Friday, August 22, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Respect: The Heart of the Police Officer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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












































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Friday, August 08, 2014

NYPD Chokehold Tragedy: Police-Community Collaboration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NYPD Mission
Peelian principles perfectly uphold the NYPD mission statement:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tuesday, August 05, 2014

National Night Out: Police-Community Collaboration

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

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

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

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

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

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

National Night Out: Police and Community Partnerships

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


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

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

Reprinted from the National Night Out website

http://www.nationalnightout.org/nno/about.html

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

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

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

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Friday, August 01, 2014

NYPD Mission: Develop 35,000 Ethical Protector's

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Friday, July 25, 2014

NYPD SHIELD: America’s Public-Private Collaboration Model

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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




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Friday, July 18, 2014

America’s Gun Violence: Time for Action

Whatever approach one has regarding gun control, the fact is gun violence in America is unbridled, malignant, and destructive.

The Second Amendment is a sacrosanct principle of American freedom. Yet, it must be properly understood.

The term gun control can be misleading as for some it implies a loss of freedom as guaranteed by our bill of rights. Perhaps a more sensible term that captures the essence of the issue will develop in time.

Meanwhile, adoption of common sense policies to reduce gun violence as advocated by the International Association of Chiefs of Police must include:

•Banning armor-piercing ammunition
•Assault weapons ban
•Body armor for police
•Concealed weapons
•Firearms enforcement
•Firearms offender registry
•Firearm purchase waiting period
•Closing the gun show loophole
•Ending illegal firearms trafficking

America’s Violent Summer
Summer violence is quickly painting a picture of senseless bloodshed throughout the nation.

On July 13, 2014, Jersey City, N.J., rookie police officer Melvin Santiago, 23, is shot in the head and killed after responding to a report of an armed robbery.

During the July 4 weekend, two Indianapolis, Ind., police officers are also killed in separate incidents.

The National Law Enforcement Memorial Officers Foundation cites a 65 percent increase of firearms related officer deaths as of July 14, 2014, compared to this time last year—28 officers to 17 in 2013.

On July 13, 2014, in Washington, D.C., seven people are shot—three fatally—in three unrelated shootings just blocks apart.

On July 10, 2014, Six members of a family including four children are shot to death in a suburb north of Houston, Texas. According to a court testimony, the killer kicked in the home door, tied up the parents and four children, and shot them in the head execution style.

Over the July 4 weekend, 82 people are shot with 16 ultimately dying during an 84-hour period in Chicago.

During the following weekend, another 29 are wounded in shootings with 4 dead.

Chicago police have already confiscated over 3,400 illegal firearms this year.

During the Independence Weekend elsewhere, four people are shot at a Houston, Texas, festival. In New York City another 12 people are shot—three fatally—and three people are shot dead with several others wounded in St. Louis, Mo.

On July 5, 2014, a 12-year-old eighth-grader is shot in the head while riding a scooter with two friends in Paterson, N.J. Genesis Rincon later dies after being removed from life support.

On June 30, 2014, a teen cheerleader who recently graduated high school with a dream of becoming a nurse is shot and killed in Newark, N.J. Cheyanne Bond is the third homicide in the city in less than 24 hours.

In 2013, escalating bloodshed in Trenton, and the most violent 12-month stretch in Newark in nearly 25, years elevated New Jersey homicides to a seven-year high.

Responding to the Crisis
Aside from the aforementioned International Association of Chiefs of Police issues, America’s response must also include:
•Compassion—America must always have a heart of compassion. Victims are never to be treated merely as statistics, political opportunities, or marginalized.
•Law Enforcement Resources—The massive layoffs of police over the last few years—especially in many economically challenged communities—is a travesty. There is always a way for America to do the right thing and every American deserves “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Our nation deserves the finest law enforcement professionals, and agencies across the country need to be staffed as necessary. The NYPD June 2014 graduation of 610 new officers is an example of effective leadership during economically challenging times.
•School/Community Policing Initiatives—The future of the nation is our youth, and schools must partner with law enforcement on character education, youth academies, gang prevention, and violence prevention programs.

As published in Vincent's weekly column titled "Reawakening the Nation" for the Friday, July 18, 2014 edition of the Epoch Times.

International Association of Chiefs of Police Firearms Position Paper.

Photo
Officials investigate a Jersey City Police Department cruiser at the scene where Officer Melvin Santiago was shot and killed while responding to a call at a 24-hour pharmacy, on July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Santiago’s death is part of a nationwide uptick in killings of police officers this year. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)


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Monday, July 14, 2014

In Remembrance: Police Officer Melvin Santiago, Jersey City Police Department

On Sunday morning, July 13, 2014, Police Officer Melvin Santiago, 23, was shot and killed while serving Jersey City, New Jersey.

Officer Santiago has now joined the hallowed halls of heroes who have served law enforcement with the ultimate sacrifice. He is a reminder of the continual danger for all police who serve and protect our communities.

As a young man, Officer Santiago choose the path of his uncle's police career footsteps-serving in a profession demanding dedication, courage and commitment. He is a tribute to his family, community, the Jersey City Police Department, all in law enforcement and to the ideals of America.

Officer Santiago will be promoted posthumously to the rank of detective and receive the police department's medal of honor-the highest award for an officer-at his wake on Thursday, July 17, 2014.

Officer Santiago is the first Jersey City Police Officer to be killed since Detective Marc DiNardo in July, 2009 after a shootout which left 4 other officers injured.

In Remembrance: Detective Marc DiNardo, Jersey City Police Department-July 24, 2009 blog

Detective Marc DiNardo, who died on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 after being shot in a gun battle on July 16th, was honored at his funeral by family and thousands of his fellow officers, fire & EMT personnel, community leaders and concerned citizens. He leaves behind a wife and three children. Det. DiNardo, 37, had served the people of Jersey City for 10 years as a member of the Jersey City Police Department.

The tragic death of Det. DiNardo sadly reminds us of the potential dangers faced each day by those in law enforcement who serve, protect and defend us. America must always remember and be grateful for those who have lost their lives in the line of duty and for those who continue to serve at the risk of their own safety.

Officer Melissa Bartholomew, a friend and police academy classmate of DiNardo offered heartfelt sentiments on behalf of the Jersey City Police Department and the family of Officer DiNardo: "He will be greatly missed. He had a personality you could never forget, and when he walked into a room we all loved him."




In Memoriam (2:40)
Funeral Procession (7:31)
Tribute (3:50)
<a HREF="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUjiH3QC_Z4">Play the clip on YouTube</A>

Please remember Det. DiNardo, his family, friends, fellow officers in the Jersey City Police Department and all emergency service personnel in your prayers as they seek consolation during this difficult time.

READ MORE

Officer Down Memorial Page Click here to visit site

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Friday, July 04, 2014

Celebrating America: Democracy, Freedom, Liberty

America celebrates its 238th birthday on July 4, and fireworks will light up the sky throughout the nation.

American flags will fly everywhere as a tribute to independence and the land of the free and home of the brave.

As the fireworks light the sky and flags fly proudly across the homeland, our nation is reminded to focus on its destiny—a light of democracy, freedom, and liberty to the world.

A Troubled World
Despite its imperfections, America has much to celebrate compared to the war, conflict, violence, and the violation of human rights taking place internationally:

Afghanistan—the courage and sacrifices made by so many Americans to assist the country with establishing peace continues to be undermined by a potential complete collapse of the government. After more than 12 years into the war, the insurgency is still very lethal and makes the American exit strategy extremely challenging.

China—human rights violations through the Communist Party rule includes the despicable targeting of Falun Gong. This innocent exercise with a foundation of spirituality intimidates the government and is met with dire consequences including disappearances, torture, and imprisonment of practitioners. Punishment includes murder for organ parts with sales to tourists and wealthy Chinese.

Cuba—laws that prevent human rights and basic freedoms of expression, assembly, religion, speech, and the press. The country remains marginalized from the international community and extreme poverty throughout the country continues.

Honduras—the homicide rate of 90.4 per 100,000 is by far the highest in the world. Gangs and cartels are largely responsible for the violence with families and children seeking to leave the country and come to America.

Iraq—the descent of the country into open civil war during the past few weeks jeopardizes the safety of its people and peace throughout the region. It also intensifies the momentum of extremist groups and potential terrorism within the country and internationally.

Israel—took retaliatory action this week with air strikes against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip after three kidnapped Israeli teens were found slain.

North Korea—aside from continuous inflammatory rhetoric against South Korea and the United States, the country disregards the human rights of its own people. Its nuclear capability can easily ignite unimaginable devastation.

Syria—the civil war has not only wreaked devastation on the country but is a matter of security for freedom-loving countries including the United States. According to the Homeland Security secretary, Americans who have gone to Syria to fight the rebels often run the risk of returning home influenced by extremist ideologies.

Ukraine—Military operations began this week marking the end to a unilateral cease-fire that had been in place for 10 days. The conflict is also reigniting Cold War tensions between the United States and Russia.

Venezuela—with one of the highest murder rates, the country is rocked by continual political protests, demonstrations, and civil unrest.

These problems have been ignited by the countries horrific violence, inflation, and shortages of basic human necessities.

America’s Hallowed Principles
As affirmed by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assembly, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The five freedoms expressed in this amendment are sacred to Americans as they form the rock foundation of democracy and liberty. As we honor our independence on the Fourth of July, we celebrate these freedoms that are the heart of America’s greatness.

Our freedoms are front and center at the nation’s greatest debates. Just this week, the United States Supreme Court in a 5–4 landmark decision affirmed that corporations have religious freedom. Therefore, they cannot be compelled to provide contraceptive medical coverage against their conscience.

Although the emotional spectrum of this hot-button issue will continue, many see the decision as a protection of freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment, critical to reawakening the nation and allowing America to be a light of freedom throughout the world.

As originally published in Vincent's weekly column titled "Reawakening the Nation" for the Epoch Times on Friday, the Fourth of July, 2014.

Photo's
1.American Flags at the West Side Entrance of Grand Central Terminal on 42nd Street. (Vincent J. Bove)
2.Falun Gong practitioners at Times Square on May 18, 2012. (Vincent J. Bove)
3.Citizens exercising constitutional right to peaceably assemble in front of New York Public Library at 41st Street and Fifth Avenue on July 12, 2013. Bill de Blasio, prior to his election as mayor is at the right of the podium. (Vincent J. Bove)

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Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Lou Gehrig: 75th Anniversary of "Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth" Speech


"Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth." — Lou Gehrig



The commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Lou Gehrig's "Luckiest Man" speech takes place on Friday, July 4, 2014.
All of Major League Baseball's 30 teams will hold pregame ceremonies to honor Gehrig's speech before the Fourth of July games.

We do well to reflect on the life of Lou Gehrig—not only because he was one of the greatest players on the field, but because of the greatness of character the Iron Horse displayed off the field.

I have spent many days at Yankee Stadium with my son Austin while he was growing up, enjoying regular season games, playoffs and even the World Series. These games—Austin wore the jersey of his favorite player, Paul O’Neill as I wore the jersey of my all time favorite, Lou Gehrig—provided many memories and a special father/son bond.

Aside from these memories with my son, my past experience as a confidant to the New York Yankees in the 1980's and authoring a book titled And on the Eighth Day God Created the Yankees during that time make baseball a special part of my life. In the book is one of my favorite photos of Lou Gehrig signing his 1937 contract for $37,700 while Jacob Ruppert, Joe McCarthy and Joe DiMaggio look on.

The Character of Lou Gehrig—The Iron Horse

Immortalized as the Pride of the Yankees, Lou Gehrig's durability and dedication are reflected in his playing in 2,130 consecutive games between 1925-1939. Complimenting this streak, he held a record of 23 career grand slams for decades. Gehrig had a .340 lifetime batting average, won the American League MVP Award in 1927 & 1936 and was a Triple Crown winner in 1934.

The character of Lou Gehrig was exemplified throughout his life, beginning with his humble upbringing in New York City, his college career at Columbia University and throughout his years with the New York Yankees. His character is most remembered through the memory of July 4, 1939, Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day at Yankee Stadium. Lou, after a lifetime of contributing to the game of baseball as a player, was only 36 years old and dying. More than 61,000 fans listened to his words—one of the greatest messages of character America has ever heard:

"For the past two weeks, you've been reading about a bad break. Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth."

Personal Baseball Experiences
Aside from serving as confidant to the Yankees, by far my favorite baseball experience is coaching my son’s little league team for seven years and sharing Gehrig stories, as well as personal Yankee experiences, to inspire sportsmanship with his team.

I believe youth sports venues should be packed with parents and loved ones, so coaching my son’s team was not only a privilege but a responsibility. The years of childhood fly by quickly and provide a treasure-trove of opportunity for developing character, community, and family through parental support and example.

Final Reflection
Perhaps Richard Vidmer, a reporter covering the story the next day for the Herald Tribune, expressed it best:
"Somehow I felt that at the Stadium yesterday not a great baseball player but a truly great sportsman who could take his triumphs with sincere modesty and could face tragedy with a smile. His records will attest to future generations that Lou Gehrig was one of the greatest baseball players who ever lived, but only those who have been fortunate enough to have known him during his most glorious years will realize that he has stood for something finer than merely a great baseball player—that he stood for everything that makes sports important in the American scene."







Lou Gehrig - Pride of the Yankees (2:53)
Lou Gehrig - The Iron Horse (5:21)
<a HREF="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vya1NrHyXE">Play the clip on YouTube</A>

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