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On 9/11, remember we are not alone

The US has friends and allies around the world who accept as true that killing innocent men, women, and children over an ideology is immoral

So much has happened to the law enforcement community since we introduced the Ethical Warrior concept. As mentioned in previous articles, the notion of an Ethical Warrior (sometimes referred to as an Ethical Protector) grew out of Jack’s work with the Marines and Bruce’s idea for adapting it for law enforcement officers.

We’ve had many friends and colleagues from various backgrounds — law enforcement and military leaders, philosophers, scholars, and others — who convinced us that the values of an Ethical Protector are perfectly appropriate for anyone in the public safety profession.

And so it began. More articles were written, and also a book, The Ethical Warrior: Values, Morals and Ethics for Life, Work and Service. Ethical Protector training courses were delivered to military personnel, law enforcement officers, park rangers, educators, businessmen, and even medical professionals — including a physician heading to Haiti after the earthquake. The whole process has been wonderful.

Undoubtedly we have learned as much — or more — about being an Ethical Protector from the people we have had the privilege to train as they have learned from us.

And our mission continues. Bruce is still on the job, and so is Jack.

Jack primarily has the honor of addressing various groups who ask us to speak to them about the Ethical Warrior principles. Those groups include NYPD, Chicago Police Department, New Jersey State Police, the International Law Enforcement Education Training Association (ILEETA), and the U.S. Marines, as well as various corporations and universities.

They have all been great, but we wanted to tell you about one particular experience Jack had recently.

Jack was invited to be a keynote speaker at the recent Ottawa (Canada) Police Service Ethics Symposium. The trip started off a bit strangely when immigration stopped him at the border and gave him a hard time about entering the country without a work visa.

Jack explained that he was in Canada as an invited guest of the Ottawa Police Service (OPS).

The border agent was unimpressed, and it took several calls back and forth to a representative of the OPS to get it all straightened out so Jack could finally enter the country. Jack remembers thinking, “Geez, this is as bad as trying to get into the United States. What’s that all about?”

But things went perfectly after that rocky start. Everyone was warm and welcoming, the presentation was well-received, and the discussions were lively and respectful. But Jack was struck by the fact that many statements by Canadian participants were preceded with the phrase,

“After 9/11...” or “Since 9/11...”

Jack thought, “Why all the talk about 9/11?”

It seemed that everyone Jack spoke with had rearranged their lives, jobs, and priorities because of what had happened to the United States on that day.

Huh? Why?

This was Canada!

And finally it clicked. That was the reason for all the security at the airport. The Canadians are not just our neighbors. We don’t just share a border with them — they are our friends and our allies.

We are not alone in this battle against terror — and crime, for that matter.

We have Canada.

Of course, there are other friends and allies around the world who accept as true that killing innocent men, women, and children over an ideology is immoral and unethical. Certainly, there are other countries that share the belief that criminal activity must be countered competently and fairly. But it is very comforting to know that we have committed and trained Ethical Warriors right upstairs who are on our side.

So, God bless you, Canada — and thank you.

Jack E. Hoban is president of Resolution Group International, subject matter expert for Combatives and Warrior Ethics for the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, and trains police officers in de-escalation skills.

Bruce J. Gourlie is a former U.S. Army infantry officer, a retired FBI Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge for Intelligence and currently the director of security in a large healthcare system.

Correspondence can be sent to both authors by emailing Hoban & Gourlie.

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