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.
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