Friday, September 23, 2016

Terrorism Prevention Requires Police-Community Collaboration

The recent terror attacks in New York, New Jersey, and Minnesota are a chilling reminder to America of the contemptuous realities that some are referring to as “the new normal.”

After three attacks in just 12 hours, with explosions in New York City and New Jersey communities, and a bloody stabbing rampage in a Minnesota mall, America was under siege.

These incidents occurred in the shadows of the fifteenth anniversary of 9/11, once again demanding our courage, resolve, and perseverance.

The Terror Attacks: A Recap

Seaside Park, N.J.—Around 9:30 am, one of three wired together pipe-bomb-type devices explodes in a garbage bin. Although the detonation was nefariously planted to wreck devastation at a U.S. Marine Corps charity run, no one was injured since a registration technicality delayed the race. This chilling intention was likely influenced by the Boston Marathon attack.

Chelsea, New York City—An explosion from a device planted in or near a dumpster injured 29 people in the normally idyllic Manhattan neighborhood. Law enforcement found an intact pressure cooker blocks away from this 23rd Street and 6th Avenue location, and said this device and the exploded one were similar. Cell phones were programed as the apparent timers.

St. Cloud, Minnesota—A man garbed in a security uniform, stabbed nine people at the Crossroads Mall, before an off-duty police officer shot him dead.

People stand near the entrance on the north side of Crossroads Center mall as officials investigate a reported multiple stabbing incident in St. Cloud, Minn., on Sept. 17, 2016. (Dave Schwarz/St. Cloud Times via AP)

Police-Community Unity Limited Attacks

Minnesota—Officer Jason Falconer heroically prevented additional carnage after fatally shooting the individual who stabbed nine people at the Minnesota Mall. He was the right man at the right time who protected his community as an ethical guardian of society.

New York / New Jersey—The terrorism mantra, “If you see something, say something,” became a reality that led to the arrest of the suspect in the Sept. 17 bombings in New York and New Jersey. Harinder Bains, owner of a tavern in Linden, New Jersey, noticed a man sleeping in the doorway of his establishment.

Since Bains recognized the suspect due to extensive media coverage, he called the police which led to the suspect arrest.

“I did what I think every American would have done,” Bains said. “My neighbor would have done the same thing. Any Jewish, Christian, Sikh, Muslim. We would be more stronger if we do everything together… I’m from Sikh faith,” he added. “I’ve been taught always stand up against the atrocities, any kind of persecution.”

“Anybody would have done the same thing… Cops are the real hero, law enforcement is the real hero… when you see something, say something.”

Law enforcement certainly deserves our most profound appreciation for apprehending the bombing suspect, after a dangerous gunfight with two officers injured, in just under four hours after he was publicly identified.

FBI Director’s Remarks on Unity

Prior to these attacks, a foreshadowing audio by FBI Director James Comey was posted on the Bureau’s website.

Although unaware of any plans of the aforementioned attacks, Comey emphasized the agencies strategy to combating the evolving terror threat.

“Our focus now is on a much more desperate threat that’s hard to see, unpredictable, motivated, and driven by people who are just disturbed. Although we have different responsibilities, different authorities, different focuses to be effective, the circles have to not just touch, they have to overlap.”

As someone privileged to meet Director Comey, and attend his presentations, I am confident that his concept of different responsibilities needed to prevent terrorism, refers not only on interagency law enforcement unity, but an iron-clad collaboration between police and the community.

Tips for Preventing Terrorism

Based on these recent attacks, and the eventuality of additional incidents, these tips from the FBI are worth reviewing:

Surveillance: Are you aware of anyone video recording or monitoring activities, taking notes, using cameras, maps, binoculars, and so on, near key facilities/events?

Suspicious Questioning: Are you aware of anyone attempting to gain information in person, by phone, mail, email, etc., regarding a key facility or people who work there?

Tests of Security: Are you aware of any attempts to penetrate or test physical security or procedures at a key facility/event?

Acquiring Supplies: Are you aware of anyone attempting to improperly acquire explosives, weapons, ammunition, dangerous chemicals, uniforms, badges, flight manuals, access cards or identification for a key facility/event or to legally obtain items under suspicious circumstances that could be used in a terrorist attack?

Suspicious Persons: Are you aware of anyone who does not appear to belong in the workplace, neighborhood, business establishment, or near a key facility/event?

“Dry Runs”: Have you observed any behavior that appears to be preparation for a terrorist act, such as mapping out routes, playing out scenarios with other people, monitoring key facilities/events, timing traffic lights or traffic flow, or other suspicious activities?

Deploying Assets: Have you observed abandoned vehicles, stockpiling of suspicious materials, or persons being deployed near a key facility/event?

If you answered yes to any of the above … if you have observed any suspicious activity that may relate to terrorism, please contact the Joint Terrorist Task Force or law enforcement/counterterrorism agency closest to you immediately. Your tip could save the lives of innocent people, just like you and yours.

Complementing these FBI tips, I strongly recommend security countermeasures noted in my article titled “Mass Shootings: America’s Public Health Crisis,” for the Dec. 10, 2015 edition of the Epoch Times.

Final Reflections

Despite recent controversies of police-community relations, citizen support and the commendable swift response of law enforcement is worthy of admiration. Unity of effort is critical to safeguarding our communities and nation is clear and must continue.

As detailed in my published work titled “Terrorism Demands Police-Community Unity” for the July 28, 2016 edition of the Epoch Times, terrorism is a reality of our times. America must enhance its leadership, vigilance, and collaboration to protect our homeland.

Terrorism incidents are accelerating throughout the nation, and the next attack can take place anywhere, anytime, and by any means.

America will be on the path to reawakening the nation when our police-community unity is fortified, as to be forewarned is to be forearmed.

Related Coverage:

Terrorism Attacks Demand America’s Leadership

America, Wake Up: Harden Your Soft Targets

Terrorism Concerns Accelerate: Protecting America

Police-Community Collaboration: America’s Public Safety Lifeline

Note Well:

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

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Vincent is author of over 200 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing.

Photos

1. Members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) carry on investigations at the scene of Saturday's explosion on West 23rd Street and Sixth Avenue in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, in New York, on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

2. People stand near the entrance on the north side of Crossroads Center mall as officials investigate a reported multiple stabbing incident in St. Cloud, Minn., on Sept. 17, 2016. (Dave Schwarz/St. Cloud Times via AP)

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Monday, September 12, 2016

America’s Flag Deserves Honor, Respect, Reverence

As America commemorated the sacred fifteenth anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy this past Sunday, expressions of respect for our flag were profoundly inspirational.

America’s flag is the sacrosanct symbol of our beloved nation, and always deserves the greatest honor, respect, and reverence.

Respect for our flag was immortalized by the iconic flag-raising by U.S. Marines during the battle of Iwo Jima, and again at Ground Zero by New York City firefighters.

America’s Flag: Our Rallying Point

The America flag is, and will forever be, the rallying point for our dedication, devotion, and duty to country.

Each of us must do everything according to our vocation in life, to respect what our flag represents.

These are challenging times throughout the nation, especially with police-community relations, political polarization, escalating violence, and a crisis of leadership.

But we have always had challenging times, as with the war to earn our independence, world wars, and the civil rights movement of the 1960’s.

Throughout our history, and in the aftermath of 9/11, America’s flag must always be raised high, as at Iwo Jima. Our flag is our rallying point of hope, unity, and patriotism.

America’s Flag: Our Current Scandal

Currently, there is an intensifying scandal toward our flag on America’s athletic fields. This contempt for our sacred symbol during the National Anthem deserves condemnation without reserve.

This scandal began with one National Football League (NFL) player, and has senselessly escalated to numerous players, teams, and even a high school football team in Camden, New Jersey.

Over the past few years, there have been numerous sports scandals including extensive arrests of NFL players for crimes including aggravated assault, unlawfully possession of weapons, disorderly conduct, drunken driving, resisting arrest, drug possession, and domestic violence.

Aside from the NFL, there have also been other sports scandals including Major League Baseball’s steroid abuse, and disgraceful behavior by an Olympic swimmer at the recent games in Brazil.

As shameful as these acts are, any purposeful disrespect for America’s flag, which has draped coffins of countless armed forces heroes throughout our history, is also contemptuous.

One can only wonder if any of those involved with this reprehensible dishonoring of our sacred symbol, would have the courage to endure the sacrifices made at Iwo Jima.

Furthermore, would any of them have the courage to serve America on the shores of Normandy, in the jungles of Vietnam, or in the blistering heat of Afghanistan or Iraq.

One can only surmise where the lack of wisdom, family guidance, understanding, fortitude, reverence, or character education was so lost in such contempt for our flag.

Perhaps a deficiency took place somewhere during formative years in the family, community, or school, or was planted by a manipulative media.

More tragically, this outrageous contempt for America’ flag is receiving no condemnation from NFL leadership. Yet, this should come as no surprise, as this is the same leadership that tried to cover-up an outrageous domestic violence crime by one of its players.

The current NFL leadership only responded to this barbaric domestic incident after their ineptitude, superficiality, and complicity was brought to light by an elevator video.

The NFL needs to send a clear message, not only to current players, but also to all aspiring athletes at colleges and high schools throughout America.

The message must be clear, strong, and immediate, that the NFL will not ever tolerate criminal behavior by its athletes, nor will it accept dishonoring the flag as an acceptable expression of players rights.

Players, who are privileged to play the game, and reap extraordinary financial rewards, must be held to the highest standards of professional ethics, and reflect responsibility to our nation.

Final Reflections

Respect for America through our flag is a sacred privilege, responsibility, and duty.

This respect is solemnly proclaimed in our Star Spangled Banner, Pledge of Allegiance, prayers for our beloved nation, and honoring our flag.

The next time anyone in the NFL, or anywhere considers dishonoring our flag, let them be mindful that this same flag is draped over countless coffins of armed forces and law enforcement heroes.

It is the same flag over the coffins of all who have offered the ultimate sacrifice serving our nation on foreign soil and here at home, and this flag deserves eternal honor without compromise.

May honor for America’s flag forever live in the hearts of all who are truly sons and daughters of our nation.

Let the words of Nathan Hale (June 6, 1755 – September 22, 1776), a true patriot, who served to gain America’s freedom and offered the ultimate sacrifice, forever be engraved in our souls:

“I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.”

Related Coverage

Viewpoints Gold Star Families: Honoring Those Who Make the Ultimate Sacrifice

America’s Flag, Patriotism: Resuscitating Our Destiny

America’s Leadership Crisis: Reigniting Our Character

NFL Domestic Violence Scandal: Time for Action

Note Well:

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

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Vincent is author of over 200 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing.

Photos

1. American flags, Rockefeller Center, NYC. (Vincent J. Bove)

2. The Iwo Jima Memorial is silhouetted in Arlington, Va., across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., on April 27, 2005. (Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images)

3. Nathan Hale by Frederick William MacMonnies, model 1889-1890, cast 1890, bronze - National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (Public Domain / Wikimedia)

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Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Honoring 9/11: Compassion, Character, Community

As one travels throughout American communities, we are reminded of the tragic loss of life on 9/11 through plaques, monuments, and memorials.

These tributes are set in bronze, marble, and stone throughout our train stations, shopping malls, workplaces, and community centers.

They are sacramental reminders of lives gone too soon, whose memories must be eternally engraved into our hearts and souls.

America will perpetually honor those who perished on 9/11, and we must be passionately dedicated to transforming our nation, as a fitting tribute to their memory.

Eternal Remembrance

America will pause again on Patriot Day, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016 to reverently observe the fifteenth anniversary of 9/11.

This sacrosanct anniversary reminds us of a day that changed the soul of America forever.

It is a day to honor the fallen, their loved ones, and all the heroes who served and protected, and who continue to serve our nation.

The lost lives of our beloved families, friends, community members, and colleagues will not be in vain.

These victims from the World Trade Center, Flight 11, Flight 175, Flight 77, Flight 93, and the Pentagon will continue to keep the eternal flame of patriotism alive in our hearts.

America will be stronger and renewed through the fire of devotion burning in our hearts, homes, communities, workplaces, schools, churches, synagogues, and mosques.

In each of these places, America will pray for the repose of the souls of all who were lost on 9/11, and we will stand tall to honor our nation.

As we solemnly honor the nearly 3,000 lost lives of that fateful day, let us remain vigilant with protecting our communities and strengthening our homeland. Our vigilance is a tribute to all who perished, so their lives may not be in vain.

Honoring 9/11 Heroes

Each 9/11 commemoration is a time to pause and honor countless heroes who protected others and served victims through inestimable acts of selflessness, compassion, and mercy.

These heroes, all who are known by the eyes of heaven, will certainly be rewarded there by their sacrifices, as they represent the heart of America. Those who served on 9/11 and afterwards with acts of kindness, sacrifice, and generosity represent the best of all of us.

Our nation will forever honor all who perished on 9/11, and all who served, as well as those who continue to serve including our military. Those tirelessly dedicated to serving our communities, colleagues, and country deserve our greatest respect.

Honoring the 9/11 fallen, we must dedicate ourselves to peace in communities across America.

Our efforts must be practical with developing violence prevention initiatives especially through enhancing police-community collaboration.

Yet, our efforts must also be profoundly spiritual, worshiping as community, and praying from our hearts.

We must stand above the anguish of hearts broken by violence, and fill our lives with deeds of faith, hope, and charity.

Fallen Emergency Workers on 9/11

Each person lost on 9/11 was a life gone too soon.

The 9/11 fallen includes over 400 emergency workers who were killed on the day of the attack.

These heroes include the following:

• 343 firefighters (including a chaplain and two paramedics) representing the New York City Fire Department (FDNY)
• 37 police officers of the Port Authority Police Department (PAPD)
• 23 police officers of New York City Police Department (NYPD)
• 8 emergency medical technicians and paramedics

Although 9/11 changed our mindset with security, one thing will remain forever, our esteem for all who protect and serve, especially those who have offered the ultimate sacrifice in serving others.

One of these first responder’s was a Franciscan priest, Father Mychal F.Judge, killed by fallen debris while ministering to a fallen firefighter.

Father Judge, from St. Francis of Assisi Church on West 31st Street in Manhattan, was a chaplain for the FDNY.

A photo of Father Judge, being carried away from the rubble on 9/11 by firefighters, police officers, and first responders, remains one of the tragedies most iconic photos.

Final Reflections

During the solemn remembrances of 9/11 in communities, workplaces, houses of worship, and schools throughout America, let us cling to hope as we honor the fallen.

America must have hope and continue to stand tall as a nation of character, compassion, and courage.

These virtues represent the heart of America, and will lead us to our rightful destiny as a light of goodness for the world.

Photo

1. A white rose placed at at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City, Sept. 15, 2015. (Vincent J. Bove)

2. “World Trade Center Tribute in Light,” in New York City, on Sept. 11, 2010. (Dennis Leung/Wikimedia Commons)

3. FDNY honoring the 343 fallen New York City Firefighters during the Veterans Day Parade, Nov. 12, 2011. The event commemorated the 10th anniversary of the attacks of 9/11, 2011. (Vincent J. Bove)

4. A mortally injured Father Mychal F. Judge, O.F.M., is carried out of the World Trade Center by first responders, including Bill Cosgrove (in white shirt). Cosgrove says, "everybody you see in that picture was saved" from the North Tower's collapse, moments later. (Photo Credit: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters /Landov)


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Monday, August 29, 2016

School Bullying: A Matter of Life and Death

As the 2016-2017 school year begins, I am reminded of many tragic suicides of students, including 15-year-old Phoebe Prince from South Hadley High School in Massachusetts.

Phoebe was mercilessly bullied for months before taking her own life, a reminder to all, that bullying can have deadly consequences.

Bullying is cruel, destructive, and as tragically realized with Phoebe Prince, it can be lethal.

The tragedy of Phoebe must not be in vain, but serve as a clarion call to educators, parents, students, and law enforcement to intensify bullying awareness and prevention.

Aside from Phoebe, other youngsters have committed suicide as a result of the torment caused by bullying, including the following:

Jessica Logan - 18-year-old Sycamore High School senior who sent nude photo of herself to her boyfriend. According to a published report, the photo was sent to hundreds of teenagers in at least seven Cincinnati-area high schools after the couple broke up. Jessica hanged herself after attending the funeral of another boy who had committed suicide.

Jon Carmichael Loflin – 13-year-old from Loflin Middle School in Joshua, Texas. As an eighth grader, Jon deserved to be excited about his upcoming high school days. Instead, acts of bullying by students who tormented him for being short led to his suicide.

Eric Mohat – 17-years-old from Mentor High School in Mentor, Ohio. The excruciating bullying was so explicit that a bully in class dared him, "Why don't you go home and shoot yourself, no one will ever miss you." Tragically, Eric did just that.

Megan Meir - 13-year-old from Immaculate Conception Catholic School in Dardienne Prairie, Missouri.
Megan committed suicide by hanging herself, three weeks before her 14th birthday. The suicide was attributed to a cyber-bullying hoax.

Bullying: A Communal Failure

The National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center estimates that nearly 30 percent of American youth are either a bully or a target of bullying.

Bullying takes place not only in face-to-face encounters, but through cell phones, social media websites, and other online methods that are contributing to an alarming number of cyberbullying cases leading to suicide.

All elements of the community; including educators, counselors, parents, students, law enforcement, and community leaders, must rise to the occasion and dedicate themselves to full force to bullying awareness and prevention initiatives.

For educators and counselors, who have a uniquely critical role with bullying awareness and prevention. I would encourage their enhanced understanding and implementing of bullying awareness and prevention initiatives.

This enhanced understanding is also critical for educational leadership, in order to be better able to cultivate a bullying prevention culture in classrooms, schools, and districts.

One excellent source to begin with is the stopbullying.gov website, which includes the following tips for educators:

• Learn what bullying is and what it is not. Many behaviors that look like bullying may be just as serious, but may require different response strategies. You can also learn about what to look for as warning signs that some of your students might be involved in bullying and who might be at more risk for being involved. Know about special considerations for specific groups.
• Establish a safe school climate. Often the first step to preventing bullying is making sure the students, teachers, and administrators alike are educated about bullying. Tools like the School Bus Drivers Training and Classroom Teacher Training can help. For kids, tools like these webisodes can help them learn about bullying.
• Learn how to engage parents and youth in the building a positive school climate. Learning how to talk about bullying with youth is a critical step.
• Know about your obligations under your state’s anti-bullying law. Learn also about federal laws that require schools to address harassment based on race, color, national origin, sex, and disabilities. Work to establish rules and policies to help let the entire school community know the expectations around bullying and procedures to report and investigate when something happens.
• Assess bullying in your school and understand how your school compares to national rates of bullying.
• Respond when bullying happens. Learn how to stop it on the spot, find out what happened, and support all students involved.
• Avoid misdirections in bullying prevention and response strategies.
• Utilize free Federal and Non-Federal Resources on bullying.

The Preventive System of Education

Finally, educators must familiarize themselves with the preventive system of education.

In my presentation school violence preventions throughout the nation, as well as in numerous published works, I emphasize the importance of implementing this pedagogical system which includes the following:

• Educators are admired in their dedication to the youth entrusted to their care
• Educators are respected as individuals with character
• Character is the edifice of the preventive system
• Vigilance is exercised to prevent inappropriate behavior
• Improvements with behavior are motivated
• Speedy measured intervention to warning signs take place due to vigilance and awareness
• Educators earn the admiration of youth
• Discipline can be as effective as an expression of disappointment or a reproachful look because there is loyalty from the young people for the educator who cares for them

Final Reflections

In essence, the preventive system of education is a natural complement to character education which is a matter of the heart from an educator who truly cares.

Character education and bulling prevention are inseparable and must be inspired by America’s educators.

This culture in American schools will only be authentic and bring results if the students know that educators are sincerely concerned for them.

America’s youth must experience this genuine care, concern, and compassion from their teachers.

If the students experience a caring community, they will be inspired to attain great heights of character, and deficiencies of character, including bullying, will be prevented.

Related Coverage:

America’s Schools: Security, Character, Academics

America’s 21st Century Teacher: Security, Character, Pedagogy

Sayreville High School Scandal: America’s Wake-Up Call

American Teachers: Inspire the Heart and Transform the Country

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

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Vincent is author of over 200 articles, including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing.

Photo

A view of South Hadley High School where prosecutors have charged nine students with bullying an Irish immigrant girl who later committed suicide, in South Hadley, Mass., on March 31, 2010. (Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)


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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

America’s Schools: Security, Character, Academics

The 2016-2017 school year has begun and America must focus on security, character education, and academic achievements in our educational communities.

The U.S. Department of Education estimates 50.1 million students will attend public elementary and secondary schools.

About 3.1 million full time teachers will be employed in nearly 98,500 schools in our public school system.

There will be an additional 20.2 million students in the nation’s colleges and universities and an additional 4.9 million attending private schools.

The American educational system is critical to the future of the nation, as memorialized in my published works and presentations nationwide over the last 20 years.

Our educators, students, families, and community leaders must be dedicated to making each district, campus, classroom, and student a priority for security, character development, and academic initiatives.

America's educational system is the heart and soul of the nation’s future and every effort must be made to insure success.

School Security: An Indisputable Priority

The tragic headlines on school violence during the last 20 years, must motivate unwavering dedication to enhance security in every educational community.

A critical element of school security is security vulnerability assessments, training initiatives, and protocols at all schools.

Training for all personnel, students, and families must include warning signs. This is mandatory since we have continually witnessed school and campus tragedies where warning signs were recognized but ignored.

One essential document for training is “Early Warning, Timely Response: A Guide to Safe Schools” by the U. S. Department of Education.

This classic, masterfully developed document, includes intervention for student warning signs including the following:

• Social withdrawal
• Excessive feelings of isolation and being alone
• Being a victim of violence
• Feelings of being picked on and persecuted
• Low school interest/poor academic performance
• Uncontrolled anger
• Patterns of impulsive and chronic hitting, intimidating, and bullying
• Expression of violence in writings
• History of discipline problems
• Past history of violent aggressive behavior
• Drug and alcohol use
• Affiliation with gangs
• Intolerance for differences and prejudicial attitudes
• Inappropriate access to, possession of, and use of firearms
• Serious threats of violence

Other important elements for school security include board certified security directors, bullying prevention programs, crisis management teams, and training that encompasses the document titled “Practical Information on Crisis Planning: A Guide for Schools and Communities.”

This timeless document, from the U.S. Department of Education provides information on preparing for a crisis, and details on the principles of crisis management: mitigation and prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery.

Character Education

Developing students with hearts of character built on the pillars of honesty, respect, civility, and patriotism must be paramount throughout America’s educational communities.

We are continually witnessing scandals and violations of character throughout every element of American society.

These include corruption at the highest levels of government, corporate greed, faith-based scandals, and character deficiencies within professional sports and Olympic athletes.

America’s youth deserve inspiration from our educators, as they must carry the torch of character and cultivate a renaissance of ethical behavior.

A reality of our educational system is that millions of students spend exorbitant time hearing lectures, writing papers, memorizing facts, and pushing themselves with extracurricular activities. This would be a tragic waste of time if instilling character is not the heartbeat of the educational community.

Our educators, through the power of good example, kindness, concern, respect, affirmation, and encouragement, must inspire character into the heart of America through our schools.

Character and Academics: Inseparable Principles

Although character is essential to the welfare of our educational communities, and the future of the nation, academic achievement is also a priority.

When an educator inspires character, the foundation is set for academic excellence since students are inspired to responsible, loyal, and industrious .

As detailed in my article titled “America’s 21st Century Teacher: Security, Character, Pedagogy” for the August 28, 2015 edition of the Epoch Times, I argued that the preventive educational system is transformational.

The preventive system, as opposed to a rigid, negative, and dictatorial repressive system of education, has the capability to transform a student, school, or campus; and in time, the very heart of America.

The advantages of this educational pedagogy is that character is inspired, warning signs receive measured intervention, and academic achievement is encouraged.

Final Reflections

As schools open throughout America for another school year, we must be fully dedicated to security principles, character education, and academic excellence.

When our educators are vigilant with security concerns, inspire character through personal example, and encourage academic excellence, we will be on the path to reawakening the nation.

Related Coverage:

School Violence Crisis: America, Wake Up

America’s 21st Century Parent: Interested, Informed, Involved

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

American Teachers: Inspire the Heart and Transform the Country

Note Well:

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

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

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

Vincent is author of 190 articles including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing.

Photos

1. Students with teacher at Vincent Bove character education presentation, Union City Public Schools, NJ, Feb. 27, 2009. (Vincent J. Bove)

2. North Arlington Public Schools professional development program on security, character education, and academics, conducted by Vincent J. Bove, N. Arlington, NJ, Sept. 3, 2013. (Vincent J. Bove)

3. Students attend "Be a Person of Character: Change the World" presentation as hosted by the Rebecca Verea Foundation, Cliffside Park, NJ, Oct. 15, 2014. (Courtesy Vincent J. Bove Publishing)

4. Union City Public Schools, NJ students attend Vincent Bove presentation, ""Be a Person of Character: Change the World," May 29, 2008. (Vincent J. Bove)

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Precision Policing: Respecting Our Citizens' Dignity

Prior to his forthcoming retirement from the NYPD, Commissioner Bill Bratton deserves a commendation for enhancing community policing.

This enhancement includes improved training for officers, better patrol strategies emphasizing a positive interaction with the public, and sharpening officer’s problem-solving skills.

Bratton recently memorialized his philosophy with these words, “We want to develop well-rounded, highly skilled police officers, not arrest machines.”

The NYPD commissioner also emphasizes the positive results of “precision policing,” a contradiction to the stop, question, and frisk controversy.

The heart of the stop, question, and frisk controversy, according to Bratton, was a period of 700,000 stops with an arrest rate less than one-in-ten.

Police, according to Bratton, became imprecise with exercising their powers with stop, question, and frisk, and cast a net that was too wide.

Policing Principles: Peel’s, America’s

On May 23, 2016, Bratton stressed the principles of policing by Sir Robert Peel, to the New York City Council Public Safety and Finance Committee.

Peel’s policing principles, are completed by my “Principles of American Policing,” authored for the May 1, 2015 edition of the Epoch Times.

The timeless principles of Peel are the foundation for these contemporary American policing principles, highlighting police-community collaboration; built on trust, training, ethics, and leadership.

Department of Justice Report: Baltimore Police

The “precision policing” improvements being made with the NYPD provides lessons for police departments nationwide.

On August 10, 2016 the Department of Justice (DOJ) released its report titled “Investigation of the Baltimore Police Department.”

The DOJ report concludes that there is reasonable cause to believe that the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) engages in a pattern or practice of conduct that violates the Constitution or federal law.

The pattern or practice includes:

1. making unconstitutional stops, searches, and arrests
2. using enforcement strategies that produce severe and unjustified disparities in the rates of stops, searches and arrests of African Americans
3. using excessive force
4. retaliating against people engaging in constitutionally-protected expression.

The DOJ report also identifies concerns regarding the BPD’s transport of individuals and investigation of sexual assaults. BPD’s failings result from deficiencies with policies, training, oversight, accountability, and policing strategies that do not engage effectively with the community the Department serves.

This report also details systemic violations of constitutional policing with the BPD routinely stopping, searching, and even arresting the city’s black residents without provocation. These practices destroy trust, critical to the bond between the police and the people.

One example in this scathing report on the BPD clearly highlights systemic deficiencies. In a recent four year period, roughly 44 percent of 111,500 police stops occurred in two small predominately African-American communities that account for about 11 percent of the city’s population.

But these stops are diametrically opposed to the philosophy of “precision policing” as only 3.7 percent of these stops led to a citation or arrest.

Another example in the report on the BPD details that interviews of police involved with shootings tend to be “conclusory and superficial, often lasting no longer than ten or fifteen minutes, with some ending after only five minutes.”

Also, the report punctuates incompetence, unprofessionalism, and despicable interview tactics of BPD detectives handling women reporting sexual abuse. They respond to the victims with questions such as “Why are you messing that guy’s life up?”

NYPD: The Five T’s

The pillars of the NYPD “precision policing” philosophy fully complements the policing principles of Sir Robert Peel as well as the “Principles of American Policing.”

These five T’s are cited on the NYPD website as trust, training, technology, taking on terror, and tackling crime, which are understood as follows:

Trust – focusing on collaborative policing which involves partnering with other city agencies, non-profits, community-based organizations, the faith-based community, and others on public safety issues.

Training – includes numerous educational initiatives to develop a more service-oriented mindset and give officers tactical tools to deescalate tense situations.

Technology – igniting a major transformative technological change to make the NYPD the most advanced in the United States.

Terrorism – includes the Strategic Response Group (SRG), comprised of over 800 personnel with missions including disorder response, crime suppression, and mobilizations.

Tackling Crime – last year alone, NYPD Field Intelligence took 998 guns off the streets by debriefing arrestees and obtaining court-approved search warrants.

Final Reflections

As witnessed with controversies, tensions, and problems throughout America, there is a clarion call to enhance police-community relations.

America must rise to the occasion and ignite a 21st Century Policing mindset that is built on the pillars of trust, ethics, transparency, and accountability.

When our nation dedicates itself to enhancing police-community partnerships, inspired by the qualities of leadership, vigilance, and collaboration, we will be on the path to reawakening the nation.

Related Coverage

The Cop: America’s Ethical Guardian


Ethical Guardians: Repudiating the Ferguson Effect

Policing Demands Ethical Sentinels

Police-Community Crisis: Rise to the Occasion

Note Well:

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

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

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

Vincent is author of 190 articles including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing.

Photos

1. NYPD graduates, July 2, 2015. (Courtesy NYPD)
2. NYPD officer assists Times Square visitor. (Vincent J. Bove)
3. The Chief of Police magazine, "Principles of American Policing," cover story authored by Vincent J. Bove.


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Tuesday, August 09, 2016

The Olympics: Character, Courage, Competition

The Olympic games is the stage for the world’s greatest athletes to courageously perform at the most intense level of competition.

Currently, thousands of athletes from across the globe are competing in the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in Rio de Janerio, Brazil.

This year, the Olympics will also allow athletes to compete as Independent Athletes under the Olympic Flag due to various reasons, including the European migrant crisis.

Previously, these athletes were ineligible for competition due to their inability to represent their countries.

There is an ethical code required for all Olympic athletes and those involved with them, demanding that all participate with character, sportsmanship, and honesty.

Sports: A Call for Character

From the time that I was a young boy in the Bronx, sports have always been a part of my life. I played Little League Baseball, stickball, basketball in the public school yards, ran cross country track for Mount Saint Michael High School, golfed at Van Cortland and Moshulu golf courses, and wrestled for John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

During my years as an educator, I was privileged to coach a state championship soccer team and also serve as a lifeguard, swimming coach, and lifeguard instructor.

One of my greatest thrills was coaching my son’s little league baseball team for 7 years. The years of coaching his team provided some of my fondest memories.

The importance of sports in the development of the child makes the crisis of character in professional sports even more reprehensible. Like it or not, athletes are role models for our youth and must strive to be examples of character.

Major League Baseball: Lessons for Athletes

The Major League Baseball (MLB) scandal has lessons for the Olympics, and for all who enjoy sports.

Since baseball has always been my favorite sport, I would like to use lessons from it for all athletes.

As a child, love for the game was expressed through card collecting, knowing the lineup of one’s favorite team by heart, and articulating it with each batter at every whiffle ball, stickball, or Little League Game.

Baseball became significantly serious to me after the tragic death of Yankee catcher Thurman Munson.

Soon thereafter, I found myself involved with MLB on a much more profound level as a confidant to the New York Yankee baseball players, and to many players throughout the league.

During one summer in particular, I was working at a camp at St. Thomas the Apostle Church on 118th Street in Harlem as a youth counselor. In the evening, I took the subway to Yankee Stadium to work with the players as well as to collaborate on my first book, “On the Eighth Day God Created the Yankees.”

The experience with inner city kids during the day and with the great names of baseball in the evening, gave me an unforgettable perspective, as
I was working with the very poor and the very rich all in the course of the same day.

The lesson from this experience remains with me to this day: money does not define the person. It is character – a good heart, appreciating life, fostering good will toward others – that is important in life.

Yankee pinstripes did not determine a person’s greatness, but the stripes of thoughtfulness, respect, civility, truthfulness, kindness, and charity toward others. This is what is important in the game of life. Many Yankees learned that lesson in the summer of 1979 after the death of their beloved captain.

Because of this unique experience, I was particularly disappointed with the MLB steroid scandal. Weak steroid policies were destructive to the integrity of the game and too many officials ignored the crisis until public outcry forced their hand.

The House Government Reform Committee held a Congressional hearing on March 17, 2005 entitled “Restoring Faith in America’s Pastime: Evaluating MLB’s Efforts to Eradicate Steroid Use” to highlight the Major League Baseball steroid scandal.

I remember listening to the testimony of some of the great contemporary players and thinking that it was an embarrassment to the national pastime. The testimonies lacked veracity and they served as a warning sign depicting so clearly the lack of character in many professional athletes.

These players were given so much by the great game of baseball and they could not stand at the plate with the uniform of character at this congressional hearing. They could have shined so brightly before the nation by courageously speaking the truth.

It was particularly ironic to me that two of the players called to share testimony, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, were highly instrumental in restoring MLB’s popularity when they battled for the home run crown in 1998 while chasing Roger Maris’ record of 61 homers in a season.

McGwire, who hit 70 home runs during that record breaking season, refused to answer questions on whether he took steroids. If only McGwire understood that truthfulness and integrity would have a greater impact on the nation than his home run record.

MLB and American society must learn that the power of truth travels much deeper into the character of the nation than any home run ball into the upper-deck of any stadium. The destructiveness of a lie will live longer than Bobby Thompson’s shot heard round the world and the ramifications of the truth will remain radiant longer than the shine on any World Series ring.

Aside from MLB, the brilliance of character will also shine much brighter than any Olympic gold medal.

Sooner or later, each and every one of us, regardless of our state in life, will be have the opportunity to allow character to shine brightly in our lives.

Final Reflections

As we enjoy the competition of the XXXI Olympiad, we are reminded that character at the games, in all sports, and particularly with our youth programs, must always be emphasized.

America, and all the nations of the world, will be on the path to reawakening our societies, when character is paramount in athletic competition, and with all the responsibilities of civic life.

Related Coverage:

America’s Critical Ethical Issues Demand Resolution

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

America’s 21st Century Teacher: Security, Character, Pedagogy


America’s Leadership Crisis: Reigniting Our Character

Note Well:

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

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

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

Vincent is author of 190 articles including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing.

Photo:

1. Vincent J. Bove with Yankee shortstop Bucky Dent prior to game on April 19, 1982. Dent ws MLB All-Star and 1978 World Series MVP. (Photo Courtesy of Vincent J. Bove Publishing/Credit Nick Ciranni)

2. Hackensack Little League 1998 team coached by author Vincent J. Bove (top row on right). The author’s son Austin is on the bottom right. (Courtesy of Vincent J. Bove Publishing)

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Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Gold Star Families: Honoring Those Who Make the Ultimate Sacrifice

According to the United States Army, the term Gold Star Family is a modern reference that comes from the Service Flag, first flown by families during World War I.

This flag included a blue star for all immediate family members with loved ones serving in the armed forces during any period of war, or hostilities.

In the event a loved one perished, this blue star was replaced by a gold star. This was a testimonial to the community that this family had lost a loved one to the cause of freedom with the ultimate sacrifice.

On the last Sunday in September 1936, America began observing Gold Star Mother’s Day. Before the end of World War II, Gold Star Wives was formed. In August 1947, the Gold Star lapel button was established, a sacred symbol of the losing of a loved one who died serving America.

Gold Star Families: America’s Treasure

Today, whenever a father, mother, sister, brother, son, or daughter, or any loved one dies serving our country, they are recognized as a Gold Star Family member.

This is a solemn tribute of the highest order recognizing those who have offered the ultimate sacrifice and their families. These sacrifices are the most profound expression of American patriotism.

The sacrifice of all who lost heroes, deserves America’s most heartfelt respect, dignity, and gratitude. All who have died serving our nation, as well as their grieving families, must always be honored without compromise.

Gold Star Mothers: Bedrock of America’s Courage

Brenda Cox of Killeen, Texas is one of America’s bedrocks of courage, who became a Gold Star Mother.

She was presented with the Gold Star lapel button after the loss of her beloved son, Pfc. Richard Allen Dewater.

Army Pfc. Dewater was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. He died of wounds sustained from an improvised explosive device while on a dismounted patrol near Korengal Valley, Kunar, Afghanistan.

The words of his mother Brenda immortalize the sentiments of any broken-hearted parent who has lost a child, “It’s supposed to be your children burying you, not the other way around.”

Brenda has used her tragedy for healing hearts of other Gold Star Mothers through Survivor Outreach Services.

“I have friends who know that I am a Gold Star Mother. When a friend loses a child, they reach out to me for comfort and support,” Brenda said.

This comfort and support, complimented by dignity, respect, gratitude, and honor must be the cardinal virtues not only of Gold Star Mother’s and Gold Star Families, but all privileged to call America their home.

America is the land of freedom, liberty, and opportunity only because of the sacrifices of all who have served, especially with the ultimate sacrifice. The sacrifices of their families are inseparable from the sacrifices of our fallen military heroes.

We can only truly honor America when our fallen heroes and their families are treated the most profound respect. This respect must come from the heartbeat of the nation and expressed not only in words but in actions.

Arlington National Cemetery Retrospective

After every one of my presentations throughout the United States over the last 20 years, I have always honored the fallen military personnel and their families with a photo tribute.

This tribute has included one of my personal experiences at the full military internment ceremony of First Lt. Mark Howard Dooley on Friday, July 13, 2007.

Lt. Mark H. Dooley, 27, was killed in Iraq on September 19, 2005. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 172nd Infantry (Mountain) 42nd Infantry Division of the Army National Guard in Jericho, Vermont.

I was invited to this sacred event by his Gold Star Parents, Marion and Peter Dooley.

I met Marion at one of my school violence prevention professional development programs for the Wallkill School District in New York on November 22, 2006.

Marion was grateful for my tribute to America’s military at the end of my presentation, and invited me to the internment of her son Mark. Her request pierced my heart and there would be nothing that would stop me from traveling to Arlington for his internment.

The memory of 1st Lt. Mark H. Dooley deserved my presence and it was my privilege to honor his Gold Star Parents.

Final Reflections

After the interment ceremony of Lt. Dooley, I attended a meal hosted by his family and met many of his loved ones, friends, and military colleagues.

They shared moving stories of the generosity, kindness, respect, and patriotism of Lt. Dooley.

Undoubtedly, the most important reflections were shared by Marion, his Gold Star Mother, who told me her son Mark was always concerned about others. Marion said, “Mark had a unique sense of dedication, care, and responsibility toward his family, friends, military companions, and his country.”

America must always honor the fallen as their sacrifices, inseparable with those of all Gold Star Families, are the pillars of our freedom, liberty, and our cherished way of life.

In honoring those who make the ultimate sacrifice, may America have these verses from “America the Beautiful” forever seared into our souls:

“O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!”

Related Coverage:

Memorial Day: Honor the Fallen, Widows, Orphans

Memorial Day: Honoring America’s Sacred Sacrifices

America’s Veterans: Honoring Our Heroes

Life Lessons From the United States Military

Note Well:

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

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

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

Vincent is author of 190 articles including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing.

Photos

1. Marion W. Dooley (L) and U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. (Ret.) Peter C. Dooley (C) attend the funeral for their son, Army 1st Lt. Mark Harold Dooley, at Arlington National Cemetery, in Arlington, Va., on July 13, 2007. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

2. U.S. Army Gold Star. (Photo Credit U.S. Army)

3. Interment Ceremony of 1st Lt. Mark H. Dooley at his final resting place in Arlington National Cemetery on July 13, 2007. Seated in the front row are (L–R) Peter Dooley and Marion Dooley (Mark’s parents) and Peter Dooley Jr., Mark’s brother. (Vincent J. Bove)

4. Internment procession of 1st Lt. Mark H. Dooley, Arlington National Cemetery, July 13, 2007. (Vincent J. Bove)

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Terrorism Demands Police-Community Unity

As a member of NYPD SHIELD, a counterterrorism program of the New York City Police Department, I am privileged to attend conferences and receive alerts on terrorism incidents and prevention.

This notable public-private partnership is based on providing best practices, lessons learned, counterterrorism training opportunities, and information sharing.

Participation in this program is a reminder of the changing realities of terror, and to work together to prevent incidents. It is critical that other law enforcement agencies nationwide, in partnership with private security professionals, and the community implement comparable programs.

Terrorism is a reality of our times, and we must enhance our vigilance, leadership, and unity of effort to protect our homeland.

France Attack: NYPD SHIELD Alert

On the morning of July 26, I received an email alert from NYPD SHIELD on another terror attack in France.

Unfortunately, these attacks have increased in frequency due to the accelerating terrorism climate not only in France, but internationally, and on American soil as well.

In this most recent alert, NYPD SHIELD provided a link to open source media about this attack at a Roman Catholic Church in Normandy. In this attack, a priest was cowardly assassinated and numerous hostages taken.

The French President, Francois Hollande stated that this attack was committed in the name of ISIS.

Any murder violates the most sacred principle of humanity and is a desecration of every religion. But this killing in a sacred place, where people come for sanctuary and pray for forgiveness, healing, reconciliation, and divine assistance is horrific beyond words.

Terrorism Accelerating Internationally

These are only some of the deadly terror attacks that have taken place internationally and remind us that the world can be a dangerous place:

July 27, 2016: At least 44 people are killed and 150 injured after a truck bomb was detonated in the Kurdish-controlled city of Qamishi, Syria. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack.

July 24: An individual who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, detonated a bomb at a bar in Ansbach, Germany killing himself and wounding 15 people.

July 23: Two suicide bombers killed over 80 people and wounded 230 at a rally in Kabul, Afghanistan. The Islamic State claimed responsibility.

July 15: A truck rams through a Bastille Day crowd in Nice, France, during a celebration of the French National Holiday. At least 84 are killed including many children, and numerous other injured, many in critical condition.

July 3: At least 325 are killed and over 200 wounded in coordinated bomb attacks, one in a busy market, in Baghdad, Iraq.

June 28: At least 31 people are killed at Aratuck International Airport in Turkey by three suicide bombers who detonated explosives.

March 22: At least 31 people are killed and 150 wounded in explosions at the Brussels Airport and a downtown shop.

November 13, 2015: 130 people are killed and hundreds wounded in a series of attacks by terrorists at a rock concert, cafes, and a stadium in Paris.

Terror Attacks on American Soil

As terrorism accelerates internationally, the incidents intensifying on American soil must enhance our vigilance and security.

These incidents include the following:

July 17, 2016: Three Baton Rouge police officers are killed and three injured in a cowardly ambush, only days after five police are assassinated in Texas.

July 7: Five police officers are shot dead by a sniper and nine others are wounded at a peaceful protest rally in Dallas.

December 3, 2015: Two attackers killed 14 and wound 21 at a country employee Christmas party in San Bernardino, California.

July 16: a gunman kills four Marines and a sailor, and also wounds a police officer in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

June 12: A neo-Nazi kills nine at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) during a Bible study group in Charleston, South Carolina.

April 15, 2013: Two bombings at the Boston Marathon finish line kill three, including a child, and injure 183.

Terrorism Warnings

Before 911, there were warnings that terrorists were considering using planes as weapons. These included flying them into the Eiffel Tower in 1994, into CIA headquarters in 1995, and into the White House in 1996.

The attack this week at a Catholic Church in France, as well as the attack of the AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina are warnings.

There was also a massacre on Aug. 5, 2012 at a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin by a white supremacist. At least six people were killed, others wounded, and members of the community terrorized.

These tragedies remind us that there is no place sacrosanct in the mind of a terrorist. There are individuals without conscience, who will take the most vulnerable innocent life and desecrate any sacred place.

These incidents, along with attacks taking place throughout the globe, must motivate us to enhance our vigilance and security countermeasures everywhere, including houses of worship.

Horrific attacks against houses of worship and religious representatives, are also a sobering reminder that terrorists seek not only death and casualties, but trophies that glorify their demented ideologies.

Final Reflections

Currently, America is experiencing tensions, controversies, and problems with police-community relations.

It is critical that we enhance police-community trust through communication, programs, transparency, and accountability. This will enable
America to be postured to protect our communities and our homeland.

Terrorism is accelerating and the next incident can take place anywhere, anytime, and by any means.

America must stand united and enhance our police-community partnerships. This cohesiveness must be built on the pillars of respect, courtesy, character, and patriotism that honors our democratic principles, Constitution, and Bill of Rights.

America must unite to protect our communities, houses of worship, and our homeland, as to be forewarned is to be forearmed.

Related Coverage:

Terrorism Attacks Demand America’s Leadership

Sanctuary Profaned: Protecting America’s Houses of Worship

America, Wake Up: Harden Your Soft Targets

Terrorism Concerns Accelerate: Protecting America


Note Well:


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

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

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

Vincent is author of 190 articles including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing.

Photos:

1. The Chief of Police, Spring 2015 featuring cover story by Vincent J. Bove titled "Terrorism Concerns Accelerate: Protecting America."

2. NYPD, Veterans Day, Fifth Avenue, NYC, Nov. 1, 2014. (Vincent J. Bove)

3. NYPD, Macy's Herald Square, NYC, Nov. 21, 2015. (Vincent J. Bove)

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Fallen Officers Demands America’s Reawakening

The diabolical brutality raged against our police pierces the hearts of loved ones, communities, the law enforcement family, and the very heart of America.

This senseless, unending anguish violates America’s security and rips the cohesiveness of police-community relations, critical to the preservation of society.

The alarming killings of police throughout the country is like one not experienced in decades. It is not just the horrific recent killings of police in Dallas or Baton Rouge. Police are being killed nationwide and the appalling reality is that things might get worse before they get better.

These tragedies are a sad commentary about the brokenness of American society since without collaboration between the police and the people, a society cannot endure.

America must be reawakened and build ethical bridges of respect, dignity, and decency within every facet of society, especially between the police and the people.

These bridges must be built in our schools, campuses, workplaces, families, and communities.

Honoring Fallen Baton Rouge Officers

America was shaken to its core when five police officers were senselessly killed and nine wounded in Dallas on July 7.

The somber memorials and funerals were witnessed not only by America but by countries around the globe, bearing testimony to this reprehensible violence against law enforcement.

Compounding this heart-wrenching loss of heroes gone too soon, was the additional unspeakable killings of three additional officers, and three wounded only ten days later in Baton Rouge.

These officers, representing the best in all of us, were killed responding to protect their community to a call about a suspicious person with an assault rifle.

It is a dangerous time to be a police officer in America. This is manifested unceasingly with violence in our schools, campuses, workplaces, homes, and communities. The violence is also inflicted upon our society’s ethical guardians who have sworn to protect us.

America must respond with full force commitment to resolve the crisis. The lives of the most recently fallen officers, along with all who have died protecting and serving America, must not be in vain.

Corporal Montrell L. Jackson – was a 10-year veteran of the Baton Rouge Police Department. He was a proud new father since he and his wife had just celebrated the birth of a baby just two months ago.

The morning after five police officers were killed in Dallas, Corporal Jackson memorialized his sentiments on Facebook.

“I swear to God I love this city but I wonder if this city loves me. In uniform I get nasty looks and out of uniform some consider me a threat.”

Corporal Jackson added foreboding words applicable not only to his city but to America:

"Please don’t let hate infect your heart. This city must and will get better.”

Just nine days later, Corporal Jackson was dead, killed by the hatred that his admirable life of duty, sacrifice and honor contradicted.

Officer Matthew Gerald – was assigned to the Baton Rouge Police Department uniform patrol bureau.

He was a member of the police department for less than one year and a Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq.

Shortly after the Baton Rouge rampage started, his wife ominously posted on Facebook a link to television coverage of the tragedy. “Everyone please pray!!! She added, “My husband along with others is out there.”

Deputy Brad Garafola - was a father of four and member of the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office since April 23, 1992.

Tonja Garafola, Deputy Garafola’s wife posted these heart-wrenching sentiments about her beloved husband on Facebook after the tragedy, “Our hearts are completely broken and still in disbelief of it all. Brad, I love you so much and I don’t know how to do this without you, you’re my best friend, my rock, and my hero.”

Final Reflections

According to grim statistics from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), preliminary 2016 law enforcement fatalities as of July 19 show a 72 percent increase of firearms-related deaths compared to the same time frame of 2015.

The unity of effort between the police and the people is critical to America. Our nation will only be on the path of reawakening when we fully commit ourselves to ethical pillars of leadership, character, dignity, and respect.

The virtues enshrined on the Baton Rouge Police Department website are protection, obligation, leadership, integrity, courage, and excellence.

The fallen Baton Rouge police officers honored these virtues with their heroic sacrifices. America must honor their lives, and the lives of all who perished protecting and serving our nation. Only when our police and people are truly united will America be on the path to reawakening the nation.

Related Coverage:

Dallas Police Tragedy: Healing, Unity, Renewal

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

Police-Community Collaboration: America’s Public Safety Lifeline

Fallen Police Officers: Honoring American Sentinels

Note Well:

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

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

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

Vincent is author of 190 articles including his weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing.

Photos:

1. People attend a vigil on July, 18, 2016, for Matthew Gerald, one of the three officers killed Sunday, July 17, at the Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge, La. (Leila Macor/AFP/Getty Images)

2. Police officers slain in Baton Rouge from left to right: Montrell Jackson, Matthew Gerald and Brad Garfola. (Photo Credit, Baton Rouge Police Department, East Baton Rough Sheriff's Department)

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