Monday, October 05, 2015

Mass Shooter Crisis: America, Wake Up

America’s mass shooter crisis continues with the most recent heart-wrenching tragedy at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon on October 1, 2015.

Once again the soul of America is scarred.

During this senseless rampage, the worst mass shooting in Oregon history, nine people were killed and at least nine wounded.

Searching America’s Soul

As flags fly once again at half-staff, America must reverently pause and search its soul.

We must also recognize Chris Mintz, representing the finest character of America, who sacrificially placed himself in harm’s way to protect his classmates.

Despite Chris telling the gunman that “It’s my son’s birthday,” and attempting to block a doorway to protect his classmates, he was mercilessly shot numerous times.

Due to his selfless courage, a petition is circulating asking for Chris, a military veteran, be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Hopefully, heroes such as Chris and the many others including first responders at so many mass shooting incidents, will receive media attention, rather than the depraved actions of the assailants.

America must recognize our heroes, not continually glorify depravity by broadcasting the photos, manifestos, intentions, and ideologies of demented killers.

The Second Amendment: Enshrined Not Violated

One of my professional responsibilities over the last 30 years has included being a private security professional, coordinating armed security services.

America needs qualified armed security services, complementing law enforcement dedication, to safeguard society from individuals with nefarious criminal intentions.

Law-abiding citizens must also have their enshrined Second Amendment rights honored and never violated.

But there are individuals who should be unequivocally denied gun access by our Second Amendment that is exemplified by the following tragedies:

Virginia Tech – Thirty-two people are shot dead, including 27 students and five faculty members, and another 17 were wounded the deadliest shooting by a single gunman in U.S. history. The gunman should have never been able to purchase a gun because a court order had previously declared him a danger to himself.

Lafayette Movie Theater – Two people were killed and nine wounded by a shooter who was denied a state-issued concealed weapons permit because he was accused of domestic violence and soliciting arson. The killer was also ordered by a judge to a psychiatric hospital but purchased a weapon legally despite fears from his family members that he was violent and mentally ill.

Emanuel A.M.E. Church – Nine people were killed by an individual who should have been denied purchasing a .45-caliber Glock pistol because he was charged with a misdemeanor and had admitted to possessing drugs. There was a breakdown in the federal gun background check system with FBI Director James B. Comey honestly stating, “We wish we could turn back time. From this vantage point, everything seems obvious.”

Marysville High School, Washington – A 15-year-old used his father’s pistol to kill four students. The father should have been denied the gun purchase since he was the subject of a permanent domestic violence order that was never entered into the federal criminal background database.

Washington Navy Yard – Although he sought treatment for psychiatric issues and told police detailed psychotic experiences, the killer was able to buy a shotgun in Virginia used to kill 12 people. He had been denied an assault rifle purchase.

Newtown, Connecticut – 26 people, mostly children, were killed by a 20-year-old known to have psychiatric and anxiety issues as well as an obsessive-compulsive disorder. He had access to his mother’s guns, which he also used to kill her.

Aurora, Colorado Theater – Although seeing a psychiatrist, and even if for serious mental health issues, weapons were legally purchased by a man who used them to kill 12 people and wounded 70 others.

Tucson, Arizona – Although arrested for drug paraphernalia and a year later failing Army enlistment drug testing, the killer legally brought a handgun to kill six people. He also shot U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, leaving her with a severe brain injury.

Final Reflections
America must search its soul and take back the nation from this mass shooter scourge.

We will be on the path to reawakening the nation when law-abiding citizens have their enshrined Second Amendment rights honored in a manner consistent with reasonable regulations.

Yet, America is also obligated to protect society from individuals that have no right to firearms because of criminal intentions, backgrounds, or disqualifying mental health issues that demand countermeasures for security rather than enabling the crisis.

Note Well

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

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As authored for Vincent’s weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times, 35 countries, 21 languages and growing.

1. Kyle Workman, his wife Christina, and their daughters Pepper (L) and Samantha attend a prayer service and candlelight vigil at River Bend Park to remember the victims of the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in nearby Roseburg, in Winston, Oregon, on Oct. 3, 2015. On Thursday 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer went on a shooting rampage at the college killing nine people and wounding another nine before killing himself. Both Kyle and Christina were students at the school. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

2. Families Roseburg's Green Community Church and Lutheran Church Charities pause to pray at a memorial in front of Snyder Hall on the campus of Umpqua Community College, in Roseburg, Oregon, on Oct. 4, 2015. Chris Harper Mercer, 26, went on a shooting rampage Oct. 1 at the campus, killing nine people and wounding another nine before killing himself. Lacey says she believes she survived the shooting by playing dead next to the bleeding body of fellow student Treven Anspach, who died in the shooting. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

3. Dean (L) and Tammy Hickok attend a prayer service and candlelight vigil at River Bend Park to remember the victims of the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in nearby Roseburg, in Winston, Oregon, on Oct. 3, 2015. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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Friday, October 02, 2015

Oregon College Mass Shooting Tragedy: America, Wake Up

Tragically, we have once again witnessed a horrific act of violence in America with the Thursday, October 1 mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in southwest Oregon.

This tragedy has left at least nine people killed and nine others wounded and reminds us of the violence crisis throughout America.

American flags will once again fly at half-staff. Our culture of violence has no end in sight. Alarmingly, tragedies appear more commonly but outrage within society is diminishing. America must wakeup, take action, and stop the carnage.

A Partial List

Recent and notorious incidents of the rampage paint an unsettling picture:

Sept. 30, 2015 – A principal was shot and wounded at Harrisburg High School, South Dakota.

Sept. 14, 2015 – A Delta State University employee fatally shot a professor in Cleveland, Mississippi.

May 24, 2015 – At Southwestern Classical Academy in Flint, Michigan, 7 people were shot.

Nov. 20, 2014 – Three people are shot at Florida State University in Tallahassee.

June 10, 2014—A student is shot to death by another student at Reynolds High School in Troutdale, Ore. After the killing, the shooter commits suicide.

May 24, 2014—Six lives are lost on the University of California–Santa Barbara campus before the shooter commits suicide.

Apr. 9, 2014—A mass stabbing by a 16-year-old student of 21 people takes place at Franklin Regional High School in Pennsylvania. Four victims were left in serious condition.

Dec.13, 2013—A student dies eight days after being shot at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo.

Oct. 21, 2013—A 12-year-old student kills a teacher and shoots two other 12-year-olds before killing himself at Sparks Middle School in Nevada.

Dec. 14, 2012—A 20-year-old kills 20 children, ages 6 and 7, and 6 adult teachers and staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
April 16, 2007—The deadliest shooting in U.S. history by a single gunman takes place at Virginia Tech with 32 students killed and at least 17 wounded.

Responding to the Crisis

The crisis demands a comprehensive response with many approaches including the following:

• Properly interpreting the Second Amendment
• Threat assessments
• Mental health
• Security vulnerability assessments
• Crisis planning
• Self-defense
• Broken families / family outreach initiatives
• Physical, personnel, and procedural security measures
• Educational, private security, and law enforcement partnerships
• Character education
• Warning signs

Although I appreciate the importance of all of these approaches and have addressed them accordingly in my work, let us take a moment to focus on warning signs. In my presentations throughout the United States since Columbine in 1999, I have found too many individuals in educational, security, and law enforcement positions detached from warning signs.

At numerous venues, I have held up a copy of “Early Warning Timely Response: A Guide to Safe Schools” before large crowds. Many respond that they are unfamiliar with the classic document. This collaborative publication of the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice was released in 1998, before the Columbine High School tragedy in April 1999. It was developed to “provide the practical help needed to keep every child in your school out of harm’s way.”

This document must be required professional development training for all involved with education and school security. It offers research-based practices designed to identify warning signs early and develop prevention, intervention, and crisis response plans related to:

• Social withdrawal
• Excessive feelings of isolation and being alone
• Being a victim of violence
• Feelings of being picked on and persecuted
• Low school interest and 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

I have given thousands of copies of it at assemblies, all at no cost thanks to the aforementioned agencies. The teaching within it is critical because as we continually see with reviewing tragedies, warning signs were ignored and the violence was preventable.

Eyes Wide Open

America must wake up and put the lessons learned from school and campus violence tragedies into action. The reawakening of the nation will only take place when we have eyes wide open to comprehensive security issues and respond to warning signs with full-force resolve and action.

Note Well:

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

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Modified and updated from original authored for Vincent’s weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times, 35 countries, 21 languages and growing.

Photo - 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)

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

America’s Leadership Lessons From Pope Francis

The visit of Pope Francis to America demonstrated enduring, inspirational, and transformational leadership lessons.

These lessons serve as a clarion call to renew individuals, families, communities, and the nation.

There is no one at this present time anywhere on the planet, other than Pope Francis, exemplifying quintessential leadership principles to believers and nonbelievers as well.

The heart of his charismatic ability to transform is a sincere compassion that has humility as its foundation.

Humility: Essential for Authentic Leadership

America was carefully observing the words and actions of Pope Francis during his visit.

His words were efficacious and warmly received because his actions boldly proclaim humility, the essential principle of an effective leader.

Although Pope Francis has the opportunity to live in royalty at the Vatican, he humbly declines living in the opulent papal apartment at the Apostolic Palace and lives in a simple guesthouse suite.

As the first pope in 110 years not to live in the papal apartments, he also takes his meals in the common dining room after morning services with Vatican employees.

In America, although offered to dine with leaders of Congress, he chose a lunch with the homeless of the nation’s capital, a gesture of profound humility.

The humility of the pope is dramatically expressed through his concern for the poor, destitute, and suffering.

As observed throughout his visit, his chosen method of travel was a Fiat and open pope mobile rather than a bulletproof limousine. He continually searched for babies to hold, the needy to bless, and the sick to comfort.

The pope’s decision to stop his motorcade to receive a letter from a 5-year-old pleading for assistance to prevent her parent’s deportation indicates his sensitivity.

Although unreasonable to expect American leaders to negate security measures like the pope, the holy father's personification of humility especially his compassion toward the downtrodden, is worthy of emulation.

Virtue Empowers Eloquence

Eloquence only has the power to influence an audience when it is empowered by the virtuous lifestyle of the speaker.

Abraham Lincoln and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. exemplified this lifestyle, and it served as the catalyst for their persuasive eloquence.

Pope Francis honored both of these great Americans during his address to Congress, but most importantly, he honored our icons through his humility. His eloquence was empowered by his humility as he addressed the critical issues of our time including the following:

Immigration – “We, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners, because most of us once were foreigners.”

Refugee Crisis - "We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation."

Climate Change - "The poorest are those who suffer most from such offenses, for three serious reasons: they are cast off by society, forced to live off what is discarded and suffer unjustly from the abuse of the environment. They are part of today's widespread and quietly growing 'culture of waste.'"

Drug Trafficking - "I would mention another kind of conflict, which is not always so open, yet is silently killing millions of people. Another kind of war, experienced by many of our societies as a result of the narcotics trade. A war which is taken for granted and poorly fought. Drug trafficking is, by its very nature, accompanied by trafficking in persons, money laundering, the arms trade, child exploitation, and other forms of corruption."

Prison Reform - “It is painful when we see prison systems, which are not concerned to care for wounds, to soothe pain, to offer new possibilities."

Sexual Abuse Scandal - “It continues to overwhelm me with shame that the people who were charged with taking care of these tender ones violated their trust and caused them tremendous pain.”

Altruism – “Now is the time for courageous actions and strategies, aimed at implementing a ‘culture of care’ and ‘an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature.”

Final Reflections

Pope Francis has returned to Rome, but his words and actions must remain with us, inspiring Americans to reawaken the nation.

When character, sincerity, and humility serve as our core values, the destiny of America’s moral decency will be reignited.

Note Well:

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

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As authored for Vincent’s weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times, 35 countries, 21 languages and growing.

1. Pope Francis with crowd and American Flag. (Catholic New Media Network)
2. Pope Francis embraces a young man in a wheelchair during the World Meeting of Families in the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, in Philadelphia, on Sept. 26, 2015. (Alessandra Tarantino/AP)
3. Pope Francis greets inmates during his visit to Curran Fromhold Correctional Facility in Philadelphia, on Sept. 27, 2015. (David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

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Monday, September 21, 2015

The Threat Exists: Protecting Pope Francis in America

On September 10, I attended a NYPD SHIELD conference with over 500 law enforcement and private security professionals at One Police Plaza in New York City.

NYPD SHIELD is an outstanding public private partnership dedicated to countering terrorism through information sharing.

The agenda for the event focused extensively on the upcoming visit of Pope Francis.

During his opening remarks, Commissioner William J. Bratton stressed that American law enforcement, specifically the NYPD, have an unprecedented upcoming security challenge later this month.

Bratton emphasized that it would be the first time that the U.N. General Assembly, had simultaneous visits with a pope and our president.

Compounding these security complexities, with the United Nations event alone involving leaders from 170 countries, Bratton also noted that the Jewish high holyday of Yom Kippur and a Central Park concert with an estimated 100,000 people will also be taking place.

Each of these events alone demands meticulously orchestrated security principles of prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. But with Pope Francis at the same time making spontaneous encounters with people, the need for impeccable vigilance is intensified further.

Vigilance: An Essential Security Principle

Honoring the NYPD SHIELD concept, I gave a briefing on September 17 to 100 members and guests of the Bergen County Police Chiefs Association (BCPCA) in New Jersey. The attendees included police chiefs from over 70 jurisdictions and the FBI.

It has been my privilege to serve the BCPCA as a committee spokesperson addressing issues of leadership, violence prevention, crisis planning, and community policing at monthly meetings for the last 12 years.

During my briefing I shared concerns addressed at the NYPD SHIELD conference and disseminated copies of my February 27 Epoch Times article titled “Terrorism Concerns Accelerate: Protecting America.”

Although Pope Francis is an inspirational leader of forgiveness, compassion, and charity to many religious persuasions and nonbelievers as well, I stressed to the BCPCA that there are individuals with nefarious intentions.

The commander of the Vatican security forces has confirmed “the threat exists” against Pope Francis from ISIS, although he stated “we know of no plan for an attack against the Vatican or the Holy Father.”

Pope Francis personifies everything that not only the Islamic State despises, but he is also a target to others who would profane religion to justify violence including al-Qaida, Boko Haram, al-Shabab, or others with a demented agenda, including lone wolf assailants.

Recently, the FBI arrested a 15-year-old boy outside of Philadelphia for allegedly threatening an ISIS inspired assault on Pope Francis while he tours America.

Pope John Paul II: Attempted Assassination

The May 13, 1981 attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II, who was seriously wounded by gunfire in Saint Peter’s Square, is a horrifying reminder of hate, violence, and depravity.

The assailant, an escaped Turkish murderer, fired four shots at the pontiff, one of which hit him in the abdomen narrowly missing vital organs; and the other that hit his left hand.

After being rushed to a Rome hospital, the pope underwent more than five hours of surgery and survived after being listed in critical but stable condition.

Although the motives of the assailant remain obscure, one lesson is painstakingly obvious, that a pope is a possible target of assassination.

National Security Special Event

The visit of Pope Francis has been deemed by what the Department of Homeland Security labels a “national security special event” and will be under the command of the Secret Service.

Protecting the pope will be an incredible task demanding collaboration of the NYPD, Secret Service, FBI, Department of Homeland Security, many other law enforcement agencies including the Vatican's Swiss Guard, and private security professionals.

Complementing these dedicated professionals, the vigilant eyes, ears, and voices of the public are also critical to protecting Pope Francis and other possible soft or high profile targets representing our cherished way of life.

Although there is no specific or credible threat at this time, let us be vigilant in protecting Pope Francis and our safeguarding our homeland as to be forewarned is to be forearmed.

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

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As authored for Vincent’s weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times, 35 countries, 21 languages and growing.

1. Pope Francis, Saint Peter's Square, May 13,2013.(Edgar Jimenez)
2. Numerous law enforcement agencies collaborate at NYPD headquarters on Sept. 14, 2015 as part of Pope Francis security preparations. (Courtesy FBI)
3. Pope Francis, Bethlehem, May 25, 2014. (Mustafa Badar)

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Monday, September 14, 2015

Videos Are Transforming Police-Community Relations

Video technology is an inestimable resource when used ethically, responsibly, and legally to serve society.

This technology must have an unconditional respect for human dignity, civil rights, and moral principles of truthfulness, transparency, and accountability.

Specifically, video technology has a critical role to play in America’s need for improving police-community relations.

Tennis Star, NYPD Incident

The NYPD is in the spotlight due to a recently recorded surveillance video with a plainclothes officer aggressively blindsiding former tennis star James Blake.

In the video, Blake is grabbed, thrown to the ground, and handcuffed behind his back as he lay face down on a Manhattan sidewalk.

Blake was videoed being completely passive and not resisting through the entire incident.

Once ranked as the fourth best player in the world, Blake was waiting in front of the Hyatt Grand Hotel for his ride to the US Open for a corporate appearance.

According to Blake, he was then detained for 10-15 minutes without this officer or any other properly identifying themselves.

This incident demands an honest assessment, comprehensive investigation, and dignified interaction between Blake and law enforcement.

It also requires investigating past complaints against the officer who is the defendant in at least two previous lawsuits alleging excessive use of force.

NYPD Commissioner’s Ethical Track Record

NYPD Commissioner William J. Bratton is an honest professional with a track record of character, ethics, and leadership.

Bratton’s credentials involve 45 years of policing that obey the Constitution and highligt police-community collaboration.

I am confident that this incident will be impeccably investigated and that Bratton will exemplify moral courage with his decision.

Although the investigation of this particular incident with Blake is in process, an incident on May 1, 2007 with the Los Angeles Police firing rubber bullets on demonstrators and journalists at an immigration rally in MacArthur Park comes to mind.

Bratton, who was LAPD Chief at that time, stated that it was the “worst incident of this type I have ever encountered in 37 years in law enforcement.”

He also told reporters at the time, “I’m not going to defend the indefensible…things were done that shouldn’t have been done.”

About 60 members of an elite LAPD street unit were taken off duty by Bratton and were not allowed to return to active street duties until they had undergone retraining.

Bratton’s honesty is what the NYPD and 21st Century Policing in America deserves.

Videos: Transparency, Accountability, Reform

The video age is here to stay and will only intensify with more surveillance cameras, police body cameras, and police videos by civilians.

Additional videos documenting incidents include the following:

• August 7 – Officer Brad Miller is terminated for using poor judgement after a surveillance video shows the moments prior to his killing of an unarmed black college student in Arlington, Texas.
• July 7 – Officer Ray Tensing is charged with murder after his body camera shows him shooting an unarmed black man after a traffic stop at the University of Cincinnati.
• June 5 – Officer David Eric Casebolt is videoed pointing a gun at teenagers in bathing suits and shoving a black girl’s face into the ground in McKinney, Texas.
• April 12 – Six officers in Baltimore are charged with crimes including murder after a raw video surfaces.
• April 4 – Officer Michael T. Slager is recorded shooting eight times toward the back of an unarmed black man running away after a traffic stop.
• July 17, 2014 – Eric Garner, 43, died after NYPD officers tried to arrest him for illegally selling cigarettes. The video documents him repeatedly saying, “I can’t breathe.”

Final Reflections

Although countless acts of meritorious, exemplary, and courageous acts by police take place daily that never go viral, any video documenting concerns must be comprehensively, impartially, and honestly investigated to enhance police-community relations.

Videos portraying a small percentage of improper behavior must never be sensationalized by the media or anyone to exploit the honorable service of the overwhelming majority of law enforcement professionals.

Society must use video technology to honestly address issues of civil rights, justice, transparency, accountability, and reform.

Video technology will then be an effective tool for reawakening the nation, not an instrument of discord, sensationalism, or turmoil.

Note Well:

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

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As authored for Vincent’s weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times, 35 countries, 21 languages and growing.

1. NYPD Graduation, July 2, 2015. (Courtesy NYPD)
2. This image taken from a surveillance camera and released by the New York Police Department shows former tennis star James Blake (R), being arrested by plainclothes officer James Frascatore, outside of the Grand Hyatt New York Hotel, in New York City, on Sept. 9, 2015. Blake was mistaken for an identity-theft suspect that Police Commissioner William J. Bratton said looked like Blake's "twin." Bratton apologized to Blake. (NYPD via AP)
3. NYPD Commissioner William J. Bratton at a news conference on the mistaken arrest of James Blake, a retired top-10 professional tennis player, in New York City, on Sept. 10, 2015. NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert K. Boyce is pictured on the right. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
4. Rialto PD Police Sgt. with body cameras. (Courtesy USDOJ COPS July 2015 newsletter)
5. Police officer with body camera. (Courtesy USDOJ COPS July 2015 newsletter)

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Tuesday, September 08, 2015

9/11 Remembrance: Compassion, Honor, Patriotism

As the nation pauses on Patriot Day, Friday, September 11, 2015—the solemn anniversary of 9/11, the day that changed America forever—it is necessary to honor the fallen, their loved ones, and all the heroes who served and continue to serve.

We must honor them eternally and in remembering 9/11, we must be passionately dedicated to transform America.

Honoring the Fallen

The victims from the World Trade Center, Flight 11, Flight 175, Flight 77, Flight 93, and the Pentagon will forever remind us of that fateful day.

All across America—in our churches, synagogues, mosques, communities, homes, and hearts—we must pray for the repose of their souls and for peace in the hearts of their families, friends, and communities.

As America solemnly reflects on of 9/11 and mourns for the nearly 3,000 lost lives, we must remain vigilant in securing and strengthening our nation.

America must not ever allow their passing to be forgotten. We must remain vigilant and rededicate ourselves to the virtues inspired by the 9/11 tragedy: compassion, honor, patriotism.

Honoring the 9/11 Heroes

The anniversary of 9/11 must inspire our country to honor countless heroes who served victims and their loved ones.

These heroes, many whom are unsung, represent the best in all of us and rose to the occasion from every imaginable profession, nationality, religion, and ethnicity.

America is forever grateful for these dedicated men and women-including our military-and their tireless service to community, colleagues, and country.

In Remembrance: Detective James L. Zadroga

In January 2006, I attended the funeral of NYPD Detective James L. Zadroga in North Arlington, New Jersey.

Detective Zadroga, died at 34-years-old, of a respiratory disease attributed to his heroic participation in rescue and recovery operations in the decimated World Trade Center site following the 9/11 attacks.

Zadroga was the first member of the NYPD who died as a result of his exposure to toxic chemicals at the attack site. Although Zadroga was a healthy non-smoker, he developed a chronic cough immediately after his work began in the rubble. Within months of his valiant work at the site, his health deteriorated into shortness of breath and the inability to walk very short distances.

Although I was not privileged to personally know this 9/11 hero, Detective Zadroga was the son of my colleague, Chief Joseph Zadroga. Chief Zadroga and I worked together for many years on numerous community policing, school violence prevention, and terrorism awareness initiatives for the Bergen County Law & Public Safety Institute in Mahwah, New Jersey.

Honoring Detective Zadroga and all 9/11 heroes, the James L. Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act was enacted five years ago.

This law justly provides compensation and health coverage to heroic firefighters, police, first responders, and others suffering from health ailments associated with toxic air they breathed at Ground Zero after the attack.

This Act is now up for extension. Otherwise, it will expire and leave individuals who have fallen sick without coverage.

Congress must act swiftly and decisively in the name of justice, ensuring the Zadroga Act is permanently extended with the funds required for 9/11 victims.

Renewal, Transformation, Triumph

America must rise from the 9/11 tragedy with dedication to renewal, transformation, and triumph in our great land.

Our nation must shine as a beacon of compassion with assistance to those suffering from the consequences of 9/11 and the vigilance needed to prevent additional tragedies.

The lessons learned from “The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States” must be reviewed, understood, and implemented to ensure America’s security.

A nation champions leadership, vigilance, and collaboration when it remembers those in need, remains dedicated to security, and responds with full force understanding, justice, and benevolence.

Note Well:

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

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As authored for Vincent’s weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times, 35 countries, 21 languages and growing.


1. A guest carries a photograph during the commemoration ceremony at the National September 11 Memorial in New York, N.Y., on the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks against the United States, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
2. A woman touches a name on the edge of the North Pool at the National September 11 Memorial in New York, N.Y., Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
3. Detective James Zadroga with his wife Ronda who died in 2004.
4. September 11 Memorial at the James Zadroga Soccer Field, N. Arlington, New Jersey (NYC JD)

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Monday, August 31, 2015

Policing Dangers Demand Community Collaboration

Once again America's heart is wounded as a dedicated law enforcement official is contemptuously murdered.

The ongoing senseless killings of America’s ethical sentinels must engage our moral compass and inspire a unity of effort among us to stop the madness.

Deputy Darren H. Goforth, a 10-year-veteran of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, was killed while in uniform on Friday, August 28, 2015.

Goforth’s life was taken in an “execution-style shooting” while he was fueling his patrol car near Houston, Texas, according to County Sheriff Ron Hickman.

Hickman referred to this killing as “senseless and cowardly” and that Goforth was targeted only “because he wore a uniform.”

Deputy Goforth leaves behind a wife and two children, ages 5 and 12.

Law Enforcement Dangers

Aside from the death of Deputy Goforth, other law enforcement heroes have also been reprehensibly murdered for wearing the uniform, including 14 ambush killings in 2014.

These included NYPD Officer Rafael Ramos, 40, and his partner, Officer Wenjian Liu, 32, both killed as they sat inside their police cruiser in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, on December 20, 2014.

As expressed by Police Commissioner William J. Bratton at the time, “Today, two of New York’s Finest were shot and killed, with no warning, no provocation. They were, quite simply, assassinated—targeted for their uniform, and for the responsibility they embraced to keep the people of this city safe.”

On the day of his death, Officer Ramos was just one hour away from graduating from a volunteer chaplain program after 10 weeks of study. He had just celebrated his 40th birthday.

Officer Wenjian Liu was a seven-year veteran of the department and was married just two months prior to being killed.

Once, Officer Liu told a neighbor, “I know being a cop is dangerous but I must do it. If I don’t do it and you don’t do it, then who is going to do it?”

According to preliminary data compiled by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 64 law enforcement officials have already been killed in the line of duty during the first half of 2015.

Traffic-related incidents are the leading cause of officer fatalities with thirty officers killed so far this year.

Firearms-related fatalities are the second cause of death among law enforcement officials with 18 fatalities so far this year.

Vigilance must be the order of the day for all law enforcement officials. Every community member must also have eyes wide open to assist our police. America would quickly disintegrate into anarchy, chaos, and disorder, and so we must honor this profession.

The death of Deputy Goforth once again reminds us of the courage, sacrifice, and dangers facing all who protect and serve America’s communities and demands police community collaboration.

Police-Community: A Call for Unity

As detailed in my “Principles of American Policing” authored previously for the Epoch Times, the police-community unity is indispensable to American society.

Collaboration is the only solution as “being pro-police and pro-community are inseparable, indefatigable, and pre-eminent.”

These are challenging times of violence throughout America and every community, citizen, and law enforcement official is a potential victim.

America's culture of violence is continually victimizing schools, campuses, workplaces, communities, families, and law enforcement.

The police and community must be fully dedicated to violence prevention, community policing, and unity of effort initiatives.

We must take back America through a police-community collaboration.

Our law enforcement officials have the sworn oath to protect and serve. Their ethical compass demands moral courage to protect community, build trust, and uphold the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Every citizen must also be guided by an ethical compass. Citizens also have responsibilities, duties, and obligations to society. The citizenry must respect those dedicated to protect and serve and to work closely with them for the common good.

Police Community Unity

These are challenging times in America that demands police-community cohesiveness.

When this unity of effort between our law enforcement and law-abiding citizens takes place, America’s commitment to reawakening the nation will be ignited.

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

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As authored for Vincent’s weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times, 35 countries, 21 languages and growing.

1. Deputy Sheriff Darren H. Goforth (Courtesy Harris County Sheriffs Office)
2. NYPD Tribute for Officers Ramos and Liu. (Courtesy NYPD)
3. NYPD presence in Times Square, NYC, April 30, 2015. (Vincent J. Bove)

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Monday, August 24, 2015

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

The 2015 school year is upon us and the 21st century teacher must safeguard, inspire, and instruct students throughout America.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, about 50.1 million students will attend public elementary and secondary schools in 2015.

The public school system will employ about 3.1 million full time teachers in nearly 98,500 schools.

An additional 4.9 million will attend private schools and 20.2 million students are expected to attend American colleges and universities.

This educational system is the heart of America's future.

School Security Is Indispensable

One of many training initiatives for educators must include “Early Warning Timely Response: A Guide to Safe Schools” by the U.S. Department of Education. This classic document includes intervention for student warning signs including the following:

• Social withdrawal
• Excessive feelings of isolation or 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

This document is compulsory because as we continually see with tragedies, warning signs were ignored and the violence was preventable.

Character Education

America’s teachers must also make character education paramount.

Our character crisis, expressed through continuous scandals throughout society, did not happen overnight. It will take generations to transform
America and we must begin now with full-force dedication through our schools.

Our youth must light the torch of character and keep the flame burning bright. Their energy, enthusiasm, and generosity will build a better world.

The youth of our nation are a priceless treasure and deserve encouragement. Their families, communities, educators, and nation are entrusting them with America’s future.

Our youth deserve good example, commitment, and guidance to ignite a renewal of character within the nation.

The Preventive System

In my opinion, there are essentially two basic forms of educational pedagogy in American schools.

There is the repressive system which makes rules known, watches for transgressions, and is quick to discipline a student by inflicting condescending correction and punishment.

The misguided zero tolerance policy in so many schools is an example of this bureaucratic, impersonal, and repressive rigid system.

An effective pedagogy is the preventive system of education. In this system, educators are vigilant in a caring manner and offer inspirational guidance from the heart consistent with kindness, character, and reasonableness.

The preventive system of education builds trust and connections with students, coworkers, and the community.

Opposed to zero tolerance, the preventive system is a measured intervention approach promoting reasonableness, dignity, and respect.

Simply expressed, the repressive system is dictatorial and may temporarily stop a disorder but will not inspire students. The preventive system speaks the language of the heart and is transformational.

These are some of the principles of the preventive system of education, deserving cultivation in America’s schools:

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

Final Reflections

The American school system is critical to the future of the nation.

America’s reawakening will take place when security, character education, and the preventive system of education are made paramount by our teachers throughout our schools, colleges, and universities.

Note Well

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

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

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As authored for Vincent’s weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times, 35 countries, 21 languages and growing.

1. Cover- Teacher in early childhood setting, May 1, 2008. (Public Domain / woodleywonderworks)
2. Copies of "Early Warning Timely Response..." presented to all North Arlington Public Schools (New Jersey) professional development program attendees, Vincent J. Bove keynote, Sept. 3, 2013. (Vincent J. Bove)
3. Students from the Union City Public Schools attend Vincent J. Bove presentation titled "Be a Person of Character: Change the World, February 27, 2009 (Vincent J. Bove)

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Monday, August 17, 2015

New York City Homeless Deserve Police Union Respect

It is no secret that there is a great rift between the NYPD Sergeant’s Benevolent Association (SBA) and the mayor.

Although the SBA is entitled to its opinion, encouraging members to take photos of the homeless and post them online to insult the mayor’s policies is disheartening, divisive, and dysfunctional.

There are countless acts of respect toward the homeless by the NYPD every day, but this SBA program is certainly not one of them.

This is a shameful menagerie with captions mocking the crestfallen rather than a collaboration designed to solve the homelessness crisis.

The SBA scheme reveals a juvenile maliciousness and demands outrage by the NYPD rank and file and all New Yorkers.

Courtesy, Professionalism, Respect

The overwhelming majority of NYPD officers reflect qualities emblazoned on every one of their vehicles; courtesy, professionalism, respect.

As memorialized by my initiatives and published works, I have great appreciation for the NYPD.

But this SBA scheme is diametrically opposed to its sworn noble call to protect and serve.

Hopefully, there will be an overwhelming response from the NYPD rank and file for the SBA to cease exploiting the homeless as callous political weapons.

Awareness, Compassion, Dignity

On May 2, 2014 I addressed the heart-wrenching reality of homelessness in American society in my Epoch Times column titled “America’s Forgotten Homeless: Awareness, Compassion, Dignity.”

New York City, one of the most affluent societies ever known, and home of some of the world’s richest people, paints a sad picture of the homeless crisis.

Although the city is the epicenter of wealth, education, entertainment, tourism, culture, and diversity, we are failing the homeless.

The homeless are encountered in every famed location of the city; Central Park, Fifth Avenue, Grand Central Terminal, Lincoln Center, Bryant Park, Times Square, and Wall Street and in every borough.

Their suffering must serve as a wake-up call to our conscience and inspire the realignment of our moral compass.

Every human being must avoid the arrogance that ostracizes, belittles, or mocks anyone who is distressed, impoverished, or marginalized.

America must engrave into its soul that we are only great when there is dignity toward all persons.

Tragic NYC Homeless Statistics

According to the State of the Homeless 2015 Report of the Coalition for the Homeless, the New York City crisis continues with the number of homeless people sleeping in municipal shelters each night at 60,000. This includes 25,000 children.

The Coalition for the Homeless report also states that during the last City fiscal year, an “all-time-record 116,000 different New Yorkers, including 42,000 different children, slept at least one night in the New York City shelter system.”

Homelessness and Mental Health

Although more research must be done on the correlation between homelessness and mental health, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that about 30% of the people who are chronically homeless have mental health conditions and about 50% have co-occuring substance abuse problems.

SAMHSA also reports that over 92% of mothers who are homeless have experienced severe physical and/or sexual abuse.

Also, about 50% of homeless mothers have experienced a major depression since becoming homeless.

Among homeless youth, SAMSHA reports higher rates of mood disorders, suicide attempts, conduct disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder compared to the general adolescent population.

These youth also are more likely to have histories of physical or sexual abuse or experience trauma prior to homelessness.

The Ethical High Ground

The SBA has the opportunity to take the ethical high ground once again. This union failed when its leadership motivated a copycat performance by a small group of police officers who turned their backs on the mayor at funerals of two its fallen heroes, Officer Raphael Ramos and Officer Wenjian Liu last year.

The overwhelming majority of police attendees, estimated to be over 20,000, honored these great men without turning their backs.

We must have the dignity to turn our backs on no one, especially the homeless. There is always a way to do the right thing even with disagreements between the SBA and the mayor.

The SBA, political leaders, and all members of society must collaborate on the homeless crisis as the destitute deserve compassion, dignity, and respect.

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

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

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As authored for Vincent’s weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times, 35 countries, 21 languages and growing.

1. NYPD Officer Larry De Primo gives pair of boots to homeless man in Times Square, Nov. 14, 2012. (Jennifer Foster/NYPD Facebook)
2. Times Square, July 27, 2011. (Vincent J. Bove)
3. Bethseda Terrace, Central Park, April 4, 2013. (Vincent J. Bove)
4. Missionaries of Charity, assisting the homeless at Columbus Circle, NYC, Nov. 4. 2011. (Vincent J. Bove)

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Monday, August 10, 2015

America’s Next President Needs to Have Altruistic Leadership

The campaign for America’s next president is beginning to accelerate and will soon be firing on all cylinders.

Americans are interested, attentive, and concerned.

Recently, the GOP debate was watched by 24 million viewers, making it the highest-rated primary debate in American history.

America and the International Community

During the debate, American issues were expressed as inseparable from the international community.

Numerous countries mentioned throughout the debate by candidates and the moderators demonstrated the criticality of a president who has a world perspective.

Specifically, concerns over Iran, Israel, Russia, and China were addressed most during the debate. This was followed by concerns over Iraq, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia.

America's leadership is essential to the international community with issues critical to all that include the following: economics, employment, poverty, environmental degradation, peaceful coexistence, human rights, healthcare, and hunger.

America’s Influence Begins at Home

America’s positive influence on the international community will only be efficacious if we remedy problems right here at home.

Our nation demands altruistic leadership that can inspire remedies to our problems including: immigration, civil rights, national security, violence prevention, veterans services, education, police-community relations, unemployment, and poverty.

America also needs leadership that can also address issues of ethical deterioration witnessed through a crisis of corruption and scandals, family brokenness, and a decline in patriotism.

Leadership will be the preeminent principle to the future of our nation and the world community. Altruism, a profound compassion for others, must be the heart of America and our next president.

An individual with an antagonistic, combative, or manipulative style of leadership will be a disservice to the nation. This is is not the leader that America needs.

Also, America will not benefit from a president who is arrogant, condescending, or apathetic. This individual will be aloof and unable to connect with the concerns, challenges, or difficulties of others.

The leader that America needs is authentically altruistic and unselfishly devoted to those entrusted to his care. The altruistic leader is passionately devoted to the greater good and maximizes achievements by inspiring positive influence.

Visionary Leadership Principles

America’s next president will have the responsibility to favorably influence not only the nation but the world community.

The president will need altruistic leadership principles with ethics, character, respect, and dignity as pillars.

In my leadership initiatives throughout the United States for law enforcement, community leaders, educators, families, and students, I have stressed altruism as the heart of the visionary leader.

It is my fervent hope that America’s next president will live by these principles, shared over the years as the following:

• Leadership is grounded in moral self-confidence developed by understanding, fortitude, and respect for others.
• Leadership always accepts the diversity, experiences, and insights of others and forges partnerships as essential to a noble cause.
• Leadership is acutely aware of the efficacy of truth, honor, and valor and the destructiveness of deception, selfishness, and arrogance.
• Leadership always opposes the immorality of injustice and any disrespect toward anyone.
• Leadership understands that influence is only possible when credibility is inflamed by character, the virtue necessary for persuasion.
• Leadership is service, responding to the needs of community through humility, dignity, and honesty.
• Leadership can overcome every trial, hardship, and obstacle to achieve its goal.
• Leadership is empowered by silence, solitude, and moral courage.
• Leadership possesses extraordinary compassion, empathy, and sensitivity that is always sincere and never superficial. It has wisdom forged through tribulation and is dedicated without compromise to alleviating human suffering.
• Leadership challenges the status quo, inspiring action by recognizing and appreciating the goodness of others.

Call to Action

America’s next president must be able to realign the nation, inspiring an ethical society devoted to social responsibility, moral courage, and patriotic values.

Our president must have a balcony mentality, understanding that the eyes of the nation will be looking up to him for inspiration, guidance, and example.

The president must be fervantly committed to reawakening the nation through acts of altruistic leadership.

America, the eyes of your people and the world are upon you.

Note Well:

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

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As authored for Vincent’s weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times, 35 countries, 21 languages and growing.


1. White House South Lawn, Washington, D.C., (Mar. 11, 2002) – More than 1,000 people gathered with President Bush on a chilly Monday morning for a six-month remembrance of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Members from 29 coalition nations in the worldwide fight against terrorism, more than 120 ambassadors, members of Congress, the Bush Cabinet, Supreme Court and armed forces also attended. (U.S. Navy Photo by Rudi Williams)

2. The U.S. Navy ceremonial guard march off the South Lawn of the White House at the conclusion of the arrival ceremony on June 7, 2011 welcoming Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Dr. Angela Merkel. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Musician Stephen Hassay)

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