Friday, November 13, 2015

Reawakening the Nation: Building Bridges

On Thursday, November 12, 2015, I was privileged to serve the ASIS International Southern Connecticut Chapter as keynote speaker for their annual public safety appreciation night.

The event, held at the Continental Manor in Norwalk Connecticut, was attended by over 100 law enforcement, public safety, security professionals, and community leaders.

During my keynote titled Reawakening the Nation: Building Bridges, I stressed that America's response to the head on collision of violence and scandals throughout society must be character, ethics, and leadership.

America's Crisis of Leadership

The crisis of leadership was depicted with examples including the following:

• Massive and pervasive arrests, indictments, convictions, and imprisonments of public officials throughout every level of government.
• Continuous corporate fraud cases including Enron, WorldCom, Purdue Pharma L.P., the narcissistic arrogance of Lehman’s Brothers Richard Fuld, and the long tentacles of Bernard Madoff’s $50 billion swindle that wreaked havoc on many lives.
• Scandals within the world of sports including Major League Baseball, the National Football League, FIFA, and Olympic champions.
• 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.
• Entertainment 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 online 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 including the killing of 14 at a Binghamton, New York Immigration Office, the killing of 12 people during a Batman movie in Colorado, and the Navy Yard mass shooting that left 13 dead.
• On-going violence at houses of worship, once considered sanctuary, including 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.
• Continuous police officer fatalities who died while faithfully protecting and serving our communities.

Responding to the Crisis: Character, Ethics, Leadership

After painting a picture of the reality of violence and scandals taking place in society, I presented solutions which ethics and leadership training for law enforcement, corporations, and government officials as well as enhanced character education programs for America's schools.

During the event, numerous law enforcement officials were recognized including Officer Michael O'Sullivan for his career achievements with domestic violence prevention, and Sgt. Garrett Kruger and Officer Kelly Haddy for valor and heroism.

In particular, I was greatly impressed with my encounter with Rodger Connor Jr., an EMS officer who was a first-responder to the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy and took command of the EMS. Roger represents the best of America for his selflessness, courage, and altruism in responding to an unimaginable tragedy.

This outstanding young man was a sobering reminder of that fateful day at the Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. America must forever remain dedicated to eradicating violence and honor the memory of all who perished, their families, and heroes like Rodger who respond to trails in society with courage, compassion, and dedication.


I would also like to express my gratitude for the entire executive board of the ASIS International Southern Connecticut chapter for their generosity with making copies of my newest book, Listen To Their Cries, possible for attendees.

Finally, I would like to especially thank Co-Chairman Felix Giannini of the chapter, whose leadership made my keynote possible.

Rodger Connor Jr, EMS Officer of the Newtown Ambulance Squad with Vincent J. Bove.

Note Well
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