Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Michael Tabman - Where Have All Our Children Gone?

Where Have All Our Children Gone? Murdered, Missing or Bullied to DeathIn Crime and Security on December 29, 2011 at 9:30 pm
Where Have All Our Children Gone?

A few weeks ago, I was honored to be the guest speaker at OpieFest, an event named after Jesse Ross, a student who disappeared five years ago. OpieFest brings together families of missing loved ones and keeps this tragic issue in the public eye. The number of people who have family members missing and/or presumed dead is staggering and distressing.
This year, we heard of several cases of children who are missing or were brutally murdered. We also heard of other children who were bullied to the point of suicide. Let’s not forget how many other cases of such tragedies we did not hear about.
What does this tell us about the state of our society? While we fight terrorists, thugs and sometimes ourselves in the name of protection and self-preservation, have we forgotten what’s really important? Our most cherished assets seem to have no protection at all.
After a tragedy occurs, we usually respond with new laws and aggressive enforcement actions. We should write laws that hopefully deter and punish criminal conduct. After the Casey Anthony trial, there was buzz about creating legislation known as Caylee’s Law – which would require a parent to report a missing child. This is an excellent idea that I hope reaches fruition.
But the sad reality is that all the laws in the world will not stop a parent from “snapping” or a degenerate from molesting; nor have laws stopped murderers from killing and we will never stop children from bullying. So what do we do?
We keep alert and stay engaged with our kids, family, friends and neighbors. We should follow the mantra for our war on terrorism, “If you see something, say something.” Learn the warning signs of a parent who is experiencing extreme stress. Talk to your kids and understand the signs of depression and bullying. Open a dialog with their teachers. Watch for the same warning signs in your kids’ friends, neighbors, nieces, nephews and grandchildren. If you suspect something is wrong – take action. Talk and listen. If necessary, make a referral to the appropriate public agency. Most importantly, never assume that your friend or family member could “never do something like that.”
For every child who has been molested, murdered or disappeared, they were victimized by someone who was trusted to “never do something like that.”
Remember, “Evil prospers when good men do nothing.”

Michael Tabman was born and raised in New York City. He graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan, NY. After serving as a police officer for three years with the Fairfax County VA police department on patrol, in plain clothes and as a hostage negotiator, he joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Michael investigated crimes ranging from white collar to bank robberies, organized crime, drug trafficking and money laundering during his 24 years with the FBI.
His professional travels took him to Israel, Russia, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, rising to the level of Special Agent in Charge. After retiring, Michael founded and still works at SPIRIT Asset Protection, LLC as a security and risk management consultant and public speaker.
Michael is the author of three books, Walking the Corporate Beat: Police School for Business People as well as crime novels, Midnight Sin and Bad Intent.
Michael has a Crime and Security Blog and he can be followed on Twitter or Facebook.

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