Listen to Their Cries: Calling the Nation to Renewal From Columbine to Virginia Tech

By Vincent J. Bove, CPP; Reviewed by Dennis G. Byerly, CPP, CSEM

***** Listen to their Cries: Calling the Nation to Renewal from Columbine to Virginia Tech. By Vincent J. Bove, CPP; published by Vincent Bove Publishing; 187 pages; $16.95 (softcover).

Recent years have shown that the “active shooter” tragedies of the 1990s at schools in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and Littleton, Colorado, were not a fleeting phenomenon. Educators and community leaders can only benefit from learning the fundamentals of risk and emergency management. In their hands, Listen to their Cries may provide a worthwhile introduction in a civic context.

As its title implies, Bove’s self-published work is less a security text than a call to action, and more specifically a call to virtue. Bove provides the basics of security, but only the basics: He explains vulnerability assessments, personnel and physical security, and the cycle of emergency management. The real security solution, Bove argues, is character, which he defines in this context as the trifecta of leadership, vigilance, and collaboration. In his words, “Leadership without character leads to tyranny; vigilance without character leads to usurpation of rights; collaboration without character leads to corruption.”

Bove provides excellent material that could be used by security and emergency management professionals tasked with stirring up interest in this vital subject. The book provides usable formats, such as “Characteristics of a School that is Safe and Responsive to all Children” that would be easily worked into checklists and procedures that could be used to “sell” the program to their organizations by showing some of the risk associated with certain scenarios.

While the solutions to the problem of mass violence—and its cultural causes—aren’t cut-and-dry, the author provides worthwhile insight on how the ultimate risks might be mitigated. Anyone interested in an excellent resource on the topic from a unique perspective should consider reading this book.

Reviewer: Dennis G. Byerly, CPP, CSEM (Certified Safety, Environment and Emergency Manager), is a community manager for Monarch Management Group LLC, in Palm Desert, California, with more than 20 years’ experience in physical security, management, and emergency preparedness. He is a member of the ASIS International Commercial Real Estate Council.



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