Thursday, February 12, 2015

Abraham Lincoln, Catalyst: Law Enforcement, Race Relations

As America honors Abraham Lincoln on the February 12, 2015 anniversary of his birth, the nation must pause and let his character, ethics and leadership reignite the heart of our country.

Today, the Director of the FBI, James B. Comey, honored the legacy of Lincoln. Director Comey spoke at Georgetown University on the imperative of improving law enforcement and race relations.

The United States is at a crossroads on matters of race relations and law enforcement, presenting "hard truths" that its citizens and police must confront, FBI Director James Comey said.

In my article titled Lincoln's Leadership Lessons for Law Enforcement, published in a February, 2014 edition, insights on these enduring principles that our great president lived by were published:

  • Leadership must be open to silence, study and self containment
  • Leadership possesses extraordinary empathy and concern for others
  • Leadership must be grounded in moral self confidence developed by understanding through study and hard work
  • The foundation of authentic leadership is moral character
  • Leadership realizes that some things that are right legally are not right morally
  • Leadership honors military service especially those who offered the ultimate sacrifice
  • Leadership is approachable and not confined to an ivory tower
  • Leadership utilizes the power of persuasion, not the manipulation of aggressiveness
  • Leadership masters the art of communication and public speaking
  • Leadership expresses visionary principles which are constantly reaffirmed

    These principles of character, ethics and leadership have been addressed in my presentations, articles, newest book and blogs including:

    Abraham Lincoln: An Enduring Icon of Leadership/Posted December 12, 2006
    Americans of all ages continue to be captivated by the life, death, legacy and message of Abraham Lincoln.

    During speaking engagements with students, educators and law enforcement personnel throughout the country, I am continually astounded at the detailed familiarity America has on Abraham Lincoln including specific dates from his life, the Civil War, the Gettysburg Address, the Emancipation Proclamation, is second inaugural and his assassination by John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theater in Washington, DC on April 14, 1865.

    During one character education presentation, students from a 3rd grade class were able to quote-with admirable precision-President Lincoln's words from Gettysburg on November 19, 1863:
    "that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
    In our troubled times, so besieged by violence, turmoil and scandal, Abraham Lincoln remains an icon of dedication to country. From his early days of studying by the fireside as a young boy to his rise to the presidency, the character of Lincoln is worthy of emulation. Lincoln's courage and perseverance in the face of great adversity serve as an example that what is needed in America's response to the current crisis of violence, scandal and division is newfound perseverance, unity, strength and transformation.

    Note Well:
    Aside from publication in the New Jersey Police Chief Magazine, February 2014, the full length article was also published in The Chief of Police, Winter, 2014 edition.

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