Tuesday, August 04, 2015

National Night Out: Police-Community Unity

On Tuesday, August 4, 2015 I was privileged to share some opening remarks at the request of the Livingston Police Department to kick-off National Night Out.

The initiative is an annual event designed to strengthen neighborhoods across America through police-community partnerships.

During these challenging times for law enforcement and community to forge greater partnerships, National Night Out represents a unity of effort so vital to the nation.

The Livingston Police Department,thanks to the leadership of Chief Craig M. Handschuch and Officer Gary Mankowitz, in unity with their community, has held six previous National Night Out events, all a resounding success.

As memorialized in previous blogs, it has been my pleasure to speak at these annual events and commend the outstanding police-community partnership evident in Livingston, New Jersey.

National Night Out - Livingston, New Jersey, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

National Night Out: Police and Community Partnerships

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


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

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

Reprinted from the National Night Out website

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

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

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

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

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Monday, August 03, 2015

Fallen Police Officers: Honoring American Sentinels

On Wednesday, July 29, 2015, I was honored to conduct a leadership presentation for the Port Authority Police Department.

Attendees included the superintendent, commanding officers, inspectors, captains, lieutenants, and executive staff.

The Port Authority has a daunting task of protecting New York and New Jersey sites including the airports, bridges, tunnels, PATH, and bus terminal.

Prior to my presentation, I reflected on the heroic sacrifices of this distinguished agency during the September 11, 2001 attacks.

On that fateful day, a hijacked airliner struck One World Trade Center at 8:46am, igniting a blazing inferno on the side of the 110-story structure.

Seventeen minutes later, another hijacked jet slammed into Two World Trade Center causing a second inferno that would forever change the course of security in America.

The Port Authority Police Department, who were the first law enforcement to respond to the terror attacks, quickly rushed into the burning buildings and heroically rescued thousands of people.

Some of these officers climbed high into the heart of the chaos to assist people seriously injured, trapped, or unable to escape.

Thirty-seven of these valiant officers were killed on 9/11, along with so many other first responders and colleagues from the NYPD, FDNY, and the New York State Courts.

These individuals, who offered the ultimate sacrifice must be eternally appreciated.

Police Officers: Community and Family Members

Our country would immediately experience chaos, anarchy, and disorder without the vigilance, dedication, and sacrifices of police officers.

America must always be grateful for our police officers who are the lifeline of security and safety for our communities.

Police officers are also community and family members-parents, children, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, and cousins.

End of Watch: Ongoing Dangers

The tragedy of the ultimate sacrifice has continued since 9/11.

There is no end in sight to the challenges police officers face as they serve America during a time of continuous violence and dangers.

Attacks against police officers throughout the nation, under various circumstances, have already led to 19 senseless deaths this year.

One recent killing was Officer Sean Bolton, 33, an Iraq veteran, shot multiple times on Saturday night, August 1 during a traffic stop in Memphis, Tennessee.

Officer Bolton was killed over an altercation over two grams of marijuana, something amounting to a misdemeanor citation and fine.

Aside from Officer Bolton, there have already been 19 officers’ deaths violently killed by suspects in 2015.

There are other dangers-including traffic accidents for example-raising the fatalities this year to 64 according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Fallen Officers: Rest in Eternal Peace

All who have offered the ultimate sacrifice deserve our appreciation and heartfelt prayers.

We must also always have compassion, empathy, and sensitivity for their families as well.

Here are just a few of the fallen officers who died at the hands of violent suspects in 2015.

San Jose Police Officer Michael Johnson was killed by gunfire while responding to an incident involving a man threatening to commit suicide.
• Omaha Police Detective Kerrie Orozco, 29, a new mom and Girl Scout Leader, was fatally shot attempting to arrest a suspect wanted in a shooting.
• NYPD Officer Brain Moore, 25, died after being shot by a suspect who pulled a gun from his waistband.
Philadelphia Police Officer Robert Wilson was killed while buying a video game for his son, when two men attempting to rob the store shot him.
• Wisconsin State Trooper Trevor Casper, 21, was shot dead on his first solo assignment while confronting a murder and robbery suspect. He is the youngest law enforcement officer killed in Wisconsin state history.

Forever Remembered: Stone and Soul

Carved on the sacred walls of the National Law Officers Memorial in Washington, DC are the names of over 20,000 federal, state, and local law enforcement officers, dating back to the first know fatality in 1791.

Each of these heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice protecting our country deserve honor.

Aside from being carved names on stone, may each of these brave souls have their names eternally engraved in our hearts as they represent the courage, character, and decency of America.

Note Well:

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

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

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

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

Photos
1. PAPD Officers (Courtesy PAPD)
2. NYPD Officer Brian Moore (Courtesy NYPD)
3. Officer Michael Johnson (Courtesy San Jose PD)
4. Trooper Trevor Casper (Courtesy Wisconsin State Patrol)
5. Officer Robert Wilson (Courtesy Philadelphia PD)
6. Detective Kerrie Orozco (Courtesy Omaha PD)

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Port Authority Police Department: Honor, Leadership, America

As requested by the Port Authority Police Department, I delivered a leadership presentation titled “Port Authority Police Department: Honor, Leadership, America” on Wednesday, July 29, 2015.

The presentation was attended by their superintendent of police, assistant superintendent, commanding officers, inspectors, chiefs, captains, lieutenants, and executive staff. It was designed to express appreciation for their dedication to protect and serve and held at their police academy in Jersey City, New Jersey.

The Port Authority Police Department (PAPD), is a police department in New York and New Jersey. It protects all the property owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and it enforces state and city laws. It is one of the largest police departments in the United States, with 1,700 members. The PAPD is owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, a two-state agency that runs the bridges, tunnels, airports, and seaports along the New York - New Jersey border.

Responsibilities of the PAPD include the following:

• Port Authority Bus Terminal
• PATH System
• Newark Liberty International Airport
• John F. Kennedy International Airport
• LaGuardia Airport
• Port Authority Marine Terminal
• Holland and Lincoln Tunnels
• George Washington Bridge
• Bayonne, Goethals Bridges, and the Outerbridge Crossing

The professionalism of the PAPD demands admiration as just the major airports alone; Newark Liberty International Airport, John F. Kennedy International, and LaGuardia, handle more than 110 million air passengers, over 1.3 million aircraft movements, and over 2.6 million tons of air cargo annually.

The PAPD provides a wide array of services in their dedication to protect and serve the millions of people that use Port Authority facilities and services with capabilities including the following:

* Emergency Services
* K-9 Patrol
* Motorcycle Unit
* Aricraft Rescue and Firefighting
* Commercial Vehicle Inspection
* Defibrillator Program

During this PAPD presentation, I used my signature metaphor of a head-on train collision causing catastrophic chaos, painting the picture of America’s crisis of leadership and culture of violence and the reason why members of this department are true American patriots.

America's Crisis of Leadership

As highlighted in a graphic presentation, the crisis of leadership included the following:

• Massive and pervasive arrests, indictments, convictions, and imprisonments of public officials on the federal, state, county, city, and local levels including recent cases of New York State Assembly Sheldon Silver and ex-Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife.
• Continuous corporate fraud cases including Enron, WorldCom, Purdue Pharma L.P., Schering Plough, the narcissistic arrogance of Lehman’s Brothers Richard Fuld, and the long tentacles of Bernard Madoff’s $50 billion swindle that wreaked havoc on so many lives
• Scandals within the world of sports including Major League Baseball, the National Football League, indictments of high-ranking officials and corporate executives associated with FIFA, and the fall from grace of Olympic champions
• Crimes in religious communities, including the sexual abuse of children in the Roman Catholic Church compounded by disgraceful cover-ups from bishops who failed to protect society from contemptuous crimes that screamed to heaven for justice
• Scandals against our veterans who have borne the battle yet suffer from deplorable healthcare deficiencies, unemployment, and homelessness
• The entertainment world’s crisis of stars involved with substance abuse, domestic violence, and shootings

America's Culture of Violence

The crisis of violence was depicted with events including the following:

• Sexual assaults of teenagers by their peers with reprehensible postings of the attacks posted on-line that led to heart-breaking suicides of numerous victims
• Horrific incidents of school and campus violence including Columbine, Virginia Tech, Newtown, and Yale University where a murdered student’s missing body was found on what would have been her wedding day
• Senseless workplace violence massacres the include the killing of 14 at a Binghamton, New York Immigration Office, the killing of 12 people during a Batman movie in Colorado, the beheading of a person in a Oklahoma food procession plant by a terminated employee, and the Navy Yard mass shooting that left 13 dead
• On-going violence at houses of worship, once considered sanctuary, that include people shot dead during worship services, the killing of pastors and priests, and the horrific killing of nine people at an historic Charleston, South Carolina church
• Senseless acts of terrorism including the Boston Marathon attack, 9/11, the lone wolf attack of NYPD officers, and the killing of 4 Marines and a Sailor in Chattanooga, Tennessee
• An uptick of police officer fatalities who died while faithfully protecting and serving our communities

Final Reflections

At 8:46 a.m. on September 11, 2001, a hijacked airliner struck One World Trade Center, igniting a blazing inferno in the side of the 110-story structure. Seventeen minutes later, another hijacked jet slammed into Two World Trade Center causing a second inferno.

The Port Authority Police Department, who were the first law enforcement personnel to respond to the terrorist attacks, quickly rushed into the burning buildings and heroically helped rescue thousands of employees. Some of these officers climbed high up into the burning towers to assist those who were seriously injured or trapped.

Thirty-seven of these heroic men and women were killed on that fateful day and their heroism deserves to be eternally honored.

The 1,700 members of the PAPD and their tireless dedication to protect and serve our country are deserving of admiration and emulation.

It was an honor to serve these men and women who protect and serve America as their sacrifices are essential to our liberty, freedom, and democracy.

Photos
1. Port Authority Police Department attendees at the Command and Staff event, July 29, 2015. (Vincent J. Bove)
2. Port Authority Police Department personnel at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in NYC. (Photo Courtesy PAPD)
3. Port Authority Police Department providing security for the PATH. (Photo Courtesy PAPD)
4. Port Authority Police Department. (Photo Courtesy PAPD)

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Monday, July 27, 2015

Warning Signs Are Critical to Violence Prevention

On July 23, 2015 a senseless shooting took place at the Grand 16 Theater in Lafayette, Louisiana.

A deranged gunman opened fire killing two people and injuring nine others before committing suicide.

Despite decades of mental health warning signs-including a judge’s order sending him to a psychiatric treatment center as a danger to himself and others-the killer was able to legally purchase his handgun because he was never involuntarily committed.

FBI Director’s Transparency

As a response to another tragedy with warning signs, FBI Director James B. Comey met with reporters at FBI headquarters in Washington, DC regarding the June 17, 2015 killings at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Comey honestly presented a mistake in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), and stated the killer “should not have been able to legally buy the gun…”

The killers previous admission during an arrest for drug possession should have disqualified his gun purchase.

However, an agent for the FBI background check system who was performing the review failed to contact the Columbia, South Carolina police department, who was responsible for the arrest, because of a clerical records error listing the wrong police agency.

Workplace Violence: Warning Signs

Aside from incidents from outsiders, the U.S. Department of Labor addresses workplace violence warning signs from frequently encountered situations among co-workers as follows:

• Concealing or using a weapon
• Physical assault upon oneself or another person
• Actions which endanger, destroy, or sabotage property
• Intimidating or frightening others
• Harassing, stalking, or showing undue focus on another person
• Physically aggressive acts, such as shaking fists at another person, kicking, pounding on desks, punching a wall, angrily jumping up and down, screaming at others
• Verbal abuse including offensive, profane, or vulgar language
• Threats (direct or indirect) whether made in person or through letters, phone calls, or electronic mail

Warning Signs Failure: Virginia Tech

The Virginia Tech tragedy provides lessons to be learned as American schools soon open for a new year.


On April 16, 2007, a student shot and killed two students on the fourth floor of the West Ambler Johnston residence hall at 7:15 a.m. Although police responded to this incident, the killings were treated as an isolated incident by the college president with no common sense precautions implemented that other shootings may occur.

It was more than two hours later, at approximately 9:26 a.m., when an email alert was sent to the entire campus without implementing any emergency actions or a lockdown. The email did not emphasize the killings of two students, nor that the shooter was at large.

At 9:45 a.m., there was a 911 call from Norris Hall on the other side of the campus. In this building, the shooter continued his rampage killing 30 more people—25 students and 5 faculty members, and injuring many others.

Approximately a year and a half prior to this rampage, an English professor, Nikki Giovanni, found the violence in the killer’s writings very disturbing. She wrote a letter to English Department Chair, Lucinda Roy, advising her of the problem.

During a nationally televised interview shortly after the tragedy, Roy expressed being so concerned with Cho’s writings, that she had him removed from the class so as to not disturb other students. During one-on-one tutoring sessions, Roy found Cho to be the most emotionally troubled and at-risk personality in her 22 years of teaching.

Roy had presented her concerns to university officials who did nothing, stating, among other things, that as a matter of free speech, Cho had the right to write whatever he wished and that his writings did not contain enough explicit information to do anything. In the interview Dr. Roy states:

“I think that they [concerns] should have been taken more seriously but I’m not someone who would give up easily so I went back repeatedly with my concerns and in the end I felt I was so uncomfortable that I could not leave him in the classroom because some of the other students seemed to be uncomfortable.”

The warning signs of a very dark and troubling persona of the future killer were clearly uncovered by Dr. Roy, but her requests for intervention continually fell upon deaf ears.

Also, although a judge declared the killer mentally ill a year before the massacre, he was permitted to purchase guns from a federally licensed dealer since Virginia failed to notify the federal database for gun background checks.

America must open its eyes to recognize warning signs and provide the intervention, training, healthcare, and security measures necessary to prevent additional tragedies.

Note Well:

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

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

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

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


Photos
1. Charleston Shooting Memorial Service, June 18, 2015. (Public Domain by Nomader)
2. Virginia Tech candlelight vigil, April 17, 2007. (Public Domain, anonymous contributor)

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

America’s Violent Rampages: Time for Prevention

During a recent walk through Times Square to Penn Station in New York City, the heavily armed presence of the NYPD in the crossroads of the world, as well as the armed National Guard at the station, was a sobering reminder of violence throughout America.

The NYPD presence at the U.S Armed Forces Recruiting Station in Times Square was a preventative measure influenced by the reprehensible shooting rampage on July 16 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. This tragedy took the lives of four Marines and a Sailor.

Our flag flies at half-staff in the heart of every American patriot.

Aside from this incident, depraved rampages continue nationwide with headlines including the following:

• 9 Killed in Mass Shooting at Historic Black Church in South Carolina
• Five Family Members Murdered in Modesto, CA
• 12 Killed, 59 Wounded in Shooting at Colorado Theater
• 20 “Beautiful Little Kids” Shot Dead in Connecticut School
• Boston Marathon Attack Kills 3, Injures 264
• Washington Navy Yard Shooting Leaves 12 Dead

Preventing Violence: Practical Steps

During my violence prevention initiatives, I often ask attendees representing schools, colleges, houses of worship, and corporation’s questions including the following:

• Is there a violence prevention policy in place and is it continually updated and followed?
• Do you have an active threat assessment team that includes a law enforcement liaison?
• Have you conducted violence response training including table-top, partial scale, and full scale scenarios?
• Has your facility had a recent board certified security vulnerability assessment?
• Are your security personnel trained and certified according to state requirements with additional initiatives that exceed the status quo?
• What type of training have your implemented for those entrusted to your care on issues including domestic violence, warning signs, security protocols, terrorism, crisis management, harassment, bullying, and active shooter?

Active Shooter Tips

The FBI defines an active shooter as “an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area, typically through the use of firearms.”

The quick reference guide of the agency highlights these points:

• Victims are selected at random
• Event is unpredictable and evolves quickly
• Knowing what to do can save lives

The guide also accentuates that when an active shooter in in your vicinity, you must be prepared both mentally and physically to deal with the situation with three options of run, hide, or fight.

It is imperative that those responsible for security continually initiate assessments, training, and countermeasures that cover physical, personnel, procedural, and informational security.

Violence is Preventable

The continuous rampages throughout America must inspire action that prevents empowerment of those seeking to inflict harm.

The attack against military personnel in Tennessee demands military facility security enhancements including policy review of arming military personnel at recruitment centers and military sites.

The media also has an ethical responsibility. They must never expose information during an incident that can endanger the public and emergency responders. The media must also avoid empowering a shooter and copycat scenario’s by publishing propaganda and photo’s that immortalizes violent fantasies, ideologies, and actions.

As a spokesperson for a coalition of Virginia Tech families, I found it appalling that the shooter’s self-serving depravity was served by publishing photos and ramblings that served his ambition for the spotlight.

This irresponsible sensationalism, compounded by incompetent investigative reporting, lacked compassion, empathy, and sensitivity for the victims and their families.

My concerns were validated by Michael Welner, a renowned forensic psychiatrist who stated on national television that broadcasting the Virginia Tech killers “public relations tape” was a “social catastrophe.”

Final Reflections

Our First Amendment, upholding the sacrosanct principle of freedom of the press, is a heartbeat of American democracy.

But this freedom is not without responsibility.

Irresponsible media coverage can flame the fires of dysfunction for demented minds seeking the spotlight.

Just as responsible media would protect the privacy of minors involved with a crime, or sexual assault victims, glorifying violent incidents is also irresponsible.

America must establish a renewed moral compass that empowers prevention, compassion, and empathy rather than sensationalism, glorification, and insensitivity.

When moral principles are complemented by sound security measures, our nation is on the path to violence prevention and reawakening the nation.

Note Well:

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

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

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

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

Photo
1. NYPD presence at U.S. Armed Forces Recruiting Station, Times Square, January 31, 2015. (Vincent J. Bove)
2. FBI Active Shooter Guide (Courtesy FBI)
3. Officers with the NYPD anti-terrorism unit guard a military recruiting station in Times Square, New York, on July 17, 2015. Security at military recruiting and reserve centers will be reviewed in the aftermath of a deadly shooting in Tennessee. (Bebeto Matthews/AP)

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Monday, July 13, 2015

Honoring American Immigrants: Family, Neighbors, Heroes

America is a land of immigrants who enrich our nation with their talents, sacrifices, and character.

Immigrants represent the ideals, principles, and freedom of our country and are represented by our families, neighbors, and heroes.

Prior to sharing these words, I held in my hands a document very sacred to me. It is a detailed copy of my family tree, complete with names, dates of birth as well as deaths where applicable, and a meticulous layout of the connections between each family member.

This family tree begins with Joseph, one of my great grandfathers, who was born in 1858 and died in 1941 at the age of 83.

Adjacent to his name is the name of his wife, my great grandmother Gaetiena, who was born in 1875 and who died from Spanish Influenza in 1918 at the age of 43.

Both of my great-grandparents were immigrants, representative of millions who came to America, beckoned by the words inscribed at the base of the Statue of Liberty, “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Joseph and Gaetiena had the fire of America’s greatness in their souls, inspired by our nation’s promise of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” memorialized as inalienable rights. This promise is the heart of our Declaration of Independence, one that demands protection by our government and respect for human dignity.

The Bronx: A Melting Pot

Although privileged to have outstanding educational credentials, I believe growing up in the Bronx with the richness of its diversity is one deserves notation on a curriculum vitae.

This experience allowed the world to be at my doorstep, expressed through countless encounters with classmates, friends, neighbors, and community.

My neighborhood was a melting pot with international representation. It was filled with people of every conceivable religion, culture, and language.

The goodness of these people, exemplified through their smiles, courtesy, and countless acts of charity is eternally etched in my memory.

Immigrants Securing America

During one of my career experiences, I managed security professionals for over 12 years at sites demanding extreme professionalism, vigilance, and commitment.

Before employment, these security professionals, many of whom were immigrants, went through a rigorous hiring procedure including meticulous review of government credentials, federal and state fingerprint checks, previous employment verification, an integrity exam, and drug testing.

I personally interviewed and conducted checks of these requirements for hundreds of security personnel and then assigned them to secure some of America’s most well-known clients. These clients represented corporate and residential properties, banks, hospitals, media, and retail enterprises.

A world map was proudly maintained in my office with pins representing these security professionals working for me who were from around the world.

These officers, many of whom were eventually promoted to supervisors and managers, protected property, people, and information. They provided leadership for emergencies including evacuations. Essentially, they protected our homeland, with many receiving commendations at award ceremonies for exemplary conduct, meritorious actions, and outstanding service.

Immigrant Medal of Honor Recipients

America must be forever grateful for the many heroes who died serving our nation, including those not born on our soil.

Over 20 percent (over 700) of Congressional Medal of Honor recipients in U.S. wars have been immigrants.

The official guide to this medal notes, “Those who have received the Medal of Honor since it was established in 1861 as the nation’s highest decoration are as different as the melting pot of our country.”

One recipient was Mercario Garcia from Mexico who after recovery from a D-Day wound, single-handedly took two enemy machine-gun nests on Nov. 27, 1944.

Only after protecting his unit from this danger, despite being shot in the shoulder and foot, did Mercario allow himself to be evacuated for medical care.

Final Reflections

Today, there is a frenzy of emotion on immigrants and the role America must play with this issue that involves the security of our borders.

Solving this issue is achievable and critical to reawakening the nation. But the fact remains that America is a great land because of the values, vision, and service of countless immigrants.

Immigrants are our families, neighbors, and heroes and we must be forever honor their contributions to America.

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

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

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

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

Photos
1. Statue of Liberty, (William Warby)
2. An illustration of immigrants on the steerage deck of an ocean steamer passing the Statue of Liberty from Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, July 2, 1887. (National Park Service)
3. President Harry Truman awards the Congressional Medal of Honor to Mercario Garcia in 1945. (Photo Credit National Archives and Records Administration)

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Monday, July 06, 2015

Chicago Gang Crisis: an Epicenter of Violence in America

The great American city of Chicago is making headlines once again but unfortunately for all the wrong reasons.

This past weekend, as America proudly celebrated Independence Day, Chicago was blistered with headlines depicting its crisis of violence including the following:

• 64 People Shot in Chicago Over July 4th Holiday, 10 Dead
• 7-Year-Old Chicago Boy Among 10 Killed in Bloody Weekend
• Violence Rises With the Heat of the Summer
• Deadly Weekend in Chicago Highlights City's Gang Warfare
• Chicago Violence: Top Cop Blames Justice System
• Chicago on Alert for All Manner of Violence
• Gangs and Gunfire: Surviving Chicago’s Season of Violence

A Mother’s Fear
These sobering violence issues can lose the impact to shake America’s soul-they are becoming all too common.

America, listen to the heart of a mother who loves her children and lives daily with fear for their safety.

Lula Hill is one of the countless Chicago mothers who crystallizes this fear.

She lives in the South Side Chicago neighborhood of Roseland and uses both practical steps and spiritual interventions to keep her three sons alive.

The boys, Andre, 16, Fabian, 15 and Jaden, 8 have been trained by Lula to stay away from the windows of their home because of the fear of gunshots.

Lula also encourages their involvement with school, sports, and their church.

Aside from these practical steps, she anoints each of them with holy oil, while praying for divine protection, whenever any of them leave the home.

This is the heart-wrenching reality of life for one of many devoted American mothers.

Chicago’s Murdered Children

In September, 2013, a Chicago gang member killed a 9-year-old boy because he yelled after seeing a gun.

The child was shot dead from approximately 4-10 feet away because the killer believed he was warning rival gang members of his presence.

The tragedies of Chicago children being murdered are an ongoing reality of the city's violence.

Agonizing tragedies include the January 2013 murder of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old honor student who had just had the happiest day of her life one week earlier. Hadiya had performed for President Obama’s inauguration.

She was shot and killed while racing to a shelter during a rainstorm. Ironically, her flight for safety was just a mile away from Obama’s Chicago home.

On July 4, 2015, in Hadiya Pendleton Park, a park named in Hadiya’s honor, another Chicago mother wept.

“My baby’s gone, my baby’s gone…” she continually repeated while sobbing uncontrollably.

Latasha Banks Hall was mourning her son, Vonzell Banks, a 17-year-old shot in the back while playing basketball.

The teen was known as a young man who loved his Christian faith and used his musical talent at numerous church events.

In 2009 published reports, 508 Chicago children were shot during 16 months with 25 killed.

America: Stop the Carnage

On Oct. 6, 2009 I addressed the Chicago crisis with registered letters to President Obama, the U.S. Department of Justice, and numerous officials of Chicago and the State of Illinois.

I called upon the President and government leaders to establish a Stop the Violence initiative for Chicago as highlighted in this excerpt from my letter:

“I implore you to make the elimination of violence in the windy city a top priority of your administration. If we agree that it would have been a worthwhile investment to prepare the city to host the 2016 Olympics, how much more is the value of human life? We must work to find a way to save lives, reduce hostility, and create a national model for the "audacity of hope" in all our urban areas suffering the scourge of senseless brutality.”

Tragically, the culture of violence addressed continues with no end in sight.

The eyes of America are upon Chicago, not as a city that will hold Olympic Games, but with a clarion call to reawakening the nation from violence to hope through moral courage, determined leadership, and persevering collaboration.

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

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

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

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


Photos
1. Courtesy City of Chicago
2. Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton (L) holds a picture of her daughter Hadiya, 15, while standing with Shundra Robinson who is holding a picture of her son Deno Wooldridge, 18, on Dec. 14, 2013 in Chicago. Hadiya was shot and killed while hanging out with friends in a park after school on Jan. 29, 2013. Wooldridge was shot and killed while standing on his grandmother's porch on Oct. 18, 2010. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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Monday, June 29, 2015

NYPD Renaissance Cops: Safe and Fair Everywhere

A common understanding of a Renaissance person is a profoundly gifted individual whose expertise covers a wide range of subjects.

It is considered a great compliment when someone is referred to as a Renaissance person. This is a person who can solve issues by using knowledge, discretion, and extraordinary problem-solving skills.

A Renaissance person is often used to describe great thinkers of the Renaissance, a period covering the 14th to the 17th century, commonly understood as a time when society was transformed through arts, philosophy, and science.

In 1528, Baldassare Castiglione authored “The Book of the Courtier”, immortalizing the characteristics of a perfect gentleman or lady of the Renaissance.

These included having a calm disposition, communication skills, respectful attitude, and intelligence. Yet, when necessary, this person also had a warrior spirit, ready to protect the vulnerable.

NYPD Expansion: Safe and Fair

Recently, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton unveiled his community policing plan for the city that will include almost 1,300 new cops.

This plan is critical as these are unprecedented times for American policing. The eyes of the world are upon police-community relations due to many controversies nationwide that have included the NYPD.

The NYPD being the nation’s largest department and the worlds most renowned has the opportunity to revolutionize policing.

Some are referring to the NYPD policing strategy to put more cops in positions to build trust in communities as Renaissance cops. Bratton presents his vision as a plan titled “One City: Safe and Fair Everywhere.”

The commissioner crystallizes the plan with four new realities requiring change in the way the NYPD does its job as the following:

1. We must continue to control and reduce crime, especially violent crime, throughout New York.
2. We must detect and deter terrorists, who are radically altering their strategies and recruitment techniques.
3. We must win back community support and build productive partnership with citizens, especially in communities of color where resentment and fear of old police practices are most prevalent.
4. We must secure the safety and fair treatment of the men and women of the NYPD, many of whom have felt ill-prepared and undervalued.

Commissioner Bratton punctuates the mission is urgent and the work is not easy. He states that collaboration between the police and community will allow New York to be safe and fair everywhere and for everyone.

The NYPD has the opportunity to revolutionize policing.

NYPD: The Way Forward

According to the NYPD, the heart of this plan will be based on five strategic areas as follows:

• Tackling Crime-a neighborhood-policing plan that assigns cops to steady sectors to work with residents at reducing crime, fear, and disorder.
• Training-bringing front line officers—every year—current tactical and cutting-edge skills to keep them safe and make them even more effective.
• Trust-cops and community working as partners to make neighborhoods safe, disciplinary reforms ensuring fair treatment of all our officers, close cooperation with oversight agencies to build the public trust.
• Technology-a nation-leading revolution giving every officer real-time information now available only at police headquarters.
• Terrorism Prevention-a reset of relationships with federal, state, and local partners to strengthen the investigative and enforcement web that protects us all.

Policing Principles: Classic and Contemporary

The NYPD through Bratton’s leadership is focused to break down police and community barriers.

This police-community collaboration was formulated by Sir Robert Peel in 1829.

Peel’s principles are classic, but tradition must be honored with current realities memorialized in my “Principles of American Policing”, authored for the Epoch Times, May 1, 2015, edition.

These principles not only complement NYPD Commissioner Bratton’s vision, but as noted in my first principle, serve as the clarion call for transforming American policing:

“Being pro-police and pro-community is inseparable, indefatigable, and preeminent. Police at all times remain fully committed to protecting and serving the public through character, ethics, and leadership that is total and whole-hearted. Police must be guided by a moral compass that honors the community, Constitution, and Bill of Rights.”

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

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

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

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

Photos
1. NYPD montage (Courtesy NYPD)
2. NYPD presence, Times Square, May 21, 2015. (Vincent J. Bove)
3. NYPD discussing technology with community members. (Courtesy NYPD)




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Monday, June 22, 2015

Racism in America: Time for Unity

Although America discriminated against them because they were black, on March 29, 2007, over 300 Tuskegee Airmen received the Congressional Gold Medal.

This is the most prestigious medal Congress has to offer and it was presented to these World War II combat aviators for their courageous patriotism.

The Tuskegee Airmen were formed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who overruled his top generals in having black men trained to fly and combat the enemy.

These American heroes saw combat throughout Europe, the Mediterranean, and North Africa with dozens dying in battle and others captured as prisoners of war.

During a time when these men could not eat, be educated, ride the bus, or use the same restrooms as white men, they valiantly served America.

In the face of danger abroad and racism at home, they fought to defend freedom though they had not fully achieved it for themselves.

The Tuskegee Airmen are champions of liberty, honorable patriots who are most deserving of the word hero.

Other black recipients of the Congressional Gold Medal have included Marian Andersen, athletes Joe Louis, Jesse Owens, and Jackie Robinson, civil rights activists Roy Wilkens, Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, the Little Rock Nine, Rosa Parks and Dorothy Height, and statesman Nelson Mandela of South Africa, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

American Racism Continues

Tragically, the racism experienced by the Tuskegee Airmen remains in America.

On Thursday, June 18, I delivered my monthly remarks on policing and violence prevention to about 100 police chiefs, law enforcement officials, and community leaders for the Bergen County Police Chiefs Association in New Jersey.

I spoke about the senseless tragedy that took place the evening before at an historic South Carolina Church where a white supremacist targeted people because they were African-Americans.

Nine people were shot to death at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston while taking part in a bible study.

During my remarks, I stressed that law enforcement and community members must be fully dedicated to diversity and violence prevention, especially since even houses of worship are no longer treated as sanctuary. This concern was also addressed in my April 10, 2015 Epoch Times column titled “Sanctuary Profaned: Protecting America’s Houses of Worship.”

Confederate Flag Controversy

The Charleston tragedy has prompted South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley to have the Confederate flag removed from the statehouse grounds, something that requires the Legislature to pass a law. She said, “For many people of our state, the flag stands for traditions that are noble…at the same time, for many others in South Carolina, the flag is a deeply offensive symbol of a brutally oppressive past.”

After the Charleston church murders, the Confederate flag flew high at a memorial in front of the Statehouse, as South Carolina law requires, while even the U.S. and state flags were at half-staff.

Nothing is Sacred

Aside from the horrific Charleston attack, other incidents paint the picture of racism in America including the following:

• Dozens of University of Oklahoma fraternity members were disciplined and two expelled during March, 2015 for racist chants caught on film.
• An April 13, 2014, killing of a 14-year-old boy and his grandfather at the Jewish Community Center in Kansas City and murder later that day of a third person at a Jewish retirement community by the same killer.
• On June 8, 2014, two police officers were killed by a married white supremacist couple who previously spoke of killing law enforcement.
• On August 5, 2012, six people were shot dead and 4 others wounded at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. The killer was a white supremacist with times to neo-Nazi groups.

Final Reflections

Civil rights are the heartbeat of America and essential to reawakening the nation, as they expresses a true reverence for the dignity of each human being.

As we pray for all effected by the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church tragedy in South Carolina, let us remember the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “We must learn to live together as brothers or we will all perish together as fools.”

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

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

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

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

Photo
1. 300 Tuskegee Airmen during a photo opportunity Thursday, March 29, 2007, in Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol. (White House photo by Joyce Boghosian)
2. Pilots of the 332nd Fighter Group, "Tuskegee Airmen," the elite, all-African American 332nd Fighter Group at Ramitelli, Italy., from left to right, Lt. Dempsey W. Morgran, Lt. Carroll S. Woods, Lt. Robert H. Nelron, Jr., Capt. Andrew D. Turner, and Lt. Clarence P. Lester, circa August, 1944. (U.S. Air Force photo)
3. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Dick DeMarsico, World Telegram staff photographer / public domain)

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Monday, June 15, 2015

Father’s Day Reflection: America’s Broken Families

Understanding broken families and its impact on youth, schools, workplaces, communities, and the criminal justice system is critical to America.

Due to the prevalence of divorce, America has essentially become a nation of one-parent families, usually the mother. There are too many children who tragically do not have any relationship whatsoever with their father. This heartbreaking reality is a national crisis.

Changes to the inner mechanism of the family has serious consequences on society.

In no way do I wish to judge any individual who has experienced divorce but only to shed light on the extraordinary volume of divorces. This has been learned from my own experiences with divorce and my presentations nationwide on issues critical to America.

Fatherless Homes: Alarming Concerns

Divorced or not, youth need the love and presence of both parents. According to various sources including the U.S. Census Bureau, Center for Disease Control, and the U.S. Department of Justice, fatherless homes account for 63% of youth suicides, 90% of homeless/runaway children, 85% of children with behavior problems, 71% of high school dropouts, 85% of youths in prison, and well over 50% of teen mothers. Over 24 million children, 34%, live apart from their fathers.

In too many cases, children are discouraged from developing a strong relationship with the non-custodial parent, usually the father. If the custodial parent suffers from a lack of emotional character, the child can be used as a weapon against the other parent, and it is the child who is torn apart by poisonous vindictiveness, deceit, and manipulation.

When unqualified family, friends, and acquaintances enable this dysfunctional parent rather than urging honesty, accountability, and character, the opportunity for healing is exacerbated.

This lack of a father’s influence in the family contributes to the deterioration of values in society and can lead to violence in the family, school, and community. This escalation must be understood not only in the context of major school violence tragedies, but in daily incidents of anger, harassment, aggression, crime, and bullying.

Children Need Both Parents

The best interest of the child must be the highest priority throughout any separation and divorce process. While the courts may pay lip service to this statement, in my personal experience, the reality is that the current legal system sets up a contentious environment between the litigants where the only winners are the lawyers.

Even more tragically, America has a crisis of character and too often, dishonesty is rewarded by the courts and incompetent therapists who rush to the next case without the wisdom to unravel the truth.

Each of us can make a profound contribution to our community by making sure that our children’s emotional well-being is first. America’s parents must always be respectful, honest, and dignified. When they fall from grace, they must seek forgiveness from all, especially the child.

Children need both parents. A good mother provides emotional strength, insight, encouragement, intercession, and guidance.

A good father provides discipline, understanding, counsel, fortitude, and direction. A child needs the qualities of each parent and the absence of either has an effect on the emotional life of the child.

These reflections assume that each parent is responsible and emotionally well grounded. Destructive influences, abuse, or inappropriate behavior by any parent is not acceptable, and every human effort must be made to remedy these harmful negative influences.

For some individuals, a transition to another family, especially when one escapes an environment of hostility, despair, or abuse can be an opportunity for a new life. Yet, for too many of our nation’s youth, shattered families can lead to discouragement, disillusionment, and even violent rage.

Family: Critical to Community

The family is first and foremost the primary source of education for all of society and is critical to a community’s health. Each and every human being enters the world through a family and every human being is communal by nature.

If a family setting is destructive, dishonest, abusive, manipulative, or shattered, a child can be prone to tension, anguish, hostility, substance abuse, and mental health issues.

Although there are different types of families deserving respect, the family, understood as a loving community of a father, mother, and children must never be trivialized.

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

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

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

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

Photos
1. Father and daughter (Courtesy U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
2. Father and child (Courtesy U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
3. Marines with II Marine Expeditionary Force returned to Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina, from a deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Dec. 6, 2014. HMLA-467 was part of the last Marines to be deployed to the Helmand province of Afghanistan in support of OEF with the purpose of providing close-air support to the Marines operating on the ground. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Olivia McDonald/ Released)

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