Friday, December 19, 2014

America’s Violence: Stop the Carnage

These are challenging times for police and communities throughout America.

As we celebrate holy days that call for peace on Earth, we continually witness acts of violence.

Headlines bombard us with campus, domestic, school, and workplace violence tragedies as well as acts of terrorism.

Domestic Violence

Just 10 days before Christmas, on Monday, Dec. 15, the nation witnessed a horrific domestic-violence killing spree in the Philadelphia suburbs.

According to the district attorney for Montgomery County, Pa., a suspect allegedly killed his ex-wife and her mother, grandmother, and sister, as well as the sister’s husband and their 14-year-old daughter. The sister’s 17-year-old son was also wounded in the carnage.

This kind of senseless tragedy—killing of numerous family members—is happening all too frequently.

On Christmas Eve 2008, nine people were killed from a combination of gunshot wounds and arson fire in Covina, Calif. The slayings left 15 children without one or both parents. It was committed by a man seeking revenge against his ex-wife and her family after being divorced just a week prior.

In still another domestic violence carnage, a man despondent about losing his job killed his wife and their five children in Los Angeles on Jan. 27, 2009. After killing his entire family, he committed suicide.

School and Campus Violence

Since the Columbine High School tragedy (12 students and 1 teacher killed) on April 20, 1999, school and campus violence has no end in sight.

Additional tragedies include the following:
• Marysville-Pilchuck High School, Oct. 24, 2014. Five people in the school cafeteria are shot with four fatalities.
• Sparks Middle School, Oct. 21, 2013. A 12-year-old shoots and kills a teacher. He also shoots and wounds two other 12-year-olds.
• Sandy Hook Elementary School, Dec. 14, 2012. Twenty children, ages 6 and 7, and six faculty and staff killed.
• University of Alabama, Feb. 12, 2010. Three people are killed and three wounded in shootings by a biology professor.
• Discovery Middle School, Feb. 5, 2010. A 14-year-old dies after being shot in the head in a school hallway by a fellow ninth-grader.
• Virginia Tech, April 16, 2007. The deadliest shooting incident by a single gunman in U.S. history with 32 killed and 17 wounded.
• Georgetown Amish School, Oct. 2, 2006. Five girls killed and six wounded
• Episcopal School of Jacksonville, March 6, 2012. A fired Spanish teacher kills the principal with an AK-47 assault rifle.
• Santa Monica College, June 7, 2013. Six people are killed by a gunman after a shooting spree.
• Florida State University, Nov. 20, 2014. Three students are shot by a gunman who was an alumnus of the university.

Workplace Violence

Some of America’s most notorious workplace violence tragedies include the following:
• The Washington Navy Yard killings of Sept. 16, 2013, that took the lives of 12 and injured eight others.
• A former postal worker killed a previous neighbor before driving to the Goleta, Calif., post office where she shot and killed six workers before committing suicide in 2006.
• A day trader killed his wife and two children before killing six others at two workplaces in 1999.

Terrorism

Although Sept. 11, 2001, is the pivotal point of American history related to terror, other cases include the following:
• The hatchet attack against a group of NYPD officers in 2014 by a self-radicalized extremist.
• The 2013 sentencing in the plot to bomb the Federal Reserve.
• The jihadi-planned attack on the U.S. Capitol in 2012.
• Shooting of an officer at the Holocaust Museum by a white supremacist on June 10, 2009.
• The plan to attack soldiers at Fort Dix Army Base in 2007.

Final Reflection

Police who dedicate themselves to protect and serve cannot stop the carnage alone. We must ignite the principle that “the police are the public and the public are the police.”

When this police-public collaboration is forged, America will begin to realize the reawakening of the nation.

Note Well
As published in Vincent's weekly column "Reawakening the Nation" in the Dec. 19, 2014 edition of the Epoch Times.

Photo's
1. Two sailors salute as taps is played during a memorial service at the Marine Barracks in Washington D.C., Sept. 22, 2013. (Photo Courtesy Department of Defense by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo)
2. FBI Evidence Response Team at the Holocaust Museum, June, 2009 (Photo Courtesy FBI)
3. Bullet holes in glass door at the Holocaust Museum after the June 10, 2009 shooting (Photo Courtesy FBI)

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Friday, December 12, 2014

NYPD Mission: Terminate, Train, Transform

Commissioner Bill Bratton was crystal clear to over 800 NYPD executives that abusive cops are "poisoning the well" during a one-day retreat on Oct. 2 in Queens.

These remarks were shared with the NYPD leadership before they were shown a disturbing video montage of violence by cops against suspects and innocent community members.

In one part of the video titled "What Would You Do?", an officer is observed brutalizing a handcuffed shoplifting suspect inside a Target store's holding area. The suspect does nothing but back helplessly into a wall.

In another portion, a plainclothes narcotics officer stomps on a suspects head while other officers pin him to the floor. NYPD Deputy Commissioner Joseph Reznick stated, "I am particularly ashamed of that one."

One of the most infamous part of the video depicts a uniformed officer knocking an innocent bicyclist down with a barbaric body-check.

Bratton stated there are "some officers in the department, unfortunately, who should not be here." He demanded zero tolerance for those who dishonor the NYPD badge through stark words of "brutality, corruption, racism and incompetence."

NYPD: Rise to the Occasion

The eyes of America and the entire world are focused on police-community issues. Recent tragedies in Ferguson, Cleveland and Staten Island demand moral leadership and medicinal collaboration.

Police officers who maintain polished shields by dedication as ethical protectors deserve honor. They must be supported by weeding out those who dishonor their noble profession.

Officers who live lives of character, ethics and leadership deserve the admiration of society and the respect of community, colleagues and political leaders.

The NYPD must rise to the occasion and work collaboratively with full force resolve to execute the vision of their commissioner.
Bratton must also have cooperation from the community and all elected and appointed officials. His words are a clarion call for renewal, "There are some in this organization who shouldn't be here. They're not the right fit [for] the NYPD of 2014. There are a few, very few, in a large organization who just don't get it, we will separate them out."

Bratton stated that 99% were doing the job the right way. Officers in the NYPD that do not belong must be terminated. This will give the NYPD credibility and protect the communities violated by "brutality, corruption, racism and incompetence."

NYPD Deserves World Class Training

Officers who honor the NYPD badge deserve respect and world-class training. As a response to recent concerns, the NYPD will institute a 3-day training program for 22,000 field officers.

As a community policing advocate with 20 years of experience on a national level, I applaud the NYPD's dedication to training. This training must be a model for police departments throughout America.

In my opinion, the training must demands experts from numerous disciplines aside form law enforcement and modules including:

•Community Policing
•Cultural Awareness / Diversity
•Character, Ethics, Leadership
•Cross Cultural Conflict Resolution
•De-Escalation Tactics
•Proper Use of Force
•Problem Solving
•Constitutional Policing
•Communication Skills
•Violence Prevention

Critical to the training must be a capstone project follow-up for each officer that leads to certification as well as accreditation of individuals, units and precincts. Initiatives should also include training for the highest level of the NYPD who must lead by example. There must also be related training opportunities for community members.

Transforming the NYPD

Police-Community cooperation is impossible without trust built on character, ethics and leadership. These qualities are critical not only to the NYPD but to police departments all over America.

The NYPD must be a catalyst for transformation and play a critical role in reawakening the nation by enhancing police-community cooperation.

Change will happen when toxic police officers are terminated, world-class training initiated and courtesy, professionalism and respect are truly the heartbeat of the NYPD.

Note Well
As originally published in Vincent's weekly "Reawakening the Nation" column for the Friday, Dec. 12, 2014 edition of the Epoch Times.

Photos
1. Police Commissioner Bratton, Mayor de Blasio and other officials at Dec. 4, 2014 NYPD training rollout. (Photo courtesy NYPD News)
2. NYPD Officers during the Veterans Day Parade on Fifth Avenue, Nov. 11, 2014. (Vincent J. Bove)
3. NYPD cruiser at Columbus Circle, Nov. 28, 2014. (Vincent J. Bove)
4. NYPD on post at Rockefeller Center, Dec. 5, 2014. (Vincent J. Bove)


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Friday, December 05, 2014

Building Police-Community Trust: Wake Up, America

America, we have a problem based on mistrust between the police and the people. It needs transparent honesty, moral reconciliation, and a transformative leadership at every level of the government and among every member of the community.

Realistically, unfolding events may get worse before they get better. The escalation of tensions includes continual reaction to the Ferguson tragedy and the response to the grand jury decision on the Garner death involving the NYPD.

The mistrust is deeply ingrained and counterproductive to the dynamics of effective policing as defined in the time-tested essence of police–community collaboration defined by Sir Robert Peel, the father of policing.

These two principles are the heart of Peel’s philosophy and critical to building trust, cooperation, and respect between the police and the people:

•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.

Renewing Community Policing

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, community policing is defined as “developing partnerships between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve so they can work collaboratively to solve problems.”

For 20 years, I have been an advocate of the benefits of community policing as critical to the heart of police–community trust.

Initiatives that I have been privileged to participate include the following:

•Authoring over 90 articles and this Epoch Times column along with over 480 blog entries and my newest book that highlights the necessity of community policing
•Presentations throughout America to police, educators, government leaders, students, and community members on community policing as the heart of leadership, violence prevention, and crisis planning
•Serving as a primary instructor for a U.S. Department of Justice program that certified police rank and file and community members as community policing practitioners
•Serving the Bergen County Police Chiefs Association with monthly remarks for 12 years. Police chiefs from over 70 jurisdictions as well as FBI, NYPD, and other county, state, and federal agencies attend the meetings along with community associate members
•Organizing and serving as a speaker at hundreds of conferences, seminars, symposiums and professional development events to cultivate community policing

White House Concerns

Community policing has now entered front and center at the White House due to the need to build police–community trust.

The president has called for “sustained conversation” that enhances police–community accountability, transparency, and trust.

The president’s plan to strengthen community policing entails:

•Reforming the way the federal government equips law enforcement, particularly with military-style equipment
•Investing in the use of body-worn cameras and promoting proven community policing initiatives
•Engaging law enforcement and community leaders to devise new ways to reduce crime while building public trust

Steps to complement this plan include:

•Creating a task force to promote and expand community-oriented policing
•Expanding training for law enforcement agencies
•Adding more resources for police department reforms

Final Reflections

The events in Ferguson, New York City, and around the country have crystallized police–community trust as critical to a nation.

The nation and the world are watching. America must rise to the occasion and enhance police–community trust, collaboration, and leadership. This will only be possible when respect, diversity, and reconciliation are cultivated.

Community policing must be central to reawakening the nation. It deserves full dedication from every member of law enforcement (not just selected members assigned to a community policing unit) and from all members of every community.

Endless rhetoric, political appointees, and self-serving commissions will only be a waste of time.

America deserves action, leaders of character, and police–community cohesiveness so we may live the legacy of justice destined for our nation.

Note Well
As originally published in Vincent's weekly column titled "Reawakening the Nation" for the Friday, Dec. 5, 2014 edition of the Epoch Times.


Photos
1. NYPD officer on post at Fifth Avenue and 41st Street during the Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 11, 2014. (Vincent J. Bove)
2. NYPD at Rockefeller Center on Oct. 10, 2014. (Vincent J. Bove)
3. New York State Troopers marching along Fifth Avenue during the Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 11, 2014. (Vincent J. Bove)

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Friday, November 28, 2014

American Holidays: Time to Honor Military Sacrifices

Although rocked by a devastating Civil War, Abraham Lincoln was inspired to proclaim a national day of Thanksgiving during his administration.

On Oct. 3, 1863, Lincoln set aside the last Thursday of November “as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise.”

Lincoln’s proclamation includes a prayer for “all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers” due to the Civil War.

As America celebrates Thanksgiving and the holiday season, we must be truly grateful for the blessings upon our land. We must also exemplify mercy, empathy, and compassion to all victims of war. America must be eternally grateful to all whose sacrifices have preserved our freedoms.

Heart of the Holidays

For the past 16 years, I have been privileged to address audiences throughout America on leadership, violence prevention, and crisis planning.

At the conclusion of each presentation, I share a tribute honoring America’s military sacrifices.

America must honor our military personnel, especially those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Inspired by the proclamation of Lincoln and the natural fire of devotion in the human heart, we must forever be thankful for sacrifices and sensitive toward grieving families.

Now that we have celebrated Thanksgiving Day, we enter into the heart of a sacred time in America. As we enter into the solemn holiday season, we must pause and honor the sacrifices that enable our festivities.

Honor the Fallen

Navy Cmdr. Christopher E. Kalafut, 49, of Oceanside, Calif., died Oct. 24 at Al Udeid Air Base, Doha, Qatar, in a noncombat-related incident while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael A. Cathcart, 31, of Bay City, Mich., was a Green Beret who died on Nov. 14 in Kundoz Province, Afghanistan, of wounds caused by small-arms fire while on dismounted patrol.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Samuel C. Hairston, 35, of Houston, Texas, was assigned to 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C. Hairston died on Aug. 12 in Ghazni, Afghanistan, of injuries caused by small arms fire.

Navy Boatswain Mate Seaman Yeshabel Villot Carraso, 23, of Parma, Ohio, died as a result of nonhostile causes on June 19 aboard the destroyer James E. Williams while the ship was underway in the Red Sea.

Marine Lance Cpl. Brandon J. Garabrant, 19, of Peterborough, N.H., died while conducting combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Army Capt. Jennifer M. Moreno, 25, of San Diego, assigned to Madigan Army Medical Center, died Oct. 6 in Zhari District, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when enemy forces attacked her unit with improvised explosion devices. Moreno, a nurse, gave her life trying to help a wounded soldier by running into a mine in a bomb belt rather than staying put. Moreno personifies the Soldier’s Creed, “I will never leave a fallen comrade.”

Army Sgt. 1st Class Andrew T. Weathers, 30, of DeRidder, La., assigned to 2nd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Eglin Air Force Base, Florida; died Sept. 30 at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, from wounds caused by small-arms fire Sept. 28 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Army Sgt. Shawn M. Farrell II, 24, of Accord, N.Y., assigned to 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light), Fort Drum, N.Y.; died April 28, in Kapisa Province, Afghanistan, of wounds caused by small-arms fire.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Roberto C. Skelt, 41, of York, Fla., assigned to 2nd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, N.C.; died Feb. 12 in Kapisa Province, Afghanistan, of wounds caused by small-arms fire.

Final Reflections

America is as great as our honoring of all who have served, especially for those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Our country is on the path to reawakening the nation when honor is the heartbeat for those who have served and for the families who suffer from their loss.

Note Well
As originally published in Vincent's "Reawakening the Nation" column for the Friday, Nov. 29, 2014 edition of the Epoch Times.

Photos
Courtesy National Arlington Cemetery

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Friday, November 21, 2014

College Rapes, Sexual Assaults: America’s Nightmare

It has been my privilege to conduct extensive security initiatives over the years for colleges and universities.

These have included:
•Hiring, management, and training of security personnel
•Collaboration with law enforcement
•Development of post orders and emergency plans
•Keynotes for law enforcement, security directors, managers, and supervisors
•Serving as spokesman for families victimized by the Virginia Tech tragedy and the completion of a report on their behalf
•Publication of numerous articles, blogs, and a book
•Police academy presentations for law enforcement seeking crime prevention practitioner certifications

Aside from these security initiatives, I have also been privileged to conduct many programs in character, ethics, and leadership, which in my opinion are inseparable from security at campuses.

Staggering Statistics

A January 2014 White House report titled “Rape and Sexual Assault: A Renewed Call to Action” clearly paints the enormity of the crisis on college campuses:

•1 in 5 women have been sexually assaulted while in college
•Dynamics of college life with the “get high” culture fueling the problem with many victims being drunk, under the influence of drugs, passed out, or otherwise incapacitated when violated
•Perpetrators preying on incapacitated women and sometimes providing them with alcohol and drugs
•The “party mentality” problem with 58 percent of incapacitated rapes and 28 percent of forced rapes taking place at parties
•Campus perpetrators equating to repeat serial offenders—an average of six rapes each
•Lack of reporting sexual assaults by student victims to law enforcement—an appalling average of only 12 percent report the crimes
•Low arrest rate—approximately 12 percent of 238,000 annual rape and sexual assault victims result in arrests

A 2012 report by the CDC paints additional disturbing facts:
•Among sexual violence victims raped since their 18th birthday, 31.5 percent of women and 16.1 percent of men reported a physical injury with 36.2 percent of women requiring medical treatment
•During 2004–2006 an estimated 105,187 females and 6,526 males aged 10–24 received medical care in emergency rooms as a result of nonfatal injuries sustained from sexual assault

Character Education and Leadership Initiatives

As mentioned earlier, during the many years that I have been conducting security initiatives, I have done so by integrating character and leadership programs as part and parcel to the issue. Security and character are inseparable in efforts to safeguard campuses. These initiatives paint the importance of this cohesion:
•“Transforming American Schools: The Heart and Brick of Security”—my signature presentation on school/campus security and character education that has been conducted for law enforcement personnel and educators nationwide
•“Be a Person of Character: Change the World”—a presentation conducted for students from middle school through college
•Articles, blogs, and a newest book and this weekly Epoch Times column that continually emphasize the importance of integrating security with leadership and character development
•Training initiatives for all elements of society—students, families, corporations, educators, government leaders, and law enforcement that present security as inseparable from character, ethics, and leadership. Just this year, events at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey titled Inaugural Conference: Character, Ethics, Leadership and Be a Person of Character: Change the World at Monmouth University were both filled to capacity with over 1,000 law enforcement officials, students, and family members

Final Reflections

America must enhance and integrate security and character education initiatives at our colleges and universities.

Each and every week we see tragic headlines of rape and sexual assaults as well as the violation of ethical principles that breach the call to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Only when America integrates cutting-edge security measures including physical, personnel, and emergency procedures with character education that emphasizes leadership and ethical responsibility will we be on the right track for reawakening the nation.

Photos
1. U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and officials join student survivors in announcing support for a bipartisan effort in Congress to confront the scourge of sexual violence on college campuses. The announcement took place in New York on Aug. 13, 2014. (Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times)
2. Hundreds of law enforcement and educators assemble at the D.A.R.E. NJ April 29, 2009 conference prior to a keynote titled "Reawakening the Heart of America: Leadership, Vigilance , Collaboration" by Vincent J. Bove. (Vincent J. Bove)
3. Over 500 students from Bergen and Hudson counties in New Jersey at the annual Rebeka Verea Foundation symposium on March 31, 2009 prior to a presentation titled "Be a Person of Character: Change the World" by Vincent J. Bove (Vincent J. Bove)

Note Well
As originally published in Vincent's weekly "Reawakening the Nation" column in the Friday, Nov. 21, 2014 edition of the Epoch Times.

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Domestic Violence, Shelters, Homelessness: Wake Up, America

There is a direct correlation between the scourge of domestic violence and the growth of shelter and homeless populations.

This is a very real fear to many victims of domestic violence and can influence decisions that prevent abuse.

Recently, I assisted a woman whose husband was arrested for domestic violence. She frantically stated that she had no other family members to assist her. She said, “Where will I live?” and “How will I make ends meet?”

I introduced her to a domestic violence prevention organization that provided the guidance she needed to immediately leave her abusive husband.

Unfortunately, there are too many domestic violence victims who remain trapped in the cycle of violence. A lack of financial resources, shortage of affordable housing, and a fear of shelters and homelessness exacerbate America’s domestic violence crisis.

Domestic Violence Definition

The U.S. Department of Justice states on its website, “We define domestic violence as a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.”

Domestic Violence and Homelessness

According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness:

•Domestic violence survivors make up about 12 percent of the sheltered homeless population.
•Domestic violence is the immediate cause of homelessness for many women. Survivors of domestic violence are often isolated from support networks and financial resources by their abusers, which puts them at risk of becoming homeless.
•One study in Massachusetts found that 92 percent of homeless women had experienced severe physical or sexual assault at some point in their lives, 63 percent had been victims of violence by an intimate partner, and 32 percent had been assaulted by their current or most recent partner. Such studies suggest a correlation between domestic violence and homelessness.
•Survivors of domestic violence have both short-term and long-term housing needs. Immediately after incidents survivors require safe housing away from the abuser. Ultimately, the family requires access to safe, stable, affordable housing.
•Investment in affordable housing is crucial to this population, so that the family or woman is able to leave the shelter system as quickly as possible without returning to the abuser.
•One key challenge facing providers serving survivors of domestic violence is that safety and confidentiality concerns may make it difficult to track this group.

NYC Domestic Violence

As it is in cities throughout America, domestic violence is a serious New York City problem.

The mayor has begun a rent subsidy program to move abuse victims out of shelters but domestic violence is a complicated issue. Factors include the following:

•Economic hardships that influence women to return to abusers
•Minimal affordable housing opportunities throughout the city
•Domestic violence problems within New York’s public housing
•Immigrants’ fear of reporting to the police or seeking assistance that perpetuates the violent cycle
•Inability of victims to remain undetectable from abusers who can track them down at new residences or at work
•Over 46,000 domestic violence arrests in New York City already in 2014
•Lack of communicating problems to the police by victims—one report stated that 75 percent of the 37 victims killed in 2013 never informed the police
•Staggering NYPD domestic violence responses of 250,000 incidents annually—nearly 600 per day
•Reluctance of corporate domestic violence prevention initiatives. These should be ongoing and required for all staff

Final Reflection

Domestic violence is a national tragedy demanding collaboration between police, government officials, corporations, organizations, and the entire school system.

America’s schools and campuses must be an integral part of the solution. The youth of America often experience domestic violence within their families. We are fully committed to reawakening the nation when we safeguard all in society, including our youth, and empower them to identify and prevent domestic violence.

As originally published in Vincent's weekly "Reawakening the Nation" column in the Friday, Nov. 14, 2014 edition of the Epoch Times.

Photos
1.The homeless on Skid Row are seated for the annual Good Friday meal hosted by the LA Mission and served by volunteers and celebrities in Los Angeles on April 18, 2014. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)
2. Missionary Sisters of Charity, commonly referred to as the Sisters of Mother Teresa, assist a homeless woman at Columbus Circle in NYC on Sept. 4, 2011 (Vincent J. Bove)
3. Homeless woman at the entrance to Central Park at 59th Street on Columbus Circle on July 23, 2010 (Vincent J. Bove)

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Friday, November 07, 2014

America’s Veterans: Honoring Our Heroes

As America commemorates Veterans Day on Tuesday, Nov. 11, our nation must pause to honor the heroes who have rendered military service.

America must be eternally grateful for the sacrifices, dedication, and patriotism of our veterans.

Today, as in generations past, courageous military personnel are living heroically. They are carrying the torch of freedom, democracy, and liberty for America and securing peace throughout the world.

Let us honor them with our appreciation, respect, and prayers.

Air Force
The mission of the U.S. Air Force is to fly, fight, and win … in air, space, and cyberspace.

Achieving this mission demands that the Air Force has a vision of global vigilance, with these core values as the foundation:
•Integrity first
•Service before self
•Excellence in all that we do

One of the many inspirational U.S. military stories is of the Tuskegee Airmen.
More than 50 years after they helped defeat Hitler and the Nazis in World War II, a group of these African-American heroes were justly awarded the Congressional Gold Medal on March 29, 2007, at a White House ceremony.

They fought two wars, one against an evil totalitarian force oversees and another against unjust racism on American soil. At a time when African-Americans could not eat, be educated, ride in the front of the bus, or use public restrooms with whites, these patriots bravely served America.

Army
As detailed on its website the mission of the U.S. Army is to fight and win the wars of America by providing prompt, sustained land dominance across a full range of military operations.

Currently, there are more than 675,000 soldiers in today’s Army, which includes 488,000 active duty and 189,000 in the reserve.

The Army is engaged in worldwide operations including humanitarian assistance, peacekeeping, and direct combat. Enlisted army soldiers are critical to the Army mission, always ready to directly carry out orders.

Gen. Douglas MacArthur eloquently expressed “duty, honor, country” as the hallowed heart of the Army during his May 12, 1962, speech at West Point.

Coast Guard
The U.S. Coast Guard is the only military organization within the Department of Homeland Security. It has protected our nation’s maritime interests and environments worldwide since 1790.

Our Coast Guard is a military force of maritime professionals protecting our rivers, ports, littoral regions and high seas.

Currently, there are 42,000 active duty members dedicated to readiness as America’s maritime guardians. The Coast Guard motto is “Semper Paratus” (“Always Ready”) and its core values are honor, respect, and devotion to duty.

Marine Corps
The U.S. Marines have been America’s expeditionary force since 1775. The Marines are “Semper Fidelis” (“Always Faithful”) and dedicated to leadership on the battlefield and as citizens when returning to America’s communities.

The core values of the Marines are
• Honor: a code of personal integrity to do what is right when no one is watching.
• Courage: the guardian of all values expressed through mental, physical, and ethical strength.
• Commitment: a spirit of determination that compels the Marine to persevere when others quit.
• Ductus Exemplo: a Latin term translated as “lead by example,” the heart of the Marines character.

Navy
The mission of the U.S. Navy is to maintain, train, and equip combat-ready naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression, and maintaining freedom of the seas.

The Navy motto is cited as “Non sibi sed patriae” (“Not self but country”) and its core values are:
•Honor: conducting oneself with the highest ethical principles.
•Courage: living with moral and mental strength to do what is right
•Commitment: dedication to the highest degree of moral character

Final Reflection
The legacy of America urges us to appreciate all veterans who have honored our nation through their service. When we are grateful for the heroism, patriotism, and sacrifices of our veterans we are on the course to reawakening the nation.

As published in Vincent's weekly column titled "Reawakening the Nation" in the Friday, Nov. 7, 2014 edition of the Epoch Times.

Photos
1. U.S. Marine Corps Master Sgt. Carl Zador interacts with Afghan children near Patrol Base Atull in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, on Nov. 20, 2011. Zabor is assigned to the 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group Forward. (Courtesy U.S. Marine Corps by Lance Cpl. Jessica S. Gonzalez)
2. U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagles fly over wild land fires following a routine training mission. (Courtesy U.S. Air Force)
3. U.S. Army Capt. John Turner, of Alpha Battery, 2nd Battalion, 8th Field Artillery Regiment, interacts with an Iraqi child at Forward Operating Base Lion near Baqouba, Iraq, on Aug. 19, 2009. U.S. soldiers helped fit the boy and six other children with wheelchairs donated by a U.S. charity. (Courtesy Department of Defense by Petty Officer 1st Class Kirk Worley, U.S. Navy)
4. The crew of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell stands at attention among pallets of seized cocaine during an award ceremony at Naval Base San Diego. (Courtesy U.S. Coast Guard by Petty Officer 2nd Class Connie Terrell)
5. U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Kimberley Ryan holds hands with Afghan children as they walk to the local children’s shura near Forward Operating Base Jackson in the Sangin district of Afghanistan’s Helmand Province on Jan. 20, 2012. Ryan is the team leader assigned to the Marine Headquarters Group, Female Engagement Team. The team, along with the 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, has been conducting shuras, or classes, to provide area citizens with a variety of educational opportunities. (Courtesy U.S. Marine Corps, Cpl Ed Galo)

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Friday, October 31, 2014

America’s Head-On Collision: A Crisis of Violence and Scandals

Recently, I delivered a keynote titled “America’s Head-On Collision: A Crisis of Violence and Scandals” to an audience of over 200 law enforcement and community leaders.

The event was the Annual Community Traffic Safety Awards Program hosted by AAA North Jersey at the Brownstone in Paterson, N.J., on Oct. 22.

A stark metaphor of a head-on collision was used in my keynote to highlight a crisis taking place in America. This involves senseless violence and reprehensible scandals becoming all too common.

America’s violence is alarming for a civilized nation and includes school, campus, domestic, workplace, and terrorism. Columbine, Virginia Tech, Newtown, and 9/11 immediately paint the picture.

Our scandals are appalling and within every segment of society. Government, educational, corporate, sports, entertainment, and even faith-based leaders continually dishonor their country. A once-admired company like Enron is a reminder of how things dramatically change when character is lacking.

America is called to be the land of freedom, democracy, and security. Unfortunately, our head-on collision of violence and scandals may intensify before our culture improves.

A Culture of Violence
During my presentation, I asked the audience to observe past and upcoming events with the mindset of this head-on collision.

Unfortunately, within days of my presentation, additional incidents dramatized America’s violence including:

•A shooting at a high school in Marysville, Wash., on Oct. 24. The tragedy left three students dead—including the 15-year-old student shooter—with others wounded and many lives within the community forever changed.
•An Oct. 24. rampage in California with the gunman shooting four people—three of them police officers, with two of them killed. According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial the number of nationwide fatalities year-to-date has shown a dramatic 20 percent increase since the same time last year. Firearm fatalities have now increased 64 percent compared to last year.
•On Oct. 23 an act of terror was committed against a group of NYPD officers by a hatchet-wielding, self-radicalized extremist. Two of the officers were wounded and one placed in critical condition with a strike to his head. NYPD Commissioner William Bratton stated, “I am very confident this was a terrorist act, certainly.”

A Culture of Scandals
The rampant corruption and scandals within every segment of American life includes these recent events:

•Former Nassau County legislators Patrick Williams and Roger Corbin along with former head of the North Hempstead Community Development Agency, Neville Mulings, were all sentenced to jail time for their roles in an $80 million redevelopment project a decade ago.
•The conviction on Tuesday, Aug. 26, of Timothy DeFoggi, the former acting cybersecurity director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. DeFoggi was found guilty of counts including engaging in child exploitation and conspiracy to advertise and distribute child pornography. Prosecutors stated DeFoggi was part of a child pornography website where he “suggested meeting one member in person to fulfill their mutual fantasies to violently rape and murder children.”
•A scandal at the prestigious University of North Carolina that for 18 years allowed thousands of student athletes to take fake “paper classes” to keep them eligible for sports. At least 3,100 students were involved with the scandal that is clearly the most egregious in the history of the NCAA, which involved counselors, coaches, administrators, and faculty.

This “America’s Head-On Collision: A Crisis of Violence and Scandals” keynote was an abbreviated version of presentations that I have conducted for 15 years. Attendees throughout the nation have included educators, law enforcement, community leaders, and students.

Aside from expressing appreciation for the audience, I encouraged them to transform America into a land of security and character. Character, vigilance, and collaboration are the qualities critical for this transformation and required by all who truly love our country and dedicated to reawakening the nation.

As originally published in Vincent's weekly column for the Epoch Times titled "Reawakening the Nation" on Friday, Oct. 31, 2014.


Photos
1. Vincent J. Bove delivering his "America's Head-On Collision..." keynote to over 200 law enforcement and community leaders on Oct. 22, 2014 in Paterson, NJ. (Chris Marksbury)
2. Students and family members embrace after leaving Marysville-Pilchuck High School in the aftermath of a shooting on the high school's campus in Marysville, Wash., on Oct. 24, 2014. (David Ryder/Getty Images)
3. New York Police Department (NYPD) officers man a checkpoint at the entrance of a subway station in Queens, New York, on Oct. 24, 2014, one day after a man charged at four New York police officers with a metal hatchet, hitting two of them. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)
4. Officials from the Passaic Police Department in New Jersey with the author Vincent J. Bove. At the immediate right of Bove is Officer Marco Clavijo, who was a student at Saint Anthony of Padua in Passaic while Bove was the school principal in 1986.

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Friday, October 24, 2014

In Remembrance: Honoring Police End-of-Watch Fatalities

These are challenging times for police officers throughout America.

As they dedicate themselves to protect and serve communities in their honorable profession, the fact is they are in the trenches as countercultural to our culture of violence.

Police officers are called to be ethical protectors, safeguarding law-abiding citizens from those who have contempt for the law. Unfortunately, there are many innocent people who are vulnerable and need law enforcement to protect them from rampant criminal activities.

Aside from crime, citizens are also often endangered by natural and man-made dangers as well. There are countless possibilities including storms, fires, explosions, floods, and accidents.

America’s police officers are modern day sentinels, dedicated to prevent, prepare, respond, and assist with recovery through countless incidents and tragedies.

Our nation must pause and understand the criticality of police officers in society. The police profession is honorable and those who polish their shields through ethical acts of bravery, character, and leadership are worthy of admiration.

Officers who have offered the ultimate through an end-of-watch fatality are particularly deserving of recognition and appreciation.

Alarming Officer Fatality Increase
According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund the number of nationwide fatalities year-to-date has increased 15 percent as of Oct. 21, 2014 versus Oct. 21, 2013.

Ninety-two police officers have already lost their lives while on duty this year, compared to 80 officers at the same time last year.

Firearm-related fatalities have increased by an alarming 56 percent this year with 39 deaths compared to 25 deaths at this time last year.

California, Texas, and New York have the highest number of officer deaths with 10, 8, and 6 respectively in 2014.

Recently Fallen
Police Officer Eddie Johnson Jr. of the Alton, Mo., Police Department: killed in a single-vehicle crash while on duty on Oct. 20. Officer Johnson is the first law enforcement fatality for Missouri in 2014.

Deputy Sheriff Michael Naylor of the Midland County Sheriff’s Office, Texas: shot and killed on Oct. 9 while serving a warrant.

Police Officer Jordan Corder of the Covina, Calif., Police Department: killed on Sept. 30 in a motorcycle crash while pursuing a subject.

Trooper David Kedra of the Pennsylvania State Police: accidentally shot and killed on Sept. 30 while participating in a training exercise.

Police Officer Michael Williams of the NYPD: killed on Sept. 21 in an automobile crash while on duty.

Senior Deputy Jessica Holles of the Travis County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office: killed on Sept. 19 when her patrol car was swept away by floodwaters.

Officer Reinaldo Arocha, Jr. of the Newark, N.J., Police Department: suffered a heart attack and died on duty on Sept. 16.

Deputy Sheriff Michael Norris of the Monroe County, Ga., Sheriff’s Office: died after being shot while responding to a suicidal man on Sept. 14.

Border Patrol Agent Tyler Robledo of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection: killed on Sept. 12 in an automobile accident.

Police Cpl. Bryon Dickson of the Pennsylvania State Police: shot and killed in an ambush while at the police barracks on Sept. 12.


Final Reflections
Today, as in generations past, courageous police officers are making great sacrifices to serve and protect America’s communities. It is important for those who benefit from the valor of law enforcement personnel to always remember and appreciate their dedication to our nation.

The sacrifices of police officers are intimately shared by their loved ones and especially their children. It is critical to be mindful of their challenges and appreciate police officers and their families in every way possible.

The legacy of America demands honor for those who serve and protect our communities through moral leadership, persevering vigilance, and generous collaboration.

Police officers are critical to safeguarding America and their ethics, character, and leadership is the heart of reawakening the nation.

Note Well
As originally published in Vincent's weekly column titled Reawakening the Nation-Oct. 24, 2014 in the Epoch Times.


Photos
1. Police Officer Jordan Corder of the Covina, Calif., Police Department (Courtesy Covina Police Department)
2. Police Officer Michael Williams of the NYPD (Courtesy NYPD)
3. Senior Deputy Jessica Holles of the Travis County Sheriff's Office (Courtesy Travis County Sheriff's Office)
4. Trooper David Kedra of the Pennsylvania State Police (Courtesy Pennsylvania State Police)
5. Deputy Sheriff Michael Norris of the Monroe County, Ga., Sheriff's Office (Courtesy Monroe County Sheriff's Office)
6. Deputy Sheriff Michael Naylor of the Midland County, Texas, Sheriff's Office (Courtesy Midland County Sheriff's Office)

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

AAA North Jersey Annual Community Traffic Awards Keynote

On Wednesday, October 22, 2014, I was privileged to deliver the keynote for the AAA North Jersey Annual Community Traffic Safety Awards Program at the Brownstone in Paterson, New Jersey.

Over 200 law enforcement officials and community leaders attended the event that recognized agencies dedicated to initiatives that save lives through traffic safety.

As the keynote speaker I used a metaphor to dramatize America's Head-On Collision-a crisis of character colliding with a culture of violence.

The police officers were commended for their dedication to saving lives by protecting and serving communities from throughout Northern New Jersey. I also encouraged them to remain vigilant and to protect, appreciate and build each other up through acts of leadership and collaboration.

A highlight of my day was when Police Officer Marco Clavijo approached me after my keynote and introduced himself as one of my students from my year as principal in a Passaic, New Jersey school in 1986. We had some great memories together and I had the pleasure of being introduced to his Passaic Police Department colleagues through his kindness.

Steve Rajczyk of AAA is deserving of a special commendation for his leadership with coordinating such an extraordinary event.

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