Police officers are the security lifeline in every American community.
As sworn officials dedicated to protect and serve, they must be ethical protectors.
America’s police officers must stand as guardians of democracy. This is crucial as we often witness a callous dereliction of human decency and unspeakable acts of violence.
Our nation depends on police officers taking the high ground. They must be fully committed to forging collaborative partnerships with their communities.
Every officer and community member must remember that being pro-police is indistinguishable from being pro-community. Both are one and the same and it is impossible to be pro-community without being pro-police.
We must live by the premise that all lives are sacred, all lives matter, and we are all in this together.
America’s Call to Renewal
As contemporary police-people issues continue, America must rise to a higher standard by enhancing community cohesiveness.
Public safety must never be jeopardized due to any misunderstandings between the police, people, and public officials.
Respect must always be the heart of the police officer and every member of the community with every encounter, from the most ordinary to the sublime.
Acts of contempt, arrogance, racism, corruption, rudeness, and disrespect always backfire. Respect never fails; respect radiates truth, it is selfless, patient, forbearing, and in due time penetrates hearts of stone.
Currently, there are challenges to the core American value of police-people unity based on tensions ignited in Ferguson and New York City.
We see indications of division between police, people, and public officials. These misunderstandings are toxic since all members of society must be unified, not polarized.
Each and every police officer must be a peacemaker fully dedicated to their profession and to positive community relations.
Each and every civilian must be law-abiding and fully dedicated to positive police relations.
We must live by the principle that each and every person deserves respect, courtesy, civility, and dignity. These virtues are the pillars of police-people cohesiveness.
The recent senseless deaths of NYPD Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu remind us that human life is sacred.
These two gallant officers were not only extraordinary guardians dedicated to community but devoted family members. This tragedy reminds us of the threats officers face protecting us. We must admire and appreciate police service and allow these ultimate sacrifices to ignite compassion, character, and community within our souls.
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund reminds us of the perils that police face with a staggering increase of violence:
Preliminary law enforcement fatalities from Jan. 1 through Dec. 30, 2014 are:
• 24 percent increase in total fatalities
• 56 percent increase in firearm-related fatalities
• 11 percent increase in traffic-related fatalities
Deaths of civilians during 2014 are also alarming and we must never become de-sensitized to the violence taking place in America.
Headlines continually depict a carnage taking place throughout America. As a devotee of American history, I think of President Franklin D. Roosevelt stating after the Pearl Harbor attack, “December 7, 1941, a date that will live in infamy…”
If President Roosevelt were alive today, I think he would be talking about infamy once again as violence has entered into the very heart of America’s heart. Our schools, families, campuses, communities, and workplaces experience appalling violence with no end in sight.
For 20 years I have advocated police-people unity through leadership, violence prevention, and crisis-planning initiatives in presentations throughout the nation and in many published works.
These efforts have been inspired by countless police officers generously dedicating time and talent to charitable causes and selflessly safeguarding their communities.
Extraordinary citizens who work side-by-side volunteering time with the police to improve community life have also been greatly inspiring.
America must rise to the occasion with full-force dedication to police-people unity. When we realize that all lives matter and each person is sacred—deserving respect, courtesy, and dignity—we will be on the road to reawakening the nation.
Vincent J. Bove, CPP, is a national speaker and author on issues critical to America. Bove is a recipient of the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award for combating crime and violence and is a former confidant of the New York Yankees. His newest book is “Listen To Their Cries.” For more information, see www.vincentbove.com