Friday, November 21, 2014

College Rapes, Sexual Assaults: America’s Nightmare

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

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

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

Staggering Statistics

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

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

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

Character Education and Leadership Initiatives

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

Final Reflections

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

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

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

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

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

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Domestic Violence, Shelters, Homelessness: Wake Up, America

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

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

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

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

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

Domestic Violence Definition

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

Domestic Violence and Homelessness

According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness:

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

NYC Domestic Violence

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

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

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

Final Reflection

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

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

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

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

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Friday, November 07, 2014

America’s Veterans: Honoring Our Heroes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Friday, October 31, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Friday, October 24, 2014

In Remembrance: Honoring Police End-of-Watch Fatalities

These are challenging times for police officers throughout America.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

AAA North Jersey Annual Community Traffic Awards Keynote

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Friday, October 17, 2014

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

America is facing a crisis of character through all facets of society.

Our character crisis is continually spotlighted with government, corporate, sports, entertainment, and even faith-based scandals.

In government, titans of influence including the former vice president’s chief of staff, governors, congressmen, and officials from every level of public service have violated positions of trust. Instead, many are now convicted felons who have been imprisoned.

The corporate world has proven that greed, self-aggrandizement, and contempt continually transform prestige to handcuffs and shackles.

Professional football players, major league baseball players, and Olympians have betrayed the public’s admiration by cheating, crimes, and misconduct.

The star-studded red carpets of Hollywood headline idolized careers continually destroyed by addictions.

A massive and pervasive character crisis has even tainted the hallowed halls of faith-based communities with sins, crimes, and cover-ups that make all of nature blush.

Sayreville’s Character Crisis
The youth of America are not immune to our crisis of character.

At Sayreville War Memorial High School in New Jersey, a scandal has recently paralyzed the community and wreaked havoc on many lives. The sobering realities of this scandal include:

•Arrests of seven high school football players on aggravated sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual contact, conspiracy, criminal restraint, and hazing charges. There is a strong possibility these teens will be tried as adults and imprisonment is a possibility
•The seven students have been suspended from school and college athletic scholarships are being lost
•Brokenness in the lives of victims and in the entire community. Additional concerns include on-going harassment, long-term therapy, family conflicts, and ostracizing the victims and their families—who should be treated as heroes for their moral courage—by the community and fellow students
•Failure of the entire community concerning character development and the lack of supervisory and leadership skills by the football team coaching staff
•The cancellation of the team’s football season that also has negative ramifications on innocent players, cheerleaders, students, and the entire Sayreville community. The suspension may also be extended beyond the current season
•The embarrassing reinforcement to American education that bullying, hazing, and a lack of values is a reality. Tragically, character education often takes a back row to athletic accomplishments at schools and campuses nationwide.
•Extreme challenges for normalcy and healing at the school due to a barrage of national media coverage

Be a Person of Character
Although I have been privileged to address many assemblies. My signature presentation for students, “Be a Person of Character: Change the World,” carries the paramount message.

During this presentation, I ask students to take a journey with me. A candid picture of societal challenges is painted:

•Our Character Crisis
•Negative Behavior and Consequences
•Broken Families
•The Gang Mentality
•America’s “Get High” Society

We then move from challenges to the power of character accentuating examples of positive behavior of America’s youth to inspire these qualities:

•Greatness through Sacrifice
•Living a Life of Ethical Dignity
•Kindness, Respect, Civility, Compassion
•Community Building
•Bringing Out the Best in Others
•Helping Others Do What Is Right

Developing Citizens of Character
America’s character crisis did not happen overnight. It will take generations to transform our nation 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 crisis of character may have its day. But in due time, the character of our youth will lift the nation.
The youth of our nation are a priceless treasure and deserve encouragement. Their families, communities, and nation entrust them with America’s future. They deserve good example and guidance to ignite a renewal of character within America.

Eyes on America’s Future
At times it can seem that the future is bleak when bombarded by one crisis after another. But America’s future is bright because of the potential of our youth. The positive influence of families and community must ignite the power of character within each of them and inspire their mission to reawakening the nation.

As originally published in Vincent's weekly column titled "Reawakening the Nation" in the Friday, Oct. 17, 2014 edition of the Epoch Times.

1. Vincent addressing FBI agents and supervisors as keynote speaker for the Newark Division Management retreat on Sept. 17, 2014. Vincent encouraged the FBI to enhance character education initiatives for schools through their community outreach. (Courtesy FBI)
2. Middle school students at Washington School in Union City, N.J., listen to Vincent’s signature presentation “Be a Person of Character: Change the World” on Feb. 27, 2008. (Vincent J. Bove)
3. Vincent J. Bove at the United States Military Academy, West Point, with attendees of his “Be a Person of Character: Change the World,” keynote on April 3, 2009. All attendees received copies of his latest book titled “Listen To Their Cries” through the generosity of Fairleigh Dickinson University. (Vincent Bove Publishing)
4. Over 800 students and family members prior at Vincent Bove's keynote titled: “Be a Person of Character: Change the World,” on March 8, 2014. The event was held by Monmouth University to recognize their National Honor Society inductees. All inductees received copies of “Listen To Their Cries” through the generosity of the university. (Vincent J. Bove)

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Friday, October 10, 2014

Transforming the NYPD: Terminating Toxic Police Officers

There are priceless lessons the NYPD—and every police department—can learn from the ideals of the United States Military Academy, commonly referred to as West Point.

Essentially, the mission of West Point is to educate, train, and inspire leaders of character, ethics, and moral courage.

These principles are pivotal to the values of duty, honor, and country, which are the heart of a United States Army officer.

These ideals have inspired my work at numerous West Point initiatives, including the National Conference on Ethics in America.

More recently, I have been privileged to address law enforcement officials along with Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen Jr., Superintendent of West Point.

One event was the inaugural New Jersey Conference: Character, Ethics, Leadership. The event at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey was filled to capacity with law enforcement officials.

Another event was an FBI leadership retreat that included representatives from every office of the Newark Field Office.

During our presentations, character, ethics, leadership, and moral courage were highlighted by both Gen. Caslen and me as essential to the development of military and police officers.

NYPD: Developing Leaders of Character
High ethical standards are critical to all who seek to protect and serve society, both in military and police professions.

For instance, the West Point Honor Code states, “A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.”

Similarly an NYPD officer must also adhere to ethical principles including respect, honesty, diversity, and dedication to duty.

These principles are particularly critical to the NYPD based on contemporary issues articulated by Commissioner William J. Bratton during a recent retreat of over 800 top department executives.

In his customary transparent honesty, Bratton addressed the small percentage of NYPD officers who are “poisoning the well” and needed to be weeded out.

“My intention going forward is to ensure that we will aggressively seek to get those out of the department who should not be there—the brutal, the corrupt, the racist, the incompetent …

“They are poisoning the well, and the trust that we deserve and the trust that we need is eroded by some of their actions” Bratton said.

Disturbing Unethical NYPD Videos
The heart of sound law enforcement philosophy is based on the rock-solid Nine Principles of Policing by Sir Robert Peel.

These principles are summarized by the saying “the police and the people are one” and the thought that effective policing mandates “pubic approval of police existence, actions and behavior.”

Contravening ethical behavior and detrimental to police–people collaboration was a video montage shared at the retreat that substantiated Bratton’s concerns. The video titled “What would you do?” clearly depicted unethical NYPD behavior, including the following:
•An officer kicking a vendor while the man was on the ground after other officers had already subdued and cuffed him
•An officer demonstrating disturbing physical aggression against a five-month-pregnant woman in Brooklyn
•Two Bronx cops—subsequently convicted—punching and kicking a 17-year-old in an alley
•A rookie cop body-slamming an innocent passing bicyclist at a Times Square rally in 2008

West Point–NYPD Parallels
There is no place for aspiring U.S. Army officers who dishonor the ethics of the West Point Honor Code. The honorable service in America’s military demands leaders of character, ethics, and moral courage.

Policing is also an honorable, admirable, and ethical profession. There is no place for any officer—poignantly articulated by Bratton—who is “so callous, so brutal, so corrupt that they feel comfortable engaging in those acts of brutality and acts of corruption without fear.”

Character, ethics, leadership, and moral courage must be the heart of all at West Point and the NYPD. These principles are essential for protecting the nation, enhancing police-public collaboration, and ultimately reawakening the nation.

Note Well
As originally published in Vincent's weekly column titled "Reawakening the Nation" for the Epoch Times on Friday, Oct. 10, 2014.

1. NYPD at Times Square on Sept. 21, 2014 (Vincent J. Bove)
2. Lieutenant General Robert L. Caslen, Jr. delivering the keynote at The Inaugural New Jersey Conference: Character, Ethics, Leadership. The event, held at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey on May 12, 2014 was filled to capacity with 250 law enforcement professionals. (Vincent J. Bove)
3. NYPD Commissioner William J. Bratton (Allen Xie / Epoch Times)
4. NYPD Cruiser at 59th Street in NYC on Sept. 21, 2014. (Vincent J. Bove)
5. Lieutenant General Robert L. Caslen, Jr. and the author Vincent J. Bove at The Inaugural New Jersey Conference: Character, Ethics, Leadership on May 12, 2014. Caslen and Bove were speakers at the event hosted by The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. (Photo Courtesy Vincent J. Bove Publishing)

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Friday, October 03, 2014

Active Shooter Incidents Increasing: FBI Study Demands Vigilance

According to a newly released FBI study, mass shootings are occurring more frequently in recent years—nearly one incident every month during 2000–2013.

The study highlights 160 incidents, with 486 fatalities and 557 wounded, during this timespan.

These shootings are called “active shooter incidents,” which are described as individuals actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in populated areas.

Major Active Shooter Findings
“A Study of Active Shooter Incidents in the United States Between 2000–2013″ on the FBI website includes the following incidents:
• Virginia Tech
• Sandy Hook Elementary School
• U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
• Fort Hood
• Aurora, Colorado Movie Theater
• Sikh Temple of Wisconsin
• Washington Navy Yard

Some key findings include:
• Incidents increasing from 6.4 annually from the first years of the study to 16.4.
• Incidents resulted in 1,043 casualties (486 killed, 557 wounded) excluding the shooters.
• All but 6 of the 160 incidents involved male shooters and only two had more than one shooter.
• More than half of the incidents—90 shootings—ended on the shooter’s initiative (that is, suicide or fleeing).
• Nine police officers were killed and 28 were wounded in 21 of the 45 incidents where they engaged the shooter to neutralize the threat.
• The largest percentage of incidents took place in a commercial environment (73 incidents) followed by educational settings (39 incidents).

Virginia Tech Tragedy
Since I served families of Virginia Tech victims as a spokesman, I would like to honor the April 16, 2007, victims with insights in hopes that additional incidents can be prevented.

Here is an assessment from an early-warning and crisis-management perspective:

Pre-Crisis Failures
• Failure to respond to reported warning signs of a very troubled student that could have prevented the tragedy.
• Lack of a threat assessment team at Virginia Tech.
• No “heightened alert” during the anniversary week of the Columbine tragedy.
• Insufficient security measures, crisis plans, protocols, and procedures.
• Inadequate preparedness practice and drills.

Crisis Failures
• The Virginia Tech police chief and leadership team were not immediately notified of the first killings—there were critical communication delays.
• Failure to clearly notify the campus community that killings had taken place once Virginia Tech’s president was notified.
• Failure to lockdown the campus with a killer at large after the first incident. This could have prevented numerous other killings and injuries.

Post-Crisis Failures
• Continual denials by Virginia Tech President Steger of his and the leadership team’s failures.
• Immediate movement into a fundraising mode while ignoring the needs of victims and families.
• Setting up a website to defend the Virginia Tech president within three days while the victim support website took four months.

Failure of Leadership
In my opinion, it is inconceivable that two students were killed on a college campus during the week of the anniversary date of Columbine, and that—with a killer at large— there was no immediate notification to the community, nor was there a lockdown.

It is also inexcusable that proper decisions were not made to prevent the 30 killings and multiple injuries that occurred over two hours later.

The Virginia Tech president and policy group failed to protect their community. The fact was that two students had been killed and the killer was at large.

The U.S. Department of Education insights in its publication “Practical Information on Crisis Planning: A Guide for Schools and Communities” were not heeded, including the following: “Evacuate or lock down the school as appropriate. This step is crucial and should be one of the first decisions made, regardless of the order in which initial decisions are implemented.”

Call for Vigilance
In an age of increased active shooter incidents—compounded by the possibility of a Mumbai-style terrorist incident—all of us in both law enforcement and private sectors must enhance vigilance to safeguard America and reawaken the nation.

Note Well
As originally published in Vincent's weekly column titled "Reawaken the Nation" for the Epoch Times on Friday, Oct. 3, 2014.

1. A carved-wood ‘VT’ rests on the grave of Virginia Tech University student Jarrett Lane in Narrows, Va., on May 13, 2007. Lane, a 22-year-old senior, was killed along with 26 other students and 5 University staff members during a shooting rampage the previous month. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
2. “A Study of Active Shooter Incidents in the United States Between 2000–2013” released by the FBI on Sept. 16, 2014. (Courtesy FBI)
3. Vincent J. Bove speaking on behalf of the families of the Virginia Tech victims at a meeting with the Virginia governor on June 23, 2007.
4. Cover of the Vincent J. Bove October, 2007 report titled "Crisis of Leadership: A Response to the Virginia Tech Panel Report"
5. FBI bomb technician’s vehicle. (Courtesy FBI)

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Friday, September 26, 2014

The FBI: Honor, Leadership, Protecting America

As the United States of America—with allies against militant extremists—strikes targets in Iraq and Syria, all in America must remain vigilant here in our homeland.

Vigilance is critical to protecting America as the current state of affairs includes extremists calling for attacks against civilians and soft targets. Security concerns are intensified and all who love America, freedom, democracy, and liberty must collaborate to safeguard the nation.

Citizens and law enforcement all must have our eyes wide open to potential dangers that threaten innocent people and our way of life. We must never take for granted the privileges of a dinner out, a trip to visit loved ones, or a day with coworkers—life can change in a heartbeat. An abundance of caution is the order of the day—suspicious activities must immediately be reported to authorities. We must expect the unexpected and remain vigilant.

Apathy, indifference, or negligence with respect to current events is not acceptable. Acts of terror are preventable. Innocent lives, as well as the morale of America are at stake. There is no room for failure, for even one act of terror can be catastrophic and every life is sacred. The world has changed and all of us must have a terrorism awareness and prevention mindset.

As the darkness of evil intentions unfolds, America must remain vigilant, collaborative, and courageous.

The FBI: Protecting America
The top priority of the FBI is protecting America from terrorist attacks. This mission is only possible through collaboration with law enforcement partners nationally and worldwide.

Extremist networks, lone wolfs, and terrorist sympathizers can be neutralized and dismantled through the investigative and intelligence resources of the FBI. But this is only possible with public-private collaboration.

As documented on the FBI website, the scope of FBI operations and collaborative efforts includes:
•Joint Terrorism Task Forces
•National Counterterrorism Center
•Public Internet Tip Line
•Terrorist Explosives Device Analytical Center
•Terrorist Screening Center
•Weapons of Mass Destruction
•Strategic Command Center
•Terrorist Financing Operations Section
•Terrorism Fly Team

FBI Model: Leadership Retreat
In my travels throughout America since 1999, I have highlighted leadership, vigilance, and collaboration as central to my mission of character development, violence prevention, and crisis planning.

These principles have been shared at hundreds of presentations and with many published works and FBI initiatives.

But in my opinion, the seriousness of what these principles signify has never been so important as at this very moment in America’s history.

On Sept. 17, I was privileged to conduct a keynote for the FBI Newark Division Management Retreat. This retreat was made possible through the leadership of the division’s Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford.

Aside from the remarkable motivational and educational aspects of the event, this retreat is a model not only for other FBI divisions but also for all law enforcement agencies as it builds leadership, morale, and partnerships.

During my keynote speech, “The FBI: Honor, Leadership, America,” I used the metaphor of a catastrophic head-on collision train wreck to punctuate the nation’s crisis of leadership and culture of violence. As highlighted with a graphic slide presentation, this violence includes not only domestic, school, and workplace violence, but also acts of terror as demonstrated by the 9/11 and Boston Marathon attacks.

My keynote followed a patriotic leadership presentation by Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen Jr., superintendent of West Point. Caslen highlighted that the “Duty, Honor, Country” motto of the United States Military Academy was applicable to all because throughout the nation, even in the military, there is a crisis of leadership. I complemented Caslen’s thoughts by encouraging the FBI to live the principles of “Honor, Leadership, America.”

The FBI and all dedicated to protecting America must be appreciated and their efforts supported. Each of us must work collaboratively and continually enhance our own level of vigilance to protect our homeland and reawaken the nation.

Dear Vincent, It is with the warmest regards that I express my thanks for your support of the Newark Division's Management Conference. Your participation in the Management Conference on September 17, 2014 was a true pleasure. You provided insights to help Newark Division supervisors to develop and challenge themselves as employees and as leaders within the FBI. Your observations were particularly insightful due to your highly decorated career and your intimate knowledge of our staff.
Aaron T. Ford, Special Agent in Charge

Note Well
As originally published in Vincent's weekly column titled "Reawaken the Nation" for the Epoch Times on Friday, Sept. 26, 2014.

1. FBI SWAT team member (Courtesy FBI)
2. FBI Evidence Response Team Vehicle (Courtesy FBI)
3. FBI weapons training (Courtesy FBI)
4. Vincent J. Bove receiving award from Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford of the Newark Division on Sept. 17, 2014. Bove was the keynote speaker at the division’s leadership retreat. (Photo Courtesy FBI)
5. Vincent J. Bove receiving the FBI Community Leadership Award for his violence prevention initiatives on Oct. 30, 2007. Afterwards, Bove addressed over 200 FBI and law enforcement officials. Bove is accompanied by local, county, and federal law enforcement officials. (Courtesy Vincent J. Bove)

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