Lincoln on the February 12, 2015 anniversary of his birth, the nation must pause and let his character, ethics and leadership reignite the heart of our country.

Today, the Director of the FBI, James B. Comey, honored the legacy of Lincoln. Director Comey spoke at Georgetown University on the imperative of improving law enforcement and race relations.

The United States is at a crossroads on matters of race relations and law enforcement, presenting "hard truths" that its citizens and police must confront, FBI Director James Comey said.

In my article titled Lincoln's Leadership Lessons for Law Enforcement, published in a February, 2014 edition, insights on these enduring principles that our great president lived by were published:

  • Leadership must be open to silence, study and self containment
  • Leadership possesses extraordinary empathy and concern for others
  • Leadership must be grounded in moral self confidence developed by understanding through study and hard work
  • The foundation of authentic leadership is moral character
  • Leadership realizes that some things that are right legally are not right morally
  • Leadership honors military service especially those who offered the ultimate sacrifice
  • Leadership is approachable and not confined to an ivory tower
  • Leadership utilizes the power of persuasion, not the manipulation of aggressiveness
  • Leadership masters the art of communication and public speaking
  • Leadership expresses visionary principles which are constantly reaffirmed

    These principles of character, ethics and leadership have been addressed in my presentations, articles, newest book and blogs including:

    Abraham Lincoln: An Enduring Icon of Leadership/Posted December 12, 2006
    Americans of all ages continue to be captivated by the life, death, legacy and message of Abraham Lincoln.

    During speaking engagements with students, educators and law enforcement personnel throughout the country, I am continually astounded at the detailed familiarity America has on Abraham Lincoln including specific dates from his life, the Civil War, the Gettysburg Address, the Emancipation Proclamation, is second inaugural and his assassination by John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theater in Washington, DC on April 14, 1865.

    During one character education presentation, students from a 3rd grade class were able to quote-with admirable precision-President Lincoln's words from Gettysburg on November 19, 1863:
    "that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
    In our troubled times, so besieged by violence, turmoil and scandal, Abraham Lincoln remains an icon of dedication to country. From his early days of studying by the fireside as a young boy to his rise to the presidency, the character of Lincoln is worthy of emulation. Lincoln's courage and perseverance in the face of great adversity serve as an example that what is needed in America's response to the current crisis of violence, scandal and division is newfound perseverance, unity, strength and transformation.


    Note Well:
    Aside from publication in the New Jersey Police Chief Magazine, February 2014, the full length article was also published in The Chief of Police, Winter, 2014 edition.

    Read More:
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/presidents/al16.html

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  • Wednesday, February 11, 2015

    NBC Scandal Reflects America's Integrity Crisis

    Truth is a virtue and must be seared into the human conscience, heart and soul.

    In every respectable theology, society and philosophy from the beginning of time, truth is honored; while false witness, lying and deception rejected.

    There is a moral prescription within our hearts that demands truth and forbids misrepresentation. Whenever truth is violated an injustice is committed with society and ourselves.

    Lying is a contradiction to the moral path we are called to walk and it violates the natural order of life.

    Candor, sincerity and truth is critical to society as these virtues prevent hypocrisy, duplicity and moral decay.

    Offenses Against Truth

    The oath taken during court proceedings is a powerful reminder of the importance of truth throughout society. But unfortunately, the sacred swearing of “I do” after the question “do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God” is often not honored.

    Whenever truthfulness is violated in court, it is perjury and a grave injustice to our moral compass.

    Perjury is particularly contemptuous when innocence is condemned, the guilty exonerated and unfair punishments or decisions inflicted.

    Lying violates human dignity and undermines personal credibility and the effectiveness not only of the judicial system but facets throughout all society.

    Essentially, lying is the intention to violate truth and it deserves condemnation. Being dishonest is a violation of justice, charity and integrity. Lying is detrimental to society and destructive to reputations.

    Responsibility of Mass Communication

    The current NBC scandal of its prime time news anchorman is under scrutiny. Hopefully, there will be lessons learned that are medicinal for him, the company and the nation.

    Countless millions can be instantly influenced through a news story and so integrity is critical.

    Although it is not a court of law bound by an oath, the media must have a code of ethics and moral responsibility to present the truth.

    Responsible journalism demands moral principles built on integrity, character and ethics.

    All who hold positions of influence in the media have an obligation to honor their profession with integrity.

    At the same time, discretion is also a virtue and it must be understood that public safety, professional confidences and the need to know also deserve honor.

    American Integrity Scandals

    The current NBC scandal is nothing new with contemporary society that beckons an ethical renaissance.

    Although it is being dramatically scrutinized, it is indicative of the crisis of character within America that often has scandal, dishonesty and greed as underpinnings.

    Here are some other contemporary integrity scandals:
    •Virginia Tech-the failure of the university president to give a full and transparent account of his decision to not inform the campus of two murders nor to immediately lockdown the campus to prevent 30 additional killings.
    •Purdue Pharma L.P.-as the maker of the powerful painkiller OxyContin, they pleaded guilty to misleading the public about the drugs risk of addiction.
    •Enron-once an admired electric and gas company, now stands as an icon of dishonesty, deception and greed.
    •WorldCom-former CEO Bernard Ebbers was found guilty of fraud, conspiracy and false regulatory filings and sentenced to 25 years imprisonment.
    •Major League Baseball-dishonesty by players under oath on steroid abuse during a Congressional Hearing. Notably, Rafael Palmiero’s sworn testimony that “I have never used steroids-period.” Just a few months later, this steroid pumped slugger was suspended for abuse.
    •Tobacco executives-the CEO’s of America’s 7 largest tobacco companies perjuring themselves before Congress by each swearing that nicotine is not addictive.

    Tell the Truth

    The destructiveness of lying in relationships, business and court proceedings is an injustice. We must respond with lives of integrity and dedicate ourselves to telling the truth.

    Lying has negative consequences individually and collectively to families, communities, companies and the moral compass of America. Truthfulness must always be the heart of our ethical heartbeat as it is critical to reawakening the nation.

    Vincent J. Bove, CPP, is a national speaker and author on issues critical to America. Bove is recipient of the FBI Director's Community Leadership Award for combating crime and violence and is former confident of the New York Yankees. His newest book is "Listen To Their Cries." For more information see www.vincentbove.com.

    Join my Linkedin Group: The Sentinel: Reawakening the Nation

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    As authored for Vincent’s weekly column (Feb. 13, 2015 edition) titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times, 35 countries, 21 languages and growing.

    Photos
    1. American Flag at Saint Patrick's Cathedral, New York City, Jan. 31, 2015 (Vincent J. Bove)
    2. FBI, NYPD with arrestee (Courtesy FBI)

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    Tuesday, February 03, 2015

    America’s Corrupt Culture Beckons Ethical Renaissance

    For twenty years I have addressed America’s culture of corruption through initiatives for the FBI, law enforcement agencies, educators, community leaders and students.

    America’s students are critical to America’s future. They must be encouraged and empowered turn the tide. American schools need to shape up with full force commitment to developing the finest character education initiatives the world has ever known. Our youth deserve it and the future of America is at stake.

    New York Government’s Corruption
    The joint announcement by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and FBI on Jan. 22, 2015 of the arrest of New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is a sobering commentary on ethical deficiencies within New York government. It is also a brushstroke of our culture of corruption that glorifies a pathology of power.

    Silver was arrested on charges he used his official position to receive nearly $4 million in bribes and kickbacks in exchange for his official acts.

    The truism “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive” played out in the corruption crisis. Charges are that Silver cloaked his self-aggrandizement and violation of the public trust by covetously disguising illegal payments as income from a law practice specializing in personal injuries.

    Like many in public service in New York State and nationwide, the narcissistic violation of one’s sacred oath is pervasive. Instead of serving the people with humility, ethics and character, many in public service make greed an idol and build personal empires rather than serve.

    The public must become outraged, opens its eyes and demand accountability, transparency and the renewal of America through an ethical renaissance. This must take place through every level of government, society, families and especially in the heart of our youth through our schools.

    Political power is a privilege that must serve all, especially the disenfranchised, marginalized and downtrodden.

    When avaricious, heart-hardened politicians insert their venom into the vulnerable for self-reward, they violate not only the crestfallen but the most basic principle of human decency. Corruption is a debilitating disease crippling the morale of the nation and endangering our security by depleting valuable law enforcement resources.

    Crisis of Public Trust
    Public servants violating their oath ignites distrust, apathy, and pessimism in the hearts of law abiding citizens.

    There is no end in sight to the culture of corruption as reminded by recent FBI cases:
    •Hall County Deputy Sheriff Charged with Accepting Bribes
    •Former Morgan County Judge-Executive Sentenced to 87 months in Kickback Scheme
    •Former North Carolina House of Representatives Pleads Guilty to Theft of Government Funds
    •Former Spaulding County Battalion Chief and Firefighter Sentenced to Prison for Tipping Off Drug Dealers
    •Jury Convicts Three Gang Members and a Former El Paso County Juvenile Probation Officer of Federal Sex Trafficking Charges
    •Former Virginia Governor Sentenced to Two Years in Prison for Public Corruption Scheme

    These recent cases are only an inkling of a pervasive culture of corruption that beckons a renaissance.

    Igniting America’s Ethical Renaissance
    Inspiring an ethical renaissance in America is a daunting task but we must rise. Our country has had seemingly insurmountable trails before and we have risen to the occasion.

    Corruption is a crisis that runs deep within the arteries of many public servants. Our first step toward renewal is to accept the crisis of character as a reality without denial.

    When we make an honest assessment of this crisis, we can commit ourselves to reawakening the nation through accountability in the criminal justice system, ethics initiatives throughout every level of society and a world-class character education initiative for every American student that is second to none.

    If we are serious about America, we will be fully dedicated to its ethical renaissance and find no excuses for changing the course of the nation.

    Note Well
    Join my Linkedin Group: The Sentinel: Reawakening the Nation

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    As authored for Vincent’s weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times Friday, Feb. 6, 2015 edition, 35 countries, 21 languages and growing.



    Photo's
    1. Vincent J. Bove receiving the FBI Director's Community Leadership Award accompanied by his guests including police chiefs, the NYPD and Homeland Security.
    2. Photo depicting corruption (Courtesy FBI)

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    Thursday, January 29, 2015

    Workplace Violence: America's Public Safety Crisis

    Workplace violence has reached staggering proportions throughout America and every community is a potential victim.

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines workplace violence as “violence or the threat of violence against workers…that can occur at or outside the workplace and range from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and homicide…”

    OSHA states that 2 million workers are victims of workplace violence each year. These include homicides, aggravated assaults, robberies, rapes and sexual assaults.

    The health, safety and welfare of American workers deserves intensified security training, violence prevention and crisis management measures.

    Recent Incidents
    Although the crisis has taken place for many years, these are some recent tragedies:
    • Jan. 26-a man opens fire at a swearing-in ceremony for new police officers during a city council meeting in New Hope, MN. Two officers are shot before police returned fire and killed the shooter. Although the officers are expected to survive, a report by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund for 2014 states firearms-related incidents as the leading cause of death among law enforcement. This accounted for 50 deaths, increasing 56 percent from 2013
    • Jan. 25-a disgruntled Home Depot employee fatally shots his supervisor before committing suicide at a crowded New York City store
    • Jan. 20-Dr. Michael J. Davidson, 44, the director of endovascular cardiac surgery, was shot inside Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. The married father of three children, dedicated to saving lives as a surgeon, died the following day in surgery

    Infamous Tragedies
    2014-a shocking beheading of a woman at an Oklahoma food distribution center and stabbing of another by a terminated employee. The suspect was killed by an off-duty deputy working on site.
    2013-a lone gunman fatally shoots twelve people and injures three others at the Washington Navy Yard.
    2009-an army psychologist kills thirteen and wounds twenty-nine at Fort Hood Military Base.
    2006-a former postal worker kills her neighbor before going to the Goleta, CA post officer to kill six before committing suicide.
    1999-over three days, a securities trader kills twelve in Atlanta, GA, including his wife and two children.
    1989-a former employee returns to his Kentucky workplace killing nine and wounding twelve before committing suicide
    1988-a toxic romantic infatuation escalates to the killing of 7 workers in Sunnydale, CA
    1986-a postal employee shoots twenty, killing fourteen, in Edmond, Oklahoma, coining the term “going postal.”

    Preventing Workplace Violence
    In my workplace violence presentations and publications over the last 20 years, I have stressed:

    • Training-continual programs for all employees including warning signs, mental health, de-escalation and conflict resolution techniques, diversity, domestic violence, reporting and intervention, target hardening, personal safety, company policies and law enforcement collaboration. The FBI’s National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime has an outstanding document titled “Workplace Violence Issues in Response” which must be an integral element of training.
    • Threat prevention and Assessment Teams-ongoing training for all members including the coordinator, human resources, employee assistance, consulting psychologist, safety, health and security specialists, administration, facility managers and legal representatives
    • Cultivating a Culture of Respect-a respectful culture where employees are recognized, appreciated and affirmed is essential to violence prevention. Even the slightest acts of disrespect must have measured and swift intervention. A workplace that cultivates respect, altruism and community creates an environment that increases morale, safety and security because people are genuinely cared for. Caring employees, not just policies and procedures, are essential for workplace violence prevention.
    • Security Vulnerability Assessment-conducted periodically by a board certified professional covering physical (including notification systems), personnel, informational, procedural security and the workplace culture
    • Drills-tabletop, partial and full scale exercise’s to simulate workplace violence scenarios

    Final Reflection
    All workplace violence initiatives demand support and participation at the highest levels of a company and collaboration with law enforcement.

    These are turbulent times of violence throughout America but workplace violence is preventable. Each employee and law enforcement official must be dedicated to violence prevention principles and committed to the reawakening of the nation.

    Join my Linkedin Group: The Sentinel: Reawakening the Nation
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    As authored for Vincent’s weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times, 35 countries, 21 languages and growing.

    Photos
    1. FBI SWAT team making an arrest (Courtesy FBI)
    2. Active Shooter Drill (Photo by TSgt Richard Kerner, NCNG Public Affairs, 145th Airlift Wing)
    3. “Workplace Violence Issues in Response” guide cover, FBI Critical Incident Response Group, National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime, FBI Academy, Quantico, Virginia (Courtesy FBI)

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    Tuesday, January 27, 2015

    Commemorating the Auschwitz Liberation: Renewing American Patriotism

    On As the world commemorates the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz on January 27, a reflection on a child who dramatically personifies the sacredness of all human life is in order.

    Anne Frank stands as the most memorable child of World War II and one of the most enduring children of all of history. Anne is a testimony to the dignity of the human being and that virtue endures despite the darkest possibility of inhumanity.

    The Diary of Anne Frank charts the two years of this young Jewish girl from 1942-1944 when she hid with her family and another family from the Nazis. The book has become one of the critical documents of the twentieth century and profoundly inspires diversity, the power of the pen and the triumph of good over evil. Anne's book is one of the world's most read literary treasures, selling over 25 million copies and being translated into 67 different languages.

    As a German-Jewish teenager, Anne was forced into hiding to escape execution from the Nazis during the Holocaust. After 25 months of hiding with her family, she was betrayed to the Nazis and deported to the Bergen-Bergen concentration camp. She died at 15 years old of typhus in March of 1945 while in the concentration camp.

    Despite the dark chaos of intolerance, hatred and ignorance during her time, Anne Frank continued to believe in the goodness of humanity. On July 15, 1944, Anne wrote:

    "It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart. It’s utterly impossible for me to build my life on a foundation of chaos, suffering and death. I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness, I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too, I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more."

    Testimonial of a Holocaust Survivor
    As a counterpoint to the evil that took place in Auschwitz, I am reminded of an event I took part in on March 28, 2007. The Anti-Defamation League celebrated a Solidarity Seder with law enforcement, government, community, faith-based, corporate, and citizen guests in Trenton, N.J. It was fittingly held at the Trenton War Memorial—a national historic site—built as “a great community center” dedicated to the memory of American soldiers and sailors who died fighting World War I.

    Prior to the Seder, a representative of the Anti-Defamation League explained the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan. Contradicting their hatred, he shared these treasured words of Emma Lazarus inscribed on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty:

    Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door

    Testimonials were then shared, including one from a young man who spoke about the heartbreak of seeing his mother arrested as they attempted to enter America from Mexico. This young man went on to proudly become an American citizen and applied to become a member of the United States Army. Another young man stated there are no complaints about immigration as American’s enjoy the fruits and vegetables harvested through the labor and sweat of immigrants working on farms.

    The most moving testimonial was by Holocaust survivor Shelly Zeiger who spoke passionately about “the town’s fool.” This man, lovingly referred to as Anton by Zeiger, was ridiculed as a misfit by his townspeople in western Ukraine and considered a fool because of his obsessive respect for all life. Although a Catholic, Anton risked his own life to hide Jewish neighbors in his home. He hid Shelly, his father and mother, and two girls from the Nazis in the Zbrow ghetto for 27 months beginning in 1942. Shelly said, “Anton was truly a hero who teaches us to respect each human being, for courage can be found in the most unlikely of persons.”

    After the war, Shelly and his family came to America. Years later, he mustered enough courage to go back to his hometown in the Ukraine to find Anton. He found him and brought him to live with him and his family in America, a country whose appreciation for diversity is the heartbeat of the nation and the world.

    Liberation Monument, Liberty State Park, Jersey City, NJ
    Surrounded by the historic significance of Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty and the New York skyline, is the Liberation Monument. Designed by Sculptor Natan Rapaport, this inspirational statue depicts a World War II American Soldier carrying a survivor from the Auschwitz concentration camp. The image moves the soul to reflect on the values of compassion, character and community.

    The legacy of America urges a rebirth of patriotism that will transform us once again into a nation destined to be a hope for the world through our commitment to moral leadership, persevering vigilance and dedicated collaboration.

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    Friday, January 23, 2015

    America's Broken Families: Police Issues and Response

    A police officer once shared his unforgettable anguish by asking me, “Where have all the parents gone?”

    His concern was based on 24 years of virtually being a parent to abandoned youth because their parents were basically absent. The officer shared the following example of an incident he responded to:

    •Three 9-year-olds swimming out to a buoy in a deep water channel with no visibility, no life jackets, and strong currents. Someone’s dog was swimming in the same water, wearing a life preserver while the children at peril in the deeper section were without life jackets. In the same river just two weeks earlier, a 7-year-old drowned while swimming alone.

    Based on such scenarios, America will experience societal dysfunction caused by parents who lack connectedness to the lives of their very own children.

    Broken Communities: Lessons From Nature

    There is a documentary titled “Killer Elephants.” It depicts slaughtered carcasses of young bull rhinos on an African Wildlife Preserve.

    The initial understanding was that poachers, interested in cashing in on the ivory tusks of the rhinos, were responsible. Yet, as carcasses were autopsied, the tusks remained intact and deaths were found to have been caused by catastrophic brutal force.

    Although there was never a shortage of food, it was determined that the rhino deaths were caused by young bull “Killer Elephants” who had been displaced from their herds.

    Being communal by nature, the young bull elephants developed an internal rage that they vented through the killing of the bull rhinos.

    An American High School Comparison

    There is a correlation between the “Killer Elephant” story and violence that took place at a New Orleans high school after Hurricane Katrina in 2006.

    At the time, there were 25 security personnel protecting John McDonough High School in New Orleans due to an eruption of violence.

    Many students lived on their own since their parents were displaced due to the hurricane. This was a time bomb for anger and a deficit of civility.

    In the first six weeks of the school year, a teacher and security guard were brutally beaten by students and hospitalized. Many other students attacked security personnel, teachers, and a police officer. Over 20 students of the 775 faced expulsion and another 50 had been suspended. There were fights every day with some very serious assaults.

    The Gang Mentality

    A gang is understood as a group sharing a common connection and involved with criminal activities. Many individuals are proud of their “gang community” and are united by their scornful defiance of authority.

    Becoming a gang member is often ritualistic and can involve being beat up or having to commit a crime. There is a hierarchy within the gang where individuals can work themselves to the top of the community.

    The FBI National Gang Threat Assessment mentions the following:

    • Jurisdictions are experiencing an increase in juvenile gangs and violence, in part, due to the increased incarceration rates of older members and the aggressive recruitment of juveniles in schools. Gangs have traditionally targeted youths because of their vulnerability and susceptibility to recruitment tactics, as well as their likelihood of avoiding harsh criminal sentencing and willingness to engage in violence.
    • Juvenile gang members in some communities are hosting parties and organizing special events that develop into opportunities for recruiting, drugs, sexual exploitation, and criminal activity.
    • Gangster Rap gangs, often composed of juveniles, are forming and are being used to launder drug money through seemingly legitimate businesses.

    Community Policing

    Responding to the American crisis of shattered communities, the concept of community policing and its proper incorporation into the culture of a police department and community is critical.

    Community policing initiatives include practitioner certifications, citizen police academies, personal safety training, national night out, award recognition events, neighborhood block watches, school resource officers, street lighting enhancement initiatives, and collaborative corporate and school programs.

    The hope of America is community and the heart of reawakening the nation from our crisis of broken families.

    As published in Vincent's weekly "Reawakening the Nation" column for the Epoch Times, Friday, Jan. 23, 2015.

    Photo's
    1. Los Angeles Police Department officers detain a twenty-year old "Street Villains" gang member on April 29, 2012. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
    2. (Photo Courtesy FBI)

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    Monday, January 19, 2015

    Honoring the Dream: Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    As the nation honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on January 19th, 2015, a testament to his greatness is that nearly every major city in America has a street or school named after him.

    After his death in Memphis on April 4, 1968, the words of Martin Luther King Jr. still hold captivating influence and inspiring gracefulness:

    On Equality (Birmingham jail, 1963)
    "Before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth, we were here. Before the pen of Jefferson etched across the pages of history the majestic words of the Declaration, we were here."

    On Nonconformity (1963)
    "The saving of our world from pending doom will come, not through the complacent adjustment of the conforming majority, but through the creative maladjustment of a nonconforming minority."

    On Civil Rights (Selma to Montgomery, 1965)
    "We are moving to the land of freedom. Let us march to the realization of the American dream."

    On Peace (1964)
    "Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood."

    On the Dream of Freedom (1964)
    "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed...that all men are created equal."

    On Freedom (1963)
    "So let freedom ring. From the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire let freedom ring. From the mighty mountains of New York, let freedom ring. From the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania, let freedom ring. But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia. Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi..."

    On the Future (April 3, 1968 – the night before his murder)
    "I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land. So I'm happy tonight, I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord."

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