Thursday, April 24, 2014

American Teachers: Inspire the Heart and Transform the Country

Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel and Da Vinci portrayed the Mona Lisa. Through the works of artistic masters, people can glimpse moments of darkness and brutality, but also find serenity, comfort, and inspiration.

But above and beyond the mastery of all of the world's greatest artists, only a teacher can mold the heart of a child and the future of a nation.

Since the Columbine tragedy I have been privileged to travel America speaking to thousands of teachers. My constant message is that our teachers must educate from the heart and truly care about their students. Whenever I visit schools, the teachers who care stand out. They earn trust from their students and inspire determination-because the students know these teachers care about them.

In one of my experiences, while conducting an assessment for a school district, a student approached me with a commentary of what can happen without a culture of caring. The student told me that each day when she came to school she felt “invisible.” She explained that she was not popular, attractive, talented, smart or fashionable and ate lunch by herself in a corner of the cafeteria on a daily basis.

Seizing the moment, I introduced her to a dynamic new teacher who I had interviewed a few days prior and asked this educator to take her under her wing. Weeks later I visited the district again and marveled at the transformation the teacher ignited-the student was vibrant with enthusiasm, new friends, a new sense of belonging and purpose.

Cultivating a Preventive System of Education

In my opinion there are essentially two basic forms of education in American schools. There is the repressive system which 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 proper approach 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 and connections with students and the community. Opposed to zero tolerance is a measured intervention approach which promotes reasonableness, dignity and respect. Simply expressed, the repressive system is dictatorial and may temporarily stop a disorder but will not inspire students. The preventive system speaks the language of the heart and is transformational.

These are some of the principles of the preventive system of education which is critical to reawakening the nation and must be cultivated in America’s schools:

•Teachers inspire admiration as they care for youth entrusted to their care
•Teachers are respected as individuals with character and motivate the same in their students
•The edifice of the preventive system is character and its pillars which includes respect, responsibility, fairness and citizenship
•A vigilant presence is exercised to prevent inappropriate behavior and reward proper behavior
•Improvements with behavior are motivated through kindness and respect rather than punishment
•A collaborative and speedy intervention to warning signs takes place due to the educators presence and awareness
•Educators influence through positive attitudes, professionalism and approachability
•Discipline can be as effective as an expression of disappointment or a reproachful look because the student admires the teacher and is loyal and respectful
•Students are affirmed for their qualities and do not lose heart when mistakes are made
•Students are encouraged to do what is right through the teacher’s patience, guidance and understanding

As published in Vincent’s weekly column for the Epoch Times on Thursday, April 24, 2014.

Union City Public Schools-teacher and students on February 27, 2009 (Vincent J. Bove)
North Arlington Public Schools-teachers and staff at Vincent’s professional development keynote titled Transforming Our Schools on September 3, 2013 (Vincent J. Bove)

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Diversity: America's Heartbeat

Diversity is America’s heartbeat and essential to reawakening the nation. It expresses a true appreciation of the inestimable value of each human being and a respect for their beliefs. Tragically, a recent incident expressed a violation of diversity.

On Sunday, April 13, 2014, the eve of Passover for the Jewish faith and Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week for Christians, a 73-year-old Ku Klux Klan member reminded the world of the destructive history of hate. This extremist, who possessed a long history of involvement with white supremacists as well as a propensity for violence, released his rage.

The mad-man, accused of killing three people including a 14-year-old Eagle Scout and his 69-year-old grandfather, at two Jewish Centers in Kansas had a history replete with organizing armed militias, plotting to kill and stockpiling military grade weapons.

As he was taken into custody by law enforcement, for what will be persecuted as hate crimes, he reportedly yelled a phrase associated with the evil of the Nazi regime, words not worthy of being repeated in this column.

A Celebration of Diversity

As a counterpoint to the evil that took place in Kansas, I am reminded of an event I took part on Wednesday, March 28, 2007. The Anti-Defamation League celebrated a Solidarity Seder with law enforcement, government, community, faith based, corporate and citizen guests at the Trenton War Memorial in Trenton, New Jersey. 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 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 Mr. 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 stated that “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 home town 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.

As published in Vincent’s weekly column for the Epoch Times on Thursday, April 17, 2014. This is an abbreviated version of his published article titled Appreciating Diversity: Reawakening the Heart of America which was published in the New Jersey Police Chief Magazine, May/June 2007 edition.

International and American Flags in Rockefeller Center (Vincent J. Bove)
Liberation Monument in Jersey City (Bill Kimbark)

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

America's Active Shooter Crisis: Issues and Response

America’s active shooter crisis was dramatized at Fort Hood with three shot dead, 16 wounded and the shooter’s suicide on April 2, 2014. Flags fly at half mast once again imploring our nation to mourn, reflect and respond.

The Department of Homeland Security defines the issue: 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."

Active Shooter Incidents Triple Since 2009

Addressing police chiefs in Philadelphia on Monday, October 21, 2013, Attorney General Eric Holder said the United States saw an average of five active shooting incidents a year between 2000 and 2008. "Alarmingly, since 2009, this annual average has tripled. We've seen at least 12 active shooter situations so far in 2013", Holder said.
Before the Attorney General concluded his remarks, the number had risen to 13. A Nevada middle-school student shot a math teacher, two classmates and himself. The classmates survived, but the teacher and the shooter did not. This incident-as well as continual incidents since then-punctuates the Attorney General’s call for an "aggressive national response" to the disturbing rise in active-shooter situations.

NYPD Recommendations

As detailed on the NYPD SHIELD website, there is a guide to mitigate active shooter attacks. The guide provides recommendations tailored to building security personnel including:


•Conduct a realistic security assessment to determine the facility’s vulnerability to an
active shooter attack.

•Identify multiple evacuation routes and practice evacuations… post evacuation routes in conspicuous locations… ensure that evacuation routes account for individuals with special needs and disabilities.

•Designate shelter locations with thick walls, solid doors with locks, minimal interior
windows, first-aid emergency kits, communication devices, and duress alarms.

•Designate a point-of-contact with knowledge…to liaise with police and other emergency agencies in the event of an attack.

•Incorporate an active shooter drill into the organization’s emergency preparedness

•Vary security guards’ patrols and patterns of operation.

•Limit access to blueprints, floor plans, and other documents…make sure these documents are available to law enforcement responding to an incident.

•Establish a central command station for building security.


•Put in place credential-based access control systems that provide accurate attendance
reporting, limit unauthorized entry, and do not impede emergency egress.

•Put in place closed-circuit television systems that provide domain awareness of the
entire facility and its perimeter; ensure that video feeds are viewable from a central
command station.


•Conduct training as outlined by the Department of Homeland Security in “Active Shooter: How to Respond”: Evacuate…; Hide...Take Action...

•Train building occupants to call 911 as soon as it is safe to do so.

•Train building occupants on how to respond when law enforcement arrives…

Final Reflection

Active shooter tragedies have reached staggering proportions in America and each company, school, facility, house of worship, agency and community is a potential victim. Law enforcement and private security must exercise leadership, vigilance and collaboration to protect those entrusted to their care. Citizens must report concerns.
Balancing cutting edge crime prevention, crisis management principles and training initiatives-including warning signs and mental health issues-with ongoing analysis is critical to safeguarding the nation.

This blog was originally published in Vincent's weekly column for the Epoch Times on Friday, April 11, 2014. The column was an abbreviated version of Vincent's full length article published in both The Chief of Police, Winter 2014 and the New Jersey Police Chief Magazine, December 2013.

NYPD Photo (Vincent J. Bove)

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Friday, April 04, 2014

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

Although details surrounding Abraham Lincoln’s letter to a mother who lost her sons are shrouded with questions, his honor for sacrifice is indisputable. Lincoln inspires America to honor sacrifices being made by our American military and their families:

Executive Mansion
Washington, Nov. 21, 1864.

Dear Madam,--
I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.
I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.
I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.
Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,
A. Lincoln

Current American Military Suicide Crisis

Let us fast forward to current military sacrifices. Compounding sacrifices made on the battlefield, there is a staggering rise of military suicides. According to a Department of Veterans Affairs report, an average of 22 Veteran’s commits suicide every day-8,000 per year.

These heart piercing words by a father who lost his son due to suicide demands America’s resolve:

Army Specialist Tim Bowman, Age 23-Words by his father Mike Bowman and family

“On Thanksgiving morning, 2005, our family’s lives changed forever. Our son, Timothy Noble Bowman, age 23, took his own life. His war was finally over, his demons were put to rest, and hopefully he is now at peace. Tim was laid to rest in a combination military and firefighter funeral that was a tribute to the man he was, and what he had accomplished in his short 23 year life.

“Tim was a Specialist in the Illinois National Guard from the Bravo Troop, 106th Cav out of Dixon, Illinois. He served in Iraq under the Foxtrot 202/ADA guard unit from Galva, Illinois when they combined Galva, Dixon and Kewanee units to form Foxtrot and activate for duty in Iraq. F202 started their deployment in March of 2004 at Camp Victory at the Baghdad Airport. They were responsible for patrolling and securing the roads around Baghdad for 9 months, including 6 months on Route Irish, the road to the airport from the green zone or as it has been called so many times, the most dangerous road in the world. They patrolled this road without a single casualty, something that no other unit has or had been able to do. Their tour ended at Tarmiya, Iraq when they took a local police station back from the insurgents and then operated it with the local police until they returned in March of 2005.

“My son was a fun loving, life of the party type of person when he left for Iraq. When he returned he had deep mental and emotional scars that finally put him into depression that drove him to end his own life with a handgun on Thanksgiving Day. He was so tormented by the things that he had been ordered to do while on duty. We tried to get him to talk about his problems but all we would get was "it's alright, I'm OK, or I can deal with it". When I asked him to seek counseling he would always tell me, "they won't understand, they haven't been there.” Tim told me that when Foxtrot was at Ft Polk for demob they went through mental and physical evaluations.

"The ghosts and demons of what they had been asked to do would not leave him alone. He suffered from PTSD and depression and we never even saw it. Now that he is gone we have so many signs that were there but we were not trained to know what they were telling us. We will forever miss our soldier, our fireman, our hero, our son.”

Final Reflection

Lincoln’s letter to a mother about the sacrifice of five sons would be complimented today by his writing to a parent who lost a child due to a military suicide. Lincoln would honor all who have fallen and passionately inspire awareness, compassion and prevention. May each of us resolve with Lincoln to honor all sacrifices “upon the altar of freedom.”

As published in Vincent’s weekly column for the Epoch Times on Friday, April 4, 2014.

Photo's of U.S. Coast Guard Honor Guard and U.S. Navy Sailors in Times Square during Memorial Day weekend, 2011 and American Flag in Summit,NJ by Vincent J. Bove.

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Monday, March 31, 2014

Resuscitating America: Character, Ethics, Leadership

The following is an excerpt from my newest article titled Resuscitating America: Character, Ethics, Leadership released today in The New Jersey Police Chief Magazine, April 2014 edition:

Lincoln: An Icon of Character

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

During one of my character education presentations, students from a 3rd grade class were able quote with admirable precision 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 character, ethics and leadership. From his early days of studying by the fireside as a young boy to his presidency; Lincoln is worthy of emulation. His courage and perseverance in the face of great adversity serve as an example that what is needed in America's response to the current corruption, scandal and violence is dedication to perseverance, determination and transformation.

Character Education: Vital to America’s Future

“Within the character of the citizen lies the welfare of the nation.” — Cicero

It has taken generations for this culture of corruption to cultivate and it will take time for America’s transformation. This is why the enhancement of character education initiatives in our nation’s schools is paramount to America and must clearly be understood by all who are dedicated to transforming the nation. Since law enforcement officials are critical to this call as they work in partnership with school officials; their understanding of character education, a philosophy that teaches the habits of thought and deed that help people live and work together as families, friends, neighbors, communities and nations, is essential.

As specified on the United States Department of Education website, Character education is a learning process that enables students and adults in a school community to understand, care about and act on core ethical values such as respect, justice, civic virtue and citizenship, and responsibility for self and others. Upon such core values, we form the attitudes and actions that are the hallmark of safe, healthy and informed communities that serve as the foundation of our society.

Details on Photo's in Blog
*Statue of Lincoln reading while riding a horse is titled "On the Circuit" by Anna Hyatt Huntington at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, New York, Photo by Vincent J. Bove
*Bust of Abraham Lincoln is by Daniel Chester French as photographed at the New York Historical Society, New York City, Photo by Vincent J. Bove.

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Friday, March 28, 2014

WTC Security Breaches: NYC Wake-Up Call

The disturbing security breach last week by a 16-year-old thrill-seeker who climbed to the spire of One World Trade Center-one of the world’s most critical security sites-past a sleeping security guard and what should have been layers of impenetrable security is a wake-up call. This incident follows the arrests this week of three extreme-skydivers, and their accomplice, for recklessly parachuting of the WTC last fall.

In a post-9/11 world, these violations of elementary access control and defense in depth security principles must inspire renewed vigilance. Protecting our homeland is critical not only at the WTC; a building that represents America’s dedication to freedom, but throughout New York City.

In my many security initiatives in New York over the years, including presentations for museums, hospitals, cultural properties, educational institutions, landmark locations, law enforcement and security professionals on crisis planning, public-private partnerships and violence prevention; vigilance is always emphasized.

These security violations at the WTC are alarming. Safeguarding New York; home to millions and a city welcoming visitors from all over the world requires nothing less than the most tenacious, proficient and unwavering vigilance.


“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty,” from a January 28, 1852 speech by Wendell Phillips and engraved in stone outside the National Archives in Washington D.C. serves as inspiration to basic principles:

*Vigilance insures board certified security vulnerability assessments are conducted to address security issues.

*Vigilance requires comprehensive training of physical, personal, informational and procedural security issues.

*Vigilance insures advanced technology is utilized including security personnel patrol systems, radio communication, digital recording, emergency notification procedures as well as the most professional continually updated post orders and crisis management procedures.

*Vigilance respects the right-to-know so individuals may take appropriate measures for personal safety in the event of an incident or its possibility. An abundance of caution must always be the mindset.

*Vigilance initiatives active law enforcement presence and forged public-private partnerships.

*Vigilance is proactive with continual tabletop, partial-scale and full-scale emergency preparedness drills and simulations.

*Vigilance requires well paid, highly motivated, respectively uniformed and continually trained and certified security professionals. Training must exceed status quo requirements which often fall short. It should include AED/CPR, first aid, leadership, ethics, emergency preparedness, lockdowns, evacuations, sheltering in place, conflict resolution, fire prevention and response, crisis planning, mental health warning signs, diversity, internet and equipment protocols, communication, report writing, terrorism awareness, crime prevention, gang awareness, domestic violence, public relations, problem solving and substance abuse topics.

*Vigilance encourages ongoing education and certifications. These include crime prevention, fire safety and ASIS International certifications including the certified protection professional (CPP), the professional certified investigator (PCI), and the physical security professional (PSP).

*Vigilance inspires security and law enforcement morale through educational assistance programs and awards recognizing outstanding service, meritorious action and exemplary conduct. Education and community service accomplishments also deserve commendations.

*Vigilance inspires ethical protectors, steadfastly dedicated to safeguarding the health, safety and welfare of all entrusted to their care.

*Vigilance is the process of paying close and continuous attention—alert watchfulness. It is protecting and serving 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

The WTC is a symbol of America’s freedom, courage and perseverance. It is our duty to ensure what it represents and the dignity, security and rights of all in the great city of New York are enhanced through leadership, collaboration and vigilance. New York must serve America as a national model of security and preparedness.

As published in Reawakening the Nation: WTC Security Breaches: NYC Wake Up Call Vincent’s weekly column in the March 28, 2014 edition of The Epoch Times. This column is a modified excerpt from Vincent’s newest book titled Listen To Their Cries.

Photo’s in Blog by Vincent J. Bove

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Spotlight On: Steven Benvenisti, Esq. - 25th Anniversary of Life Celebration

On Tuesday, March 25, 2014, I proudly attended the 25th Anniversary of Life Dinner in honor of my friend Steven Benvenisti, Esq. The event, attended by 300 friends, family, students and community leaders, commemorated Steven’s miraculous escape from death after being struck as a pedestrian by a drunk driver. The horrific accident caused catastrophic brain and orthopedic injuries as well as a 10 day coma. Although Steven had little chance for survival, he dispelled all odds through his hope and determination.

Steven shows his profound appreciation for life by giving back through representing personal injury victims and educating students on drunk driving dangers and traumatic brain injury. He does this through inspiring presentations that have touched countless lives and his compelling book titled Spring Break: A True Story of Hope and Determination.”

As immediately as we met in 2007, Steven and I became great friends. Yet, Steven is also an inspirational model of perseverance whose life shines bright through his character, generosity and courage.

Spotlight On: Mr. Steven Benvenisti, Esq.-March 28, 2007 Blog

Although there are many speakers, seminars, symposiums, conferences, in-service days and presentations, there are times when an individual stands out by the efficacy of words so clearly spoken from the heart.

Steven Benvenisti, an attorney at law and motivational speaker is one such individual who was able to transform an audience on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 at a monthly meeting of The North Jersey Regional Crime Prevention Officers Association at the Petrocelli College of Continuing Studies of Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, New Jersey. The event turned an ordinary day into a truly memorable experience as Steven presented "The Most Significant Case of My Entire Life."

[Reprinted from the Event Handout]

For more than 10 years, Steven Benvenisti, an award winning motivation speaker and personal injury attorney has been featured on television, radio and appeared before thousands of people to share his story of the most significant case he has ever handled. The lessons learned from this case have inspired individuals and audiences throughout America. As a result of this case, Steven Benvenisti has devoted his legal career towards representing personal injury victims, DWI victims and others including those suffering from traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and other catastrophic injuries. Steven Benvenisti has been honored with many awards including an official proclamation by the Governor of New Jersey, a Joint Resolution of the New Jersey Senate and Assembly; and Resolutions by both The United States Senate and The U.S. House of Representatives. Steven is a member of the Teaneck, New Jersey based law firm of Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C.
During his presentation, Steven stressed the following:
  • There are too many high school and college students who are victims of DWI and many are tragically fatalities. Steven's personal mission with the thousands of students he speaks to is to end DWI.
  • The problem has no quick fix but the message must be clear and consistent, "Do not drink and drive."
  • The Most Significant Case of My Entire Career was about a New Jersey College Student who excelled academically, socially and athletically. Yet, his world changed dramatically during a spring break fraternity brothers trip to Daytona, Florida.
    • While walking with his friends on a evening that all of them were alcohol free, this student was hit by a vehicle being driven by a driver under the influence at 50 miles per hour. The student had both of his legs crushed immediately and witnesses explained hearing a "horribly unusual exploding sound" in explaining the impact of the vehicle upon the student's body. He was thrown 70 feet away, suffered from intense bleeding and both legs were terrible disfigured. The sight was so distressing that many of the bystanders were sobbing as they watched his two friends try to assist him.
    • The police responded almost immediately, found the victim's wallet and called the victim's home. Due to the hour, his mother immediately sensed that something was seriously wrong. The family was told to stand by and await the doctor's call. Each minute the father, mother and three brothers and sisters waited seemed like an eternity.
    • When the doctor called, he explained that the son had been hit by a car, that portions of the bones in his left leg were missing, he lost a tremendous amount of blood and the brain was seriously swelling. The father asked the doctor, "What are my son's chances of living?" Hearing this had a chilling effect on the family who were listening to each of his words . The doctor explained that the young man could die within hours and received permission to use his organs should he die. The family rushed to the airport and was able to board a flight to Daytona within 90 minutes.
    • After being in a coma for 10 days, the student opened his eyes but did not recognize his parents, could not speak and had no short term memory. His legs were an orthopedic nightmare. Yet, this student eventually recovered, went on to live a life happier than ever imagined and became the inspiration for the great mission of Steven Benvenisti.
According to Steven, Madison Square Garden can be filled to capacity with the amount of people killed each year by a drunk driver. And Steven Benvenisti is on a mission to empty the arena.


CDC Impaired Driving Fact Sheet Click here to visit site
MADD Click here to visit site
SADD Click here to visit site
Potsdam University
Alcohol Problems & Solutions
Click here to visit site
Contract for Life Click here to visit site

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Friday, March 21, 2014

Reawakening the Nation: Life Lessons from the United States Military

American’s and all who appreciate our country must honor life lessons from the United States Military.

United States Military Academy: Honesty

The cadet honor code of the United States Military Academy at West Point is engraved on marble in the center of campus:

A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.

Corrupt government officials and dishonest executives have been destructive to America’s character. Sports figures, entertainers and even faith based leaders compound the crisis. Lies take place continually under oath in courtrooms and through legal proceedings and are destructive to society, families, government and companies.

Leadership principles from the ideals of the United States Military Academy are counter cultural wisdom to this crisis. America must learn from the honor code of West Point as well as from its motto; Duty, Honor, Country to ignite a national transformation:

Duty – perseverance to moral courage as the heart of responsibility.
Honor – living and speaking truthfully and standing as a moral force against a culture of lies.
Country – living with devotion to the ideals of America and its call to character.

World War II: Sacrifice

During World War II over 400,000 Americans made the ultimate sacrifice to save civilization from tyranny.

One such American was U.S. Marine 2nd Lt. August Sacker, Jr. who joined the Marines when he was 22-years-old. After previously quitting high school, August went back to earn his diploma to meet marine requirements.

Lt. Sacker was killed June 15, 1944 on the first day of the Battle of Saipan, one week after his 31st birthday. Six months prior, he was wounded in the Pacific theater and received the Purple Heart. After convalescence, Lt. Sacker requested deployment to the European theater but was sent back to the Pacific where he was killed.

I learned about Lt. Sacker after noticing his vintage World War II photograph in the living room of my neighbor Marie, his surviving sister who since then has also passed on. Marie inspired me by her devotion to her brother August by visiting his grave on a monthly basis for over 40 years while she was healthy enough to do so.

Lt. August Sacker is buried in Beverly National Cemetery, Beverly, New Jersey. As stated by Marie, Visiting the grave of my brother and remembering all who made the ultimate sacrifice reminds us of the enduring value of character that is America’s destiny.

The Tomb of the Unknowns/Arlington National Cemetery: Discipline

•The Tomb of the Unknowns has been guarded since July 2, 1937; 24 hours per day, 365 days a year and in any weather by Tomb Sentinels.
•Each Sentinel must learn Arlington’s history and grave locations of nearly 300 veterans.
•Sentinels undergo rigorous requirements before earning the Tomb Guard Badge.
•After serving at the Tomb of the Unknowns for nine months, the Tomb Guard Badge becomes permanent and worn throughout a military career.
•Representing teamwork, there are three relief’s, one relief commander and about six sentinels. Relief’s are organized by height for uniformity and rotate every hour during winter and every half hour in summer.
•An impeccably uniformed relief commander appears on the plaza announcing the Changing of the Guard. He salutes the Tomb, and then faces the spectators requesting them to stand in silence during the ceremony.
•The Tomb Guard marches 21 steps, faces east for 21 seconds, turns and faces north for 21 seconds, then takes 21 steps down the mat and repeats the process. Twenty-one symbolizes the highest military honor, the 21-gun salute.

As published in Reawakening the Nation: Life Lessons from the United States Military, Vincent’s weekly column in the March 21, 2014 edition of The Epoch Times,.

Vincent's Epoch Times column, Reawakening the Nation: Leadership Lessons from the United States Military, was modified as he originally authored in an article titled Leadership Lessons from the United States Military in The New Jersey Police Chief Magazine, April 2007 edition and updated as Law Enforcement Leadership Principles from the United States Military for The Chief of Police Magazine, Fall 2013 edition.

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Friday, March 14, 2014

The Police and The People: Unity of Effort

A police department is most effective when dedicated to properly upholding community policing which promotes a unity of effort between the police and the people. This collaboration is critical to New York City and to communities across the globe.

William J. Bratton returned to the New York City as police commissioner on January 1, 2014. During remarks at a December 5 press conference, he stressed bringing the police and community together; I will work very hard and very quickly to bring legitimacy and trust between the citizens and the police department.

The commissioner highlighted his goals:
•Maintaining low crime rates
•Preventing terrorism
•Bringing the NYPD and its 50,000 members and 8 1/2 million New Yorkers together with mutual trust and respect.

He also emphasized public safety as the foundation of democracy with focusing on safe streets, safe subways and traffic safety. But he stated that police will serve constitutionally, respectfully and compassionately.

Bratton showed a children's book titled Your Police which he has cherished since he was a nine-year-old boy. He read its final words; we must always remember that whenever you see a policeman he is your friend. He is there to protect you. He has dedicated his life to the preservation of the laws, properties, civil rights and people he serves. He would not hesitate to save your life at the cost of his own.

Bratton concluded with a thought from Sir Robert Peel, the father of modern policing who wrote ethical mandates in 1829 in his Nine Principles of Policing. Bratton stressed, the basic mission for which police exist is to prevent crime and disorder. The prevention of crime should be accomplished without intruding unnecessarily into the lives of citizens. The Nine Principles was held in Bratton’s hand and he stated it as his philosophy for policing throughout his career.
These principles are critical for enhancing a unity of effort between the police and the people not only in New York but in cities across the globe:

Sir Robert Peel’s Nine Principles
1. The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder
2. The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police actions.
3. Police must secure the willing co-operation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.
4. The degree of co-operation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.
5. Police seek and preserve public favour not by catering to public opinion but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.
6. Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient.
7. 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 being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
8. Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.
9. The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.

As published in Reawakening the Nation, the weekly column of Vincent J. Bove in the Friday, March 14, 2014 edition of The Epoch Times.

Vincent's column, The Police and The People: Unity of Effort, was modified as originally authored in his article titled Community Policing Spotlight: NYPD Commissioner William J. Bratton in The New Jersey Police Chief Magazine, January 2014 edition.

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Saturday, March 08, 2014

Monmouth University NHS Induction: Over 800 Celebrate Academics, Character, Family

On Saturday, March 8, 2014, I was privileged to serve Monmouth University's National Honor Society Induction Ceremony as the keynote speaker. It was a day of celebrating academic excellence, character and family with over 800 student and family members in attendance.

My signature PowerPoint presentation titled Be a Person of Character: Change the World was delivered to the assembly with over 200 honor inductees. Each inductee received a copy of my newest book Listen To Their Cries: Calling the Nation to Renewal from Columbine to Virginia Tech through the generosity of Monmouth University.

A special commendation is due to Dr. Golam M. Mathbor for his leadership with the students as well as to these student leaders of Phi Eta Sigma:

*Amanda Kruzynski, President
*Alexis DeCarvalho, Vice President
*Taylor Bernosky, Historian
*Carolina Carvalho, Secretary
*Rebecca Groom, Treasurer

All of these 200+ honor students represent the best of America and our hope for the future. Each of them were commended for their academic excellence and encouraged to change the world through acts of kindness, respect, character, compassion and community. Their families expressed their admiration and support for the students with thunderous applauses and standing ovation's throughout the presentation.

On behalf of Phi Eta Sigma, National Freshman Honor, we would like to thank you very much for your eloquent keynote speech to our new honor society members and their guests for a total audience of 800 people. These new members are the finest group of students who maintained a 3.5 or higher GPA in their first semester at Monmouth University during the 2013 fall semester. This year 249 students are inducted as members of this prestigious honor society from a freshman class of close to 1000 students. The theme of your address Be a Person of Character is pivotal in maintaining academic excellence in their future career at Monmouth and beyond. I am sure the new members will take advantage of the advice given in your book Listen to their Cries: Calling the Nation to Renewal from Columbine to Virginia Tech.
Golam M. Mathbor, Ph.D.

This presentation is a continuation of character education initiatives for students from throughout the nation. Although this keynote was customized for the Monmouth University Honor Society Inductees, it was also recently presented in Bergen County, New Jersey where I have served the Bergen County Police Chief's Association as safe schools chairperson for the last 12 years. It has also been presented for other college, university, high school and middle school students:

Cultivating Character in American Schools-November 13, 2014 Blog

On Wednesday, November 13, 2013, I returned to Wood-Ridge Jr/Sr High School in New Jersey for the second phase of my Be a Person of Character: Change the World initiative.

During the day I addressed over 250 juniors, seniors and students throughout the school during assemblies and classroom visits.

Throughout the program, the character of the students was evident and their goodness gives great hope for the future of our nation.

Dear Mr. Bove:
On behalf of the students and staff of Wood-Ridge Junior-Senior High School, please accept our sincere appreciation…Your message strongly emphasized the importance of being a person of character and it truly impacted the lives of the students. Your dedication to spreading your positive message continued to be felt when you stayed to speak with other classrooms…Thank you, in addition for staying to train our Neutral Zone students…wherein peer leaders work to sustain a healthy and safe school climate.
Principal Sue DeNobile and Guidance Counselor/SAC Laura Goodman

America's Youth: Be a Person of Character-November 12, 2013 Blog

On Tuesday, November 12, 2013, I addressed 250 7th and 8th graders of the Wood-Ridge Public School District in New Jersey. The presentation was titled Be a Person of Character: Change the World.

This event was possible through the leadership of Police Chief Joseph T. Rutigliano and a team of police officers in collaboration with Dr. Sue De Nobile and Guidance Counselor Laura Goodman.

After my presentations I met with a cadre of hand selected high school student leaders and facilitated a mentoring/neutral zone initiative encouraging their dedication to character and bullying prevention.

This program is a continuation of years of educational initiatives designed to motivate a chain reaction to enhance character education in American schools.

Robert Waters School: Encouraging Character in Union City Students-April 13, 2011 Program

On Wednesday, April 13, 2011, I had the pleasure of returning to the Union City Public Schools in Hudson County, New Jersey to provide presentations to over 300 students and educators at the Robert Waters School. This was a continuation of numerous educational initiatives for administrators, security personnel, school crossing guards, parents and students throughout the district. At this event, the students met in the gym for a presentation titled Be a Person of Character: Change the World that included the importance of character through social networking.

Social networking technology includes:

  • Instant Messaging, email, voice connection and web cams
  • Online Community websites, such as MySpace and Facebook
  • Media sharing websites, such as YouTube, Picasa and Flickr
  • Cell Phones for voice, text, picture and video sharing

Some of the highlights of the event included:

  • Focusing on what it means to be a student which includes personal responsibility, reaching one’s full potential and achieving greatness by making sacrifices. Students discussed the importance of encouraging one another and avoiding negativity and criticism.
  • Honestly confronting problems at home and school.
  • The importance of working together and being involved with the community including family and friends, church, community organizations and school.
  • Developing personal leadership especially through the quality of character.
  • The use of a Secret Power: "You have the power to change the world by helping each other do what is right."

We then explored the dangers of inappropriate content, including:

  • Misinformation
  • Pictures / Videos
  • Language / Sexting
  • Gangs / Criminal Activity
  • Bullies / Cyberbullying
  • Predators

All students were encouraged to get involved, making "Character: The Heart of the Matter," as inspired by Rachel Scott's Challenge:

    by looking for the Best in Others
    Set Goals—Keep a Journal
    Input Determines Output
    Small Acts of Kindness = Huge Impact
    With Family & Friends

As with all of my presentations, we concluded with a tribute honoring American Military Sacrifices.

Robert Waters School is to be highly commended for this initiative that encourages students to reach their full potential, wisely using the tools of the computer age, helping one another, developing personal character and enhancing a sense of patriotism.

Rachel Joy Scott (3:32) <a HREF="">Play the clip on YouTube</A>


Rachel's Challenge Click here to visit site
Character Education Partnership Click here to visit site
Sacred Honor: Police Officer, Soldier, Patriot Click here to visit site

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