Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Reawakening America: Issues and Response

For the last five years it has been my privilege to address issues critical to America in my weekly Epoch Times column.

These articles have complemented my presentations and a lifetime of dedication to principles which I believe are vital to America.

In my opinion, these principles include leadership, vigilance, collaboration, courage, compassion, community, character, and patriotism.

In an effort to crystalize these principles, I would like to summarize some salient points from the collection of my articles.

In doing so, it is my hope that these issues, so critical to America, will inspire the audience to action.

America’s Breath of Life, Mar. 7, 2014

In my first article I covered a heart pounding life-or-death drama from a Florida expressway.

The incident of a child being resuscitated illustrated all that is great about America. Yet, it was also used as a metaphor for our crisis of character which demands resuscitation.

Diversity: America’s Heartbeat, Apr. 18, 2014

The article addresses various violations of human rights. I argued that diversity “expresses a true appreciation of the inestimable value of each human being and a respect for their beliefs.”

In numerous follow up articles including “Racism in America: Time for Unity,” I stated that the racism experience by the Tuskegee Airmen continues.

The article concluded with the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “We must learn to live together as brothers or we will perish together as fools.”

Principles of American Policing, May 1, 2015

The police-community tensions erupting nationwide, and the importance of building trust were addressed in an extensive collection of articles.

Respecting current realities in America, I developed nine principles of American policing to enhance dialogue, communication, and unity between police and communities.

The principles stress that being pro-police and pro-community is inseparable. One of the principles also notes that “respect must be the heart of the police and it must be unwavering for the profession, colleagues, and community. Respect can only be earned through integrity, accountability, and transparency. These qualities build trust, legitimacy, and collaboration.”

Since being pro-police and pro-community is inseparable, this respect must also be alive in the heart of every civilian privileged to call America home.

Honoring American Immigrants: Family, Neighbors, Heroes, Jul. 16, 2015

Due to the ongoing controversy of immigration, this article took a positive approach. It was a reminder that “America is a land of immigrants who enrich our nation with their talents, sacrifices, and character.”

By addressing immigration, it was my hope that the frenzy of emotions over immigration can be resolved. But, in my opinion, this is only possible when we integrate sensible security measures with honoring human dignity and American values. Reasonable minds must prevail and we must remember that “America is a great land because of the values, vision, and service of countless immigrants.”

America’s 21st Century Teacher: Security, Character, Pedagogy, Aug. 28, 2015

Many of my articles addressed school and campus violence. In formulating a response, an integration of sound security measures, character education, and the preventative system of education was presented. All of these principles are essential and inseparable from addressing
America’s culture of violence. Unfortunately, this understanding is often missed in a barrage of reactive training initiatives.

This article encouraged the cultivation of the preventive system of education whereby “educators are vigilant in a caring manner and offer inspirational guidance from the heart consistent with kindness, character, and reasonableness.

Along with sound security measures and character education, this system is essential to school security and setting the right culture in educational communities.

As I have done for 20 years and again this week, through a partnership of the Bergen County Education Association and the Bergen County Regional SWAT team, I encouraged educators from throughout the county to adhere to this pedagogy.

America, Wake Up: Harden Your Soft Targets, Jan. 7, 2016

The continuous violent rampages throughout America were addressed in this article. It sounded the clarion call for police, private security, and citizens to prevent violence with an unwavering commitment to collaboration.

Basic security measures to harden soft targets were stressed which includes security vulnerability assessments, background checks, investigations, training, warning signs, physical/personnel/procedural security, and cybersecurity.

Visionary American Leadership: Champion for the Poor, Dec. 29, 2016

This article addressed the universal message from the masterpiece novel “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens.

By illustrating alarming issues of poverty in America, a moral call to visionary leadership to alleviate poverty was made.

America must forever remain the champion of the poor as we have an “ordained mission of justice, dignity, and moral responsibility toward every member of society.”

American Government Requires Ethical Leadership, Jan. 5, 2017

America is at a crossroads and ethical behavior must be the foundation of the nation.

Specifically, the article stated that “government officials are called to uphold a high standard of ethical behavior. Ethics is the moral foundation that animates their protecting the integrity of the government.”

America’s Opioid Crisis: The Heart of the Solution, Apr. 7, 2017

This article was one of numerous addressing the scourge of the drug crisis wrecking devastation on individuals, families, and communities.

As in many articles calling America’s youth to rise to the occasion, I stressed that they deserve educational empowerment. Our youth must be inspired to serve as ethical protectors in their families, schools, and communities. They youth are essential to turning the tide of our drug crisis and we will only be successful with this pandemic with their involvement.

Portraits of American Character Help Reawaken the Nation, Jan. 22, 2018

This article depicted individuals who personify lives of character.

Character must be the heartbeat of America and must be resuscitated when necessary throughout the nation. This virtue represents the ideals of our country, the “better angels of our nature,” and the goodness of humanity.

Each person that is honored to call America home must continually reflect on living a life of character.

We must also have our eyes wide open and appreciate all who reflect the ideals of character in our society.

Final Reflections

Despite the challenges facing America, we are destined to be a beacon of character to the nations.

May all of us be faithful to the ideals of our nation and continually enhance our commitment to reawakening the nation.

Let us renew America’s ideals by living lives built on the pillars of character, courage, and community.

Note Well:

Twitter: vincentjbove

Linkedin: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Join Vincent’s Linkedin Group: The Sentinel: Reawakening the Nation

Facebook: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Vincent is author of 275 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing. As a national speaker, he has addressed audiences nationwide on issues critical to America including ethical leadership, violence prevention, and crisis planning.

Photos

1. American flags in Rockefeller Center, New York. (Vincent J. Bove)
2. NYPD Times Square, NYC, Mar. 25, 2015. (Vincent J. Bove)
3. Students with their teacher at a character education presentation by Vincent J. Bove titled Be a Person of Character: Change the World at Union City Public Schools, N.J., on Feb. 27, 2009. (Vincent J. Bove)
4. 2d Lt. Alix Schoelcher Idrache cries during the United States Military Academy West Point Graduation, May 23, 2016. (U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Vito T. Bryant)

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Thursday, April 12, 2018

America’s Active Shooter Crisis Demands Leadership

America’s culture of violence is continually manifested through horrific active shooter tragedies.

Leadership is critical from law enforcement, private security professionals, government officials, property managers, and all responsible for safeguarding individuals entrusted to their care.

Each and every person privilege to call America home must also be vigilant, and always aware of their surroundings.

Violence is the new reality of American life and companies, schools, campuses, houses of worship, and public gatherings throughout the nation are potential targets.

Active Shooter Definition

As defined by the Department of Homeland Security: “An Active Shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area; in most cases, active shooters use firearms(s) and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims. Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly. Typically, the immediate deployment of law enforcement is required to stop the shooting and mitigate harm to victims. Because active shooter situations are often over within 10 to 15 minutes, before law enforcement arrives on the scene, individuals must be prepared both mentally and physically to deal with an active shooter situation.”

American Mass Shootings: Fast Facts

The ten deadliest single day mass shootings in modern U.S. history crystalize the scope of the crisis.

October 1, 2017 – 58 killed and almost 500 injured when a deranged gunman opens fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Gunfire was sprayed for approximately ten to fifteen minutes upon a crown of about 22,000 concertgoers.

June 12, 2016 – 49 killed and over 50 wounded when a gunman opens fire inside the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

April 16, 2007 – 32 students and faculty killed and numerous others injured at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.

December 14, 2012 – twenty children, ages six and seven, and six adult staff and faculty were shot dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

November 5, 2017 – 25 people as well as an unborn child were shot dead, and twenty others wounded inside a small church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

October 16, 1991 – 23 people are shot dead inside Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas.

July 18, 1984 – 21 adults and children are killed inside a McDonald’s in San Ysidro, California.

August 1, 1966 – 18 are killed including an unborn child and at least 30 are wounded at the University of Texas in Austin. The shooter also killed his wife and mother earlier in the day.

February 14, 2018 – 17 are shot dead by a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

December 2, 2015 – 14 are killed by a married couple during a holiday season employee gathering at Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California.

Dedication Demanded

Throughout my career, I have conducted hundreds of walkthroughs at sites to assess security. After many of these walkthroughs, my responsibility was to develop post orders for security personnel, action plans, and emergency contact information.

Despite the importance of these procedures for protecting life and property, the deficiencies at many sites were often conspicuous.

The possibility of an emergency is always a reality, whether it be man-made or natural, and leadership must always be built of the pillars of dedication, competence, and discipline.

Practical Preparedness Tips

Continuous active shooter tragedies remind us that incidents can happen any place and any time.

There are steps that can be taken to prevent the threat.

The proactive mindset of preparedness includes the mantra, “if you see something, say something.” It also involves knowing plans at schools, campuses, houses of worship, and workplaces. Leadership must also ensure training, plans, and drills are implemented if they do not exist.

Situational awareness is also critical as one must always know exits whenever visiting facilities, malls, theaters, or public places.

According to FEMA, there are three options for survival during an incident which are as follows:

RUN. Getting away from the shooter or shooters is the top priority. Leave your things behind and run
away. If safe to do so, warn others nearby. Call 911 when you are safe. Describe each shooter, their locations, and weapons.

HIDE. If you can’t get away safely, find a place to hide. Get out of the shooter’s view and stay very quiet. Silence your electronic devices and make sure they won’t vibrate. Lock and block doors, close blinds, and turn off the lights. Don’t hide in groups— spread out along walls or hide separately to make it more difficult for the shooter. Try to communicate with police silently—like through text messages or
by putting a sign in an exterior window. Stay in place until law enforcement gives you the all clear.

FIGHT. Your last resort when you are in immediate danger is to defend yourself. Commit to your actions and act aggressively to stop the shooter. Ambushing the shooter together with makeshift weapons such as chairs, fire extinguishers, scissors, and books can distract and disarm the shooter.

During and after an incident it is always essential to follow the instructions of law enforcement. First-Aid classes can also be taken to learn skills that can save lives.

Final Reflections

America’s flag continues to fly at half-staff too often due to violent rampages against the innocent.

Leadership must inspire vigilance and collaboration to prevent violence. We must have the determination, commitment, and courage to protect ourselves and others.

Training initiatives, security assessments, sound security measures, building police-community partnerships, professional security personnel, and responding effectively to warning signs are critical safeguards against active shooter tragedies.

These pillars must be inseparable from securing our communities against mass shooting tragedies and essential to reawakening the nation.

Related Coverage:

America’s Active Shooter Crisis: Issues and Response

Mass Shootings, Police Fatalities: America’s Culture of Trauma

Mass Shooter Crisis: America, Wake Up

Mass Shootings: America’s Public Health Crisis

Note Well:

Twitter: vincentjbove

Linkedin: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Join Vincent’s Linkedin Group: The Sentinel: Reawakening the Nation

Facebook: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Vincent is author of 275 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing. As a national speaker, he has addressed audiences nationwide on issues critical to America including ethical leadership, violence prevention, and crisis planning.


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Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Mass Attacks in Public Spaces Demand America’s Vigilance

Although vigilance is always the order of every day, the month of April is unique due to anniversaries of horrendous attacks at Virginia Tech and Columbine.

On April 16, we reverently pause to remember the 33 lives lost in 2007 at Virginia Tech.

On April 20, we solemnly remember the 1999 mass shooting at Columbine High School that left 15 dead.

America’s culture of violence demands eternal vigilance. The month of April, as remembered through these tragedies, demands heightened vigilance at all or our schools, colleges, and universities.

Secret Service Reports Deserve Study

In my office are two significant studies by the United States Secret Service and the United States Department of Education. These have been continually referenced in my school violence prevention initiatives since they were published in 2002.

Due to the courtesy of these agencies, I have distributed thousands of copies to law enforcement officials and educators at my violence prevention speaking venues.

The first report is titled "The Final Report And Findings Of The Safe School Initiative: Implications For The Prevention Of School Attacks In The United States."

The document deserves to be studied in its entirety but it highlights 10 key findings, which are as follows:

• Incidents of targeted violence at school rarely were sudden, impulsive acts.
• Prior to most incidents, other people knew about the attacker’s idea and/or plan to attack.
• Most attackers did not threaten their targets directly prior to advancing the attack.
• There is no accurate or useful “profile” of students who engaged in targeted school violence.
• Most attackers engaged in some behavior prior to the incident that caused others concern or indicated a need for help.
• Most attackers had difficulty coping with significant losses or personal failures. Moreover, many had considered or attempted suicide.
• Many attackers felt bullied, persecuted, or injured by others prior to the attack.
• Most attackers had access to and had used weapons prior to the attack.
• In many cases, other students were involved in some capacity.
• Despite prompt law enforcement responses, most shooting incidents were stopped by means other than law enforcement intervention.

It is important to note that although these findings were published in 2002, they are still a factor in attacks throughout America.

The second report is titled "Threat Assessment In Schools: A Guide To Managing Threatening Situations And To Creating Safe School Climates."

Along with the afore-mentioned study, this document also deserves to be studied in its entirety. But, for the sake of brevity, it highlights the 10 findings in the safe school initiative report and encourages fostering a culture of respect and breaking the “Code of Silence.”

This study also emphasizes that the primary purpose of a threat assessment is to prevent targeted violence. Six principles form the foundation of the process:

• Targeted violence is the end result of an understandable, and oftentimes discernible process of thinking and behavior.
• Targeted violence stems from an interaction among the individual, the situation, the setting, and the target.
• An investigative, skeptical, inquisitive mindset is critical to successful threat assessment.
• Effective threat assessment is based upon facts, rather than characteristics or “traits.”
• An “integrated systems approach” should guide threat assessment inquiries and investigations.
• The central question in a threat assessment inquiry or investigation is whether a student poses a threat, not whether the student has made a threat.

One lesson from these reports is that a threat assessment program is critical for every school, campus, and university in America. Members of the team that identify, assess, or manage threatening situations should be drawn from both the school and community. The team should include law enforcement, mental health professionals, administrators, teachers, attorneys, school security personnel, and psychologists.

Secret Service: 2018 Report on Mass Attacks

In March, 2018 the National Threat Assessment Center of the United States Secret Service released its newest report titled "Mass Attacks In Public Spaces-2018"

This report also deserves study by all concerned with America’s culture of violence. It should also be utilized for school violence prevention training and for all members of threat assessment teams.

In this report of 28 incidents of mass attacks in 2017, whereby 147 lives were lost and nearly 700 injured, similar themes in the backgrounds of attackers were observed which included the following:

• Nearly half were motivated by a personal grievance related to a workplace, domestic, or other issue.
• Over half had histories of criminal charges, mental health symptoms, and/or illicit substance use or abuse.
• All had at least one significant stressor within the last five years, and over half had indications of financial instability in that timeframe.
• Over three-quarters made concerning communications and/or elicited concern from others prior to carrying out their attacks. On average, those who did elicit concern caused more harm than those who did not.

Final Reflections

In my presentations throughout the United States since the Columbine tragedy, and in my collection of published works, I have continually emphasized leadership, vigilance, and collaboration.

These principles are critical to violence prevention and the underlying foundation of not only the aforementioned Secret Service reports, but of every credible crisis management model.

America’s culture of violence is a tragic commentary of our times with yet another active shooter incident taking place at YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, California as I write this article. But there is hope for secure schools, campuses, workplaces, and communities.

Our nation must persevere to end the scourge of violence, and to reawaken the nation through our shared responsibility, unwavering determination, and moral courage.

Related Coverage:

Columbine, Virginia Tech Anniversaries: Reverence, Vigilance, Prevention

American School Violence Requires a Response of Courage, Commitment, and Community

America’s Schools: Security, Character, Academics

Mass Shootings: America’s Public Health Crisis

Note Well:

Twitter: vincentjbove

Linkedin: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Join Vincent’s Linkedin Group: The Sentinel: Reawakening the Nation

Facebook: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Vincent is author of 275 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing. As a national speaker, he has addressed audiences nationwide on issues critical to America including ethical leadership, violence prevention, and crisis planning.

Photo: Students and visitors attend a candlelight vigil on campus at Virginia Tech April 16, 2012 in Blacksburg, Virginia. (Jared Soares/Getty Images)

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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

America’s Human Trafficking Scourge Demands Moral Leadership

Any activity that leads to a person’s exploitation, enslavement, or manipulation is a reprehensible violation of human dignity.

Whenever selfishness, criminal enterprises, or an ideology leads to the buying, selling, or bartering of a person, there must be outrage.

In simple terms, human trafficking is a scourge against human dignity that demands unequivocal denouncement, collaborative action, and moral leadership.

The Scope of the Crisis

According to the website Allies Against Slavery, more than 40 million men, women, and children throughout the world suffer the exploitation of human trafficking and modern slavery today.

Although this travesty is international, it is also a very real American crisis.

The scope of the crisis was detailed in a statewide human trafficking study through a partnership of Allies Against Slavery with the University of Texas.

This study, funded by the Texas Governor’s Office crystalized the prevalence of human trafficking and its economic magnitude throughout the state.

The findings, published in January, 2017, include these details highlighting the crisis:

• Approximately 79,000 minors and youth are victims of sex trafficking in Texas.
• Approximately 234,000 workers are victims of labor trafficking.
• There are currently an estimated 313,000 victims of human trafficking in Texas.
• Traffickers exploit approximately $600 million from victims of labor trafficking in Texas.
• Minor and youth sex trafficking costs the state of Texas approximately $6.6 Billion.

Yet, the human trafficking industry thrives not only in Texas but in all 50 states.

Modern Slavery Defined

According to Allies Against Slavery, “Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery that occurs when one person exerts control over another person in order to exploit them economically. In this scenario, the victim is controlled through manipulation, violence, or the threat of violence and cannot walk away.”

Human trafficking is further explained as having three main components.

“The Action; which means the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons

“The Means; which includes threat of or use of force, deception, coercion, abuse of power or position of vulnerability

“The Purpose; which is always exploitation. Article 3 of the UN Protocol says exploitation "shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs."

Organizations Providing Solutions

Street Grace is one of the organizations dedicated to eradicating sex trafficking of minors. It combats the crisis by mobilizing communities through education, outreach, and advocacy.

The organization, located in Atlanta, Georgia, estimates that 100,000 – 300,000 American children are at risk of being victimized through sex trafficking each year.

This faith-based organization takes action against the crisis by mobilizing faith, business, and community leaders.

Combatting the crisis is multi-dimensional and demands multi-faceted solutions. Some of the initiatives Street Grace has designed to create protection and advocacy are as follows:

• Educational programs for middle and high school youth
• Volunteers on the ground to interact, train, and provide resources for victims
• Enhancing community awareness through educational initiatives
• Unifying the community to advocate for legislation

Another agency committed to combatting human trafficking is Covenant House, the largest privately funded agency in the Americas providing shelter, food, immediate crisis care, and an array of other services to homeless and runaway youth.

Covenant House says that in the United States, the most common form of human trafficking involves the commercial sex industry. It occurs in online escort services, residential brothels, brothels disguised as massage parlors or spas, and in street prostitution.

The agency states that homeless youth are often easy prey for human trafficking predators. They are low risk without family support systems as often no one cares about them. They are also easy to lure, vulnerable, and easy to manipulate since they are desperate for food, shelter, and acceptance.

Final Reflections

On March 20, 2018, the U.S. Senate approved a bill by a majority of 97-2 titled the Stop Enabling Sex Trafficker’s Act.

The bill allows victims of sex trafficking to seek justice against on-line activities that knowingly facilitate sexual trafficking.

It also allows a state attorney general to bring action in a U.S. district court to protect individuals from those “who knowingly participates in the sex trafficking of children or sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion.”

This bill is one step in the right direction but much more must be done to eradicate this travesty against human dignity.

One key solution will be the resolve of America’s youth. They have the heart to inspire an ethical renaissance through character, courage, and community.

As demonstrated recently in the March for Our Lives, understood to be one of the largest youth protests since the Vietnam War, America’s youth are standing united.

Although the March for Our Lives was dedicated specifically to sensible gun reform, the unity of America’s youth made a profound statement to America, and to the world.

Our youth gave hope that not only violence prevention, but other issues critical to our way of life, can be resolved through unity.

As the future of America, our youth deserve guidance, encouragement, and respect.

America’s youth are catalysts, pivotal to reawakening the nation, which will be realized through moral leadership, steadfast vigilance, and community cohesiveness.

Related Coverage:

Opinion: Student Walkout Is America’s Lesson of a Lifetime

Sexual Harassment Dishonors Human Dignity

America’s 21st Century Student: Character, Courage, Community


Note Well:

Twitter: vincentjbove

Linkedin: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Join Vincent’s Linkedin Group: The Sentinel: Reawakening the Nation

Facebook: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Vincent is author of 275 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing. As a national speaker, he has addressed audiences nationwide on issues critical to America including ethical leadership, violence prevention, and crisis planning.

Photo: Police take two presumed members of a gang trafficking people to the United States to court in Tegucigalpa, Honduras on June 9, 2016. (ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP/Getty Images)

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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

NYPD Neighborhood Policing is a Shared Responsibility

A unity of effort between the police and community is a critical foundation for protecting America and essential for securing our neighborhoods, schools, and workplaces.

Protecting our communities and the morale of the nation demands unwavering shared responsibility, the lifeline of public safety.

America must be fully committed, without reserve or excuse, to building bridges between the police and community as our way of life demands this collaboration.

Failure to share responsibility is not an option as without cohesiveness the results will only be disorder, discord, and turmoil.

Community Policing, Understanding the Background

There is information on shared responsibility according to the U.S. Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing (COPS) posted on their website which is as follows:

“Effective partnerships between law enforcement and community stakeholders are essential to public safety, and it is important that government agencies, community groups, nonprofits, businesses, and private citizens all embrace public safety as a shared responsibility. Law enforcement and community members must develop positive working relationships in order to build enduring solutions and increase trust between the police and the public.”

COPS, which is responsible for advancing the practice of community policing by preventing crime and eliminating the fear it creates by building trust throughout the community. The COPS document titled Community Policing Defined crystalizes shared responsibility as inseparable from community policing as follows:

“Community policing is a philosophy that promotes organizational strategies that support the systemic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime.”

NYPD Neighborhood Policing: A Cultural Change

The COPS Community Policing concept has been further accentuated by the NYPD into Neighborhood Policing. This is an intensified version of community policing reflecting a cultural change for 21st century policing.

This cultural change is best explained by NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill and Chief of Department Terence A. Monahan.

In a Mar. 12, 2018 statement before the New York City Council Public Safety Committee in City Hall Council Chambers, Commissioner O’Neill shared his visionary leadership on Neighborhood Policing.

“Neighborhood Policing is not a program; it is not an initiative; and it is not just a few cops in some parts of the city trying to be nicer to people. It is a philosophy intended to reshape the approach to fulfilling our core mission – not only in an operational sense, but in the spirit and practice of every aspect of the work we do. Neighborhood Policing reflects a cultural change for our entire agency – for every NYPD employee, uniformed and civilian; for every bureau, division, and unit – and for everyone who lives, works, and plays in New York. It is about each of us sharing responsibility for public safety by working to reduce violence together – all while building trust. And it is the most radical, top-to-bottom, operational change the NYPD has embarked on in nearly 25 years. What we have learned in the NYPD is that if we want everyone who lives in our communities to trust and respect our police officers, all of us in leadership roles – from the Police Commissioner’s Office on down to the front-line supervisors on the street – also have to trust and respect our police officers. We have to allow our men and women in uniform to be decision-makers and problem-solvers. We need them to take responsibility for, and great pride in, the people and the areas of New York City they protect. And we need to treat everyone we serve equally and fairly. In short, this style of New York policing is a game-changer for our entire profession.”

On Feb. 11, 2018, Chief Monahan shared his steadfast dedication to Neighborhood Policing to community leaders at the New Jerusalem Worship Center in Jamaica, New York.

“The plan is a re-invention of the police patrol function, restoring the patrol officer to roles of problem solver and community guardian, who knows the neighborhood and works closely with residents, and giving the officers the time each day to play these roles effectively. It assigns the same officers to the same sectors on the same tours, helping the cops to know the neighborhood and the neighborhood to know the cops. The plan also provides two neighborhood coordinating officers in each sector, leading the way on community connection, problem solving, and crime fighting.”

On Mar. 20, 2018, both Commissioner O’Neill and Chief Monahan, addressed hundreds of NYPD personnel from ranks of captain and above at the NYPD annual Executive Conference. Both leaders emphasized that Neighborhood Policing is the heart of the NYPD mission. They emphasized that Neighborhood Policing is not a pilot program, but the new culture of the NYPD.

It was further emphasized that all NYPD members must reflect the Neighborhood Policing culture as well-rounded problem solvers. Yet, all must remain crime-fighters who build trust, strengthen community collaboration, and exemplify respect, courtesy, and professionalism.

Final Reflections

The Neighborhood Policing culture is building bridges of trust built on the principle of shared responsibility.

As detailed in the Principles of American Policing, being pro-police and pro-community is the bedrock of public safety.

The NYPD deserves praise for its dedication to Neighborhood Policing.

Along with every member of the NYPD, may all privileged to call New York City home support Neighborhood Policing and be fully dedicated to shared responsibility to safeguard their city.

Related Coverage:

Neighborhood Policing Illuminates NYPD Mission

NYPD Neighborhood Policing Must Intensify as Crime Records Plunge

Police-Community Collaboration: America’s Public Safety Lifeline

NYPD Leaders Exemplify Courtesy, Professionalism, Respect

Note Well:

Twitter: vincentjbove

Linkedin: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Join Vincent’s Linkedin Group: The Sentinel: Reawakening the Nation

Facebook: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Vincent is author of 275 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing. As a national speaker, he has addressed audiences nationwide on issues critical to America including ethical leadership, violence prevention, and crisis planning.

Photos:

1. "Join us in thanking these @NYPD106Pct officers for swiftly responding to a 911 call and performing CPR on a 3-week-old newborn. Doctors credited their actions for saving his life! That’s #NYPDprotecting New Yorkers of all ages." (Courtesy NYPD news via Twitter, Mar. 20, 2018)

2. NYPD Commissioner James P. O'Neill speaking on Neighborhood Policing at the NYPD annual Executive Conference, Mar. 20, 2018. (Courtesy NYPD news via Twitter)

3. "In 100 yrs not much has stopped Ms White! So a little snow was not going to stop us from wishing her a Happy 100th Birthday! You should too!" (Courtesy NYPD news via twitter 76th precinct @ NYPD76Pct, Jan. 4. 2018)

4. NYPD officers, Times Square, New York. (Courtesy NYPD news via Twitter)

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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Student Walkout is America’s Lesson of a Lifetime

When Marjorie Stoneman Douglas exercised her freedom of speech to protect the Everglades at a 1973 public hearing in Everglades City, she never imagined that years later a Florida school would bear her name.

Douglas was a tenacious fighter against the indifference of officials destroying wetlands and upsetting a national treasure.

America’s Youth, Our National Treasure

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, located in Parkland, Florida, is in the Miami metropolitan area.

The school is part of the Broward County Public School district, and it is the only public high school in Parkland.

Like Marjorie Stoneman Douglas, the school, through the passion of its students, is standing against indifference. This passion is especially exemplified through their inspiring the March 14 walkout in schools across America.

The students are at a defining moment in American history and standing against the violence that has claimed young lives gone too soon.

These young people, and all of America’s youth deserve our respect, affirmation, and empowerment.

Our youth dedicated to this cause against violence deserve the nation’s respect. They are our national treasure and teaching America the lesson of a lifetime.

Students: Moral Catalysts for Change

As a write this article, the clarion call for action against violence is reverberating across America.

The March 14 walkout is reminding us that the power of student’s voices will not be deterred. America’s students stand as the moral catalysts for change as detailed in the following headlines of the day:

*‘We want change’
*Los Angeles students lie in silence on football field, spelling out ‘Enough’
*A generation shaped by gun violence makes itself heard
*Columbine students walk out of class as part of national protest against gun violence
*Elementary school students walk out singing, ‘Put a Little Love in Your Heart’
*A 12-year-old girl’s sign: One death is too many
*She’s 14 and walked out of her school wearing a bulletproof vest
*National school walkout marks month since Parkland mass shooting
*National Student Walkout Posters Say Exactly What Politicians Should Hear
*Students at an Oregon high school form a giant peace sign
*Security measures will be taken by school districts to protect protesting students on March 14, 2018

Supporting a Righteous Cause Against Violence

There are pockets of resistance to the student walkout with school administrators walking gingerly, threatening punishment, or fearful of advocating support.

Yet, it was heartening to see paragons of visionary leadership working with the students. Throughout America, these administrative leaders were dedicated to making the protest a teachable moment. Their collaborating with the students on walkout procedures, security, and safety issues were commendable and expressive of the ideals of being educators.

The official Twitter account of the NYPD School Safety Division, responsible for 5,200 officers who maintain the safety of the 1,800 New York City schools expressed indefatigable support for students through its commissioner.

“Today, National School Walkout Day, we expect a peaceful protest against gun violence. NYPD School Safety Division is partnering with students, teachers, and community to ensure a successful walk. Safety 1st.”

Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho tweeted on the morning of the protest:

“To our aware, responsible, and inspiring @MDCPS students. Remember that while civil disobedience will be embraced today, your personal safety & that of those around you must be protected. Use your judgement as you stand for what you believe in. Represent us well.”

Robert Runcie, the superintendent of the district where the tragedy took place also backed the protests. He stated to a local news agency that he is “proud of the students focus and determination to turn their grief into action for positive change.”

Runcie also tweeted a quote from Marjory Stoneman Douglas on the protest day, “Be a nuisance when it counts. Do your part to inform and stimulate the public to join your action. Be depressed, discouraged, & disappointed at failure & the disheartening effects of ignorance, greed, corruption & bad politics—but never give up.”

Superintendent Brett Provenzano of the Fairport Central School District in New York State, shared these sentiments of the student protests in a letter to the community:

“I am proud of their leadership and that they are engaging in this defining moment. Through this process, our main objective will be to have a constructive, meaningful, and safe student-led event; as a district, we want to provide our students with the opportunity to express their voices civilly and prompt reflection from all sides of the issue.”

Larry Johnson, principal of Firestone High School in Akron, Ohio supported the student protest.

“Their willingness to take a stance is important to us and we are in full support of them organizing and making that statement. This makes U.S. history a real thing, not just talked about in books. They’re living a piece of history right now. Just to see students this passionate, this is what learning is. I’m very proud of how they’ve gone about this. This experience is going to really help them as they take this down the road.”

In Portland, Maine several administrators from Portland High School (PHS) held up signs to support protesting students. The signs read “PHS supports “#notonemore” and “PHS supports 17 minutes for 17 lives.

At Linden High School in New Jersey, Principal Yelena Horre supported the different approaches of protests.

“I think students are choosing to demonstrate in different ways maybe for different reasons. Maybe the students who are sitting in are sitting in to honor the lives and maybe the students who are walking out are walking out because they want to speak out and they want to make their presence known and to say that change is needed.”

Final Reflections

America’s youth will no longer be silent in the face of glaciers of apathy that have frozen sensitivities, reason, and judgement.

The deafening silence of indifference after past tragedies that led to talk without action has now met a roaring response demanding resolve.

The voices of America’s youth are speaking out and their actions are inspiring the reawakening of the nation.

Related Coverage:

Five Preliminary Tips for Improving American School Security

America’s 21st Century Student: Character, Courage, Community

17 Wounds to America’s Heart Demand Moral Courage

American School Violence Requires a Response of Courage, Commitment, and Community

Note Well:

Linkedin: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Join Vincent’s Linkedin Group: The Sentinel: Reawakening the Nation

Facebook: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Vincent is author of 275 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing. As a national speaker, he has addressed audiences nationwide on issues critical to America including ethical leadership, violence prevention, and crisis planning.

Photo: Seventeen-year-old Annie McCasland of Potomac, Maryland holds up a sign during a rally at the U.S. Capitol to urge Congress to take action against gun violence on March 14, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The protest marked one month since a gunman killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Police Suicides: Awareness, Prevention, Action

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “each year more than 41,000 individuals die by suicide, leaving behind thousands of friends and family members to navigate the tragedy of their loss. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death among adults in the U.S. and the 2nd leading cause of death among young people aged 10-24; these rates are rising.

“Suicidal thoughts or behaviors are both damaging and dangerous and are therefore considered a psychiatric emergency. Someone experiencing these thoughts should seek immediate assistance from a health or mental health care provider. Having suicidal thoughts does not mean someone is weak or flawed.”

Police Suicide: Danger Behind the Badge

The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) cites in their document titled Preventing Law Enforcement Suicide that each year more law enforcement officers die by suicide than are killed in the line of duty.

The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), the component of the U.S. Department of Justice dedicated to advancing community policing, encourages everyone to take action to prevent law enforcement suicides.

In an edition of their Community Policing Dispatch newsletter, COPS states the following:

“Care for officer's mental and emotional health should be on par with that for their safety and physical health. In order for prevention efforts to be successful, agencies must also address cultural and environmental barriers to prevention at all levels, e.g., the still-pervasive stigma that discourages at-risk officers from seeking help for fear of negative peer reactions or career ramifications; lack of comprehensive suicide prevention policies; and insufficient training for officers or health care providers.

“There are many people who have a role to play in preventing suicide among law enforcement officers. The attitudes and behaviors of chiefs, supervisors, peers, health care providers, family, friends, faith leaders, and others can all influence officers' health.”

NYPD Suicide Tragedies

The NYPD has already experienced three tragic officer deaths by suicide in 2018.

The most recent is the suicide of a 24-year-old rookie officer, Rachel Bocatija, who took her life inside her Brooklyn home on Feb. 27.

Other officers who lost their lives by suicide this year are Sgt. Joseph PIzzarro, 35, who fatally shot himself on Jan. 13 in a room at the Hilton Garden Inn on Staten Island. On Jan. 28, Detective Nicholas Budney took his life at an Orange County restaurant overlooking the Hudson River.

Regarding Officer Bocatija, a neighbor at the scene of the NYPD response to her suicide stated that her younger sister-who also planned to join the NYPD-found her body in a looked room of their Brooklyn home.

NYPD Commissioner: Seeking Help is Great Strength

NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill expressing his empathy, compassion, and concern, addressed all members of the NYPD regarding suicide awareness and the resources available to them.

“This week, we are again mourning the loss of one of our family members. A young police officer from the 84th Precinct, on the job for just over two years, took her own life at home in Brooklyn. Already this year, we have lost three members to suicide. One is too many.

“As an NYPD cop, the thing I am most proud of is that we truly are a family. And because we spend so much of our lives in our patrol cars, station houses, and offices, we often see more of the people we work with than our own relatives.

“Each of us is dedicated to the important business of fighting crime and keeping New Yorkers safe. This is a tough job. And your personal life can be even tougher. We all have lives outside the job. And we all have our own stories.

“We agree, in an ideal world, seeking out help is never a sign of weakness — it's a sign of great strength. If you are having a problem of any kind, please contact the services offered inside and outside the department — because you never have to shoulder your burden alone. Trained members will listen and connect you with even more help, around the clock. And if you know of someone else who may need to talk, please make the first move … Thank you for what you do every day for our department and the people of New York City. And always, stay safe.”

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Aside from resources for assistance within agencies such as the NYPD, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) at 1800-273-8255, provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources, best practices, and building awareness.

As detailed on the NSPL website, these are some warning signs that may help to determine if one is at risk for suicide. These warning signs, “especially if the behavior is new, has increased, or seems related to a painful event, loss, or change” demands that someone seek help:

• Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves
• Looking for a way to kill themselves, like searching online or buying a gun
• Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
• Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
• Talking about being a burden to others
• Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
• Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
• Sleeping too little or too much
• Withdrawing or isolating themselves
• Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
• Extreme mood swings

Prevent a Tragedy: See Something, Say Something

Each life is sacred and deserving of respect, support, and encouragement.

The maxim “if you see something say something” is applicable not only to crime prevention, but to protecting the lives of all who serve, and all who are experiencing emotional trauma.

We must continually have our eyes wide open to warning signs of suicide, and the moral courage to respond to prevent tragedies.

Related Coverage:

American Veteran Suicide Crisis Demands Ethical Leadership

America’s Military Suicide Crisis: Awareness, Compassion, Prevention

Note Well:

Linkedin: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Join Vincent’s Linkedin Group: The Sentinel: Reawakening the Nation

Facebook: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Vincent is author of 250 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing. As a national speaker, he has addressed audiences nationwide on issues critical to America including ethical leadership, violence prevention, and crisis planning.

Photos

1. Police Funeral. (Courtesy COPS Dispatch Newsletter)
2. Prevention Suicide Poster
3. New York Police Department (NYPD) officers on the job. Two officers stand alert near the statue of Christopher Columbus at the Columbus Circle in New York on October 9, 2017, while a small group of people protest calling for the removal of the statue. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Five Preliminary Tips for Improving American School Security

The world is watching America’s response to the ongoing school violence crisis.

There are challenges, controversies, and confusions, but there are remedies, countermeasures, and prevention principles.

As a response to the issues, here are five preliminary tips to improve school security that deserves attention, collaboration, and implementation.

Improving School Security

1. Security Vulnerability Assessment: The security vulnerability assessment (SVA) identifies and evaluates the vulnerabilities and strengths of a school and/or district. The SVA is conducted to develop crisis countermeasures. It must be developed on the principles of leadership, vigilance, and collaboration. The primary concern of an SVA is the protection of lives and should be conducted by a reputable board certified protection professional (CPP).

Each school has its own complexion and the SVA is essential to properly diagnosis specific, effective, and corrective measures for security.

The SVA includes sound risk management principles of mitigation /prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery. The assessment includes recommendations on personnel security, physical security, emergency practices, informational security, and all facets of training.

A professional board certified SVA also includes:

• Existing plan identification and review
• Interviews from throughout the entire school community including administrators, teachers, counselors, psychologists, cafeteria workers, coaches, bus drivers, students, parents, law enforcement, first responders, janitorial staff, and vendors.
• Interviews should also include the superintendent and board of education representation
• Analysis of the pedagogy / culture of the school - repressive, lax, or preventative
• Evaluation of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles
• Review of arrival, exchanges, dismissal, cafeteria assemblies, and extracurricular activities
• Security policy and procedure review
• Safety and security checklists
• Access management issues: ID cards, metal detectors, barrier arms, bollards
• Visitor/ contractor / delivery analysis
• Security personnel
• Law enforcement and First Responder partnerships
• Event venue security analysis
• Communication systems for emergencies
• Extracurricular activities security
• Walkthroughs
• Luminosity studies
• Active shooter, fire drills, evacuations, lockdown, sheltering in place, bomb threat drill reviews
• Character education culture analysis
• Early warning signs
• Threat assessment / crisis management team analysis
• Review of school culture - character, respect, and diversity
• Bullying prevention review
• School Resource Officer (SRO) / Contract or In-House Security Personnel - training, certification, interviews

2. School resource officers (SRO’s): one of the most important school violence prevention, character education, and community policing initiatives. But to be most effective, the SRO program demands the most qualified, trained, certified, and dedicated police professionals available.

It is also essential that qualified back-up officers are also available for relief needs of assigned SRO’s.

According to the document, “To Protect & Educate: The School Resource Officer and the Prevention of Violence in Schools,” published by the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO), the activities of the SRO include the following:

• Meeting with principals each morning to exchange information gathered from parents, community members, and social media to detect potential spillover of threats, drug activity, and other behavior onto campus.
• Meeting with campus and community social workers to understand when and how at home issues may be motivating a student’s disruptive behavior in order to work with school staff to ensure effective and supportive responses.
• Listening to students’ concerns about bullying by other students and taking those problems to school administrators to help develop solutions.
• Coordinating additional law enforcement resources to assist with large public events on school campuses such as athletic events, dances, and community functions.
• Working with school administrators to keep the school’s Emergency Management Plan updated.
• Scheduling emergency drills in conjunction with other local agencies.

3. Preventive System of Education: In my Apr. 24, 2014 article for the Epoch Times titled American Teachers: Inspire the Heart and Transform the Country, I argued that there are essentially two basic forms of education in American schools. There is the repressive system that makes rules known, watches for transgressions, and is quick to discipline a student by inflicting condescending correction and punishment. The errant zero-tolerance policy in so many schools is an example of a repressive system - rigid, bureaucratic, and impersonal.

The better pedagogy is the preventive system of education. In this system, educators are vigilant in a caring manner and offer patient guidance from the heart consistent with kindness, character, and reasonableness. The preventive system of education builds trust, respect, and connections with students and the community. This pedagogy is the opposite of a zero-tolerance approach. The preventative system responds to concerns with measured interventions that promotes reasonableness, dignity, and respect.

The repressive system is dictatorial and may temporarily stop a disorder or a warning sign, but will not inspire students or properly remedy the issue. The preventive system speaks the language of the heart and is transformational. It provides speedy intervention to warning signs due to the educator’s dedication, presence, and corrective follow-through.

The preventative system of education is inseparable from a robust character education program and culture.

4. Professional Development Programs: these programs are important for all staff members and must include coaches, parents, cafeteria personnel, SRO’s, board of education members, and all involved with the school. Some of the topics I have covered in my professional development programs include Ambassadors of Community Transformation, American School Violence Prevention, Character Education: Vital to the School Community, Early Warning Signs: Preventing a School Violence Crisis, Crisis Planning, Transforming Our Schools: The Heart and Brick of School Security, 21st Century Parenting: Interested, Informed, Involved, and Creating a Culture of Achievement and Character.

Insights from classic government documents including Early Warning Timely Response: A Guide to Safe Schools, Practical Information on Crisis Planning: A Guide for Safe Schools and Communities, The Final Report And Findings Of The Safe School Initiative: Implications For The Prevention Of School Attacks In The United States, and Threat Assessment in Schools: A Guide To Managing Threatening Situations And To Creating Safe School Climates should also be incorporated into training programs.

5. Character Development Initiatives for Students: Schools must provide the leadership to instill a culture of character. Developing students with hearts of character built on the pillars of honesty, respect, civility, and patriotism must be paramount throughout America’s educational communities. Character is critical for transforming America from it’s culture of violence. Character education must be consistent, exemplified, and rewarded in our schools. Students must be inspired to realize that lives of character influence their schools, families, communities, and the very heart of the nation. A robust character education program is inseparable from the preventative system of education previously recommended.

Final Reflections

The response to school violence is multi-faceted and involves many disciplines and these tips serve as a good starting point.

Other important elements for school security include board certified security directors, robust bullying awareness and prevention programs, crisis management teams, threat assessment teams, and updated emergency plans that continually test all response and communication systems.

We must wake up and put the lessons learned from school and campus violence tragedies into action.

Each of us must play our part to be catalysts in the reawakening of America. This will take place when we implement comprehensive security enhancements, respond to warning signs with full-force resolve, and build collaboration with all members of the school community.

Related Coverage:

Police in Schools: Safeguarding America, Building Character

America’s Schools: Security, Character, Academics

School Bullying: A Matter of Life and Death

American Teachers: Inspire the Heart and Transform the Country

Note Well:

Linkedin: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Join Vincent’s Linkedin Group: The Sentinel: Reawakening the Nation

Facebook: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Vincent is author of 250 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing. As a national speaker, he has addressed audiences nationwide on issues critical to America including ethical leadership, violence prevention, and crisis planning.

Photos

1. Police officers stand in front of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as students arrive to attend classes for the first time since the shooting that killed 17 people on Feb. 14, at the school on Feb. 28, 2018 in Parkland, Florida. In the wake of the mass shooting the nation is engaged in an intense discussion about how to improve school security. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

2. Students with their teacher at a character education presentation by Vincent J. Bove titled Be a Person of Character: Change the World at Union City Public Schools, N.J., on Feb. 27, 2009. (Vincent J. Bove)

3. Police officer with students. (Courtesy U.S. Department of Justice, COPS Office)

4. Over 100 educators from the North Arlington Public Schools in New Jersey assemble for a professional development session conducted by Vincent J. Bove prior to the school year on Sept. 3, 2013. All attendees received copies of “Early Warning Timely Response: A Guide to Safe Schools.” (Vincent J. Bove)

5. Middle school students at Washington School in Union City, N.J., listen to Vincent’s signature presentation “Be a Person of Character: Change the World” on Feb. 27, 2008. (Vincent J. Bove)

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Monday, February 19, 2018

17 Wounds to America’s Heart Demand Moral Courage

A culture of violence indisputably exists in America.

This culture has manifested itself once again with the senseless loss of 17 lives in Parkland, Florida.

The continuous, merciless, and reprehensible loss of innocent lives must cease.

These losses throughout America, are inflicted among the most vulnerable of society, the youth in our schools and colleges.

Leadership, Vigilance, Collaboration

America must listen to the cries of anguish, agony, and suffering in our communities.

We must respond with a full-force ethical leadership, heightened vigilance, and relentless collaboration to make changes that are needed to stop the carnage.

Perhaps the reawakening of America, which has been the vision of my efforts over the last 20 years, needs additional inspiration. To this end, I humbly share these reflections from my mission statement:

“Inspired by the Sentinels of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the mission of Reawakening America is to cultivate core values of moral courage, compassion, character, community, and perseverance throughout our country.

“All are called in share it this mission - students, parents, educators, administrators, counselors, law enforcement, emergency responders, community leaders, employees, our armed forces, employees, our armed forces, employers and government officials - in a unity of effort built on trust, honor, and respect.”

Parkland, Florida: Listen to Their Cries

America must pause to honor the lives gone too soon from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Our nation must be not allow their passing to be in vain, and be fully committed to transforming America from its culture of violence.

Alyssa Alhadeff, 14: a student who after being dropped off at school on that fateful day heard the words from her mom on Valentine ’s Day, “I love you.”

Scott Beigel, 35: a geography teacher who according to Kesley Friend, one of his students, saved her life. “Mr. Beigel was my hero and he still will be forever my hero. I will never forget the actions that he took for me and for my fellow students in the classroom. I am alive today because of him.”

Martin Duque Anguiano, 14: as remembered by his brother, “He was a very funny kid, outgoing, and sometimes really quiet. He was sweet and caring and loved by his family. Most of all, he was my baby brother.”

Nicholas Dworet, 17: an outstanding senior swimmer preparing for a bright future with the University of Indianapolis swim team who confirmed his recruitment.

Aaron Feis, 37: an assistant football coach killed after throwing himself in front of students to save their lives.

Jamie Guttenberg, 14: as detailed by her father on a Facebook post, “My heart is broken. Yesterday, Jennifer Bloom Gutenberg and I lost our baby girl to a violent shooting at her school. We lost our daughter and my son Jesse Guttenberg lost his sister.”

Chris Hixon, 49: a naval reservist who was deployed to Iraq in 2007 and served as the school athletic director. Chris was remembered by his widow Debra, “He loved being an American and serving his country and he instilled that in our kids.”

Luke Hoyer, 15: a relative remembered Luke by posting on Facebook that the family is “devastated by this senseless tragedy … our Luke was a precious child.”

Cara Loughran, 14: as posted by a neighbor Danny Vogel on Facebook, “RIP Cara, and fly with the angels. You will be greatly missed, and we will always love you and celebrate your beautiful life.”

Gina Montalto, 14: as memorialized by her aunt, Shawn Sherlock on Facebook, “I know somewhere in the heavens she’s designing the latest and greatest trends and has her art book she always carried with her as well.”

Joaquin Oliver, 17: as noted on Dec. 31 in his last Instagram post, Joaquin stated, “Thank you lord for putting a greater blessing then I could ever imagine into my life this past year. I love you with all my heart.”

Alaina Petty, 14: as detailed in a family statement, “While we will not have the opportunity to watch her grow up and become the amazing woman we know she would become, we are keeping an eternal perspective.”

Meadow Pollack, 18: a friend, Gll Lovito, posted on Facebook, “Please say a prayer for the family of an amazing girl I got to call my best friend growing up, Meadow Pollard, her life was taken way too soon and I have no words to describe how this feels. Rest in Peace my beautiful angel. You are and forever will be loved.”

Helena Ramsey, 17:
a family member, Curtis Page Jr., posted on Facebook, "Helena was a smart, kind hearted, and thoughtful person. She was deeply loved and loved others even more so. Though she was somewhat reserved, she had a relentless motivation towards her academic studies, and her soft warm demeanor brought the best out in all who knew her. She was so brilliant and witty, and I'm still wrestling with the idea that she is actually gone."

Alex Schachter, 14: a high school band member whose family set up a Go Fund Me scholarship fund in his memory, "In an effort to continue his memory, this scholarship is being created to help other students experience the joys of music as well as fund increased security at schools. Please help keep Alex's spirit alive."

Carmen Schentrup, 16: a National Merit Scholar semifinalist who was remembered in a tweet stating “Your family is forever in my thoughts and prayers. I am so sorry.”

Peter Wang, 15: a member of the ROTC program who was remembered by his classmate Kelsey Friend,"It's hard to not have him in the hallways anymore because me and him used to laugh with each other. He used to make me smile. And now he's gone."

Final Reflections

Voices of America’s youth are responding to the ongoing school violence with a unique, passionate, and collective clarion voice of moral courage.

The epicenter of these voices are from Parkland, Florida and they are serving as catalysts for youth to speak-up and act throughout America.

These voices are demanding change from glaciers of apathy, indifference, and incompetence. These young students deserve America’s undivided attention, as they represent the future of our nation, and have suffered unimaginable anguish.

America's youth deserve our leadership, encouragement, and empowerment to end the madness of this unleashed violence upon the innocents.

The deafening silence that takes place in America soon after past tragedies must change from indifference to resolve.

We must listen to the voices of America’s youth and respond with the commitment necessary to end the scourge of school violence and change the course of the nation.

Related Coverage:

American School Violence Requires a Response of Courage, Commitment, and Community

School Violence Crisis: America, Wake Up

America’s 21st Century Student: Character, Courage, Community

America’s Schools: Security, Character, Academics

Note Well:


Linkedin: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Join Vincent’s Linkedin Group: The Sentinel: Reawakening the Nation

Facebook: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Vincent is author of 250 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing. As a national speaker, he has addressed audiences nationwide on issues critical to America including ethical leadership, violence prevention, and crisis planning.

Photos

1. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland Florida victims. (Credit WPTV)
2. Melissa Shev visits a makeshift memorial setup in front of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in memory of the 17 people that were killed on Feb. 14, in Parkland, Florida, Florida on Feb. 20. 2018. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Breaking News: Parkland, Florida School Violence Calamity

Published reports indicate 17 dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School located in Parkland, Broward County, Florida.

"America must listen to the cries coming from Parkland, FL, and from communities throughout the nation that have suffered from tragedies.

"The school violence crisis will continue unless we respond collaboratively - law enforcement, schools, communities, students, families - with full force moral courage, compassion, and character.

"Our nation must not wait, once again, for the next school violence calamity. All must stand up and be counted as a dedicated member of the community, and get involved with our youth through the schools. Failure is not an option for the price is too great. We must prevail in taking back America from the culture of violence which has become so massive, heartbreaking, and pervasive.

"America, do not be desensitized through this continuous, reprehensible, and intensifying bombardment of violence. Become and remain outraged - respond with full force determination and reawaken the nation by resetting our moral compass." Vincent J. Bove

Read More:

American School Violence Requires a Response of Courage, Commitment, and Community

America’s Schools: Security, Character, Academics

School Violence Crisis: America, Wake Up

American Teachers: Inspire the Heart and Transform the Country

America’s 21st Century Student: Character, Courage, Community

(Photo Credit: Joel Auerbach/AP)

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