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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

READ THIS: VIGILANCE: My Life Serving America and Protecting Its Empire City By Ray Kelly Our Coverage Sponsored by Stribling and Associates

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Whom You Know Congratulates their new President, Elizabeth Ann Stribling-Kivlan:

This post is in memory of all that passed away on 9/11/01 and in celebration of everyone that survived it.
Of what we might publish on, Vigilance was at the top of our list. It was even better than we thought it would be, and in the wake of recent events in Paris we wish the topic of vigilance was less relevant right now. However, we no longer live in such a world and Ray Kelly is the master of intelligence and counterterrorism for the civilized world.

All of New York should be tremendously grateful for the tenacity, brilliance and passion that Ray Kelly has shown throughout his life and career.  Excelling at stacking the odds in our favor, Ray Kelly prevented sixteen more acts of terrorism from taking place during his tenure that began at the beginning of 2002....for the second time!  

His first round was under Mayor Dinkins starting in 1992 as the 37th Police Commissioner of New York. But that's not surprising considering he earned Smartest Boy in Class for two years as a kid and finished the Police Academy number one in his class, taking the sergeant's exam before he graduated.  Characterized by his brilliant pro-active philosophy, approach and execution of plans, Ray Kelly shows us how anticipation of action and knowing your community make all the difference in successful law enforcement.  Street inquiries make all the difference; and never leave out the "question" aspect.  (p. 184-185)  The roots in English common law is also interesting to note. (p. 273)

Ray Kelly's educational ambitions and ability to draw on knowledge from other disciplines is another key to his success.  Using data, recognizing the strengths of individuals, and knowing how to lead were all skills he fine tuned throughout the years, most notably at Harvard.  This prepared him for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, which happened under his first term.  His experiences working in Haiti were enlightening to learn about, and his political commentary reflects a true independent thinker.  Ray Kelly gets along with everyone.  He explains his thought process in endorsing Bloomberg for Mayor (p. 159) and it clearly is not party-motivated which is quite refreshing in today's world.  Bloomberg was unequivocally excellent for New York as evidenced by his 12 superlative years in office.

"Most of our work never made the papers or got many thank-yous from city hall.  But it was the little accomplishments that kept us going,  even if the wheels were back to spinning the very next night." (p. 64)

Chapter 14 Terror Never Sleeps is one of the best chapters as Kelly explains what you do not know about the laudable work he and the NYPD did to keep us all safe.   Your critical thinking about how you live in New York will be improved after knowing what evil lurks here.  We found it shocking that there is a 35 and 20 year limit on certain crimes (p. 256).  

We also loved hearing about his input into the plans for the new World Trade Center, and how he improved them.  Of course, he was in support of the height of 1,776 feet.

We loved the personal anecdotes including:
*How he got to be part of the team that held the Turkey Balloon at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
*In Washington, D.C. he lived at the Residences at Market Square (looks like that is near Ashok's 701)
*Did you know he once worked for Bear Stearns as Global Head of Security
*Of course we loved the picture section

Though he first served under Mayor Giuliani, Bill Bratton has his work cut out for him with today's challenges.  Bratton is fortunate that his immediate path was paved so well by Ray Kelly.  New York City would be so lucky to have Ray Kelly as a Mayor someday; we wish he was starting tomorrow.

Our esteemed panelists add:

Ray Kelly's "Vigilance" is nothing more than a portrayal of leadership par excellence in the most challenging of circumstances from fighting crime in the streets of New York City to the rebuilding of the World Trade Center.  
The evolution of Ray Kelly's amazing leadership is accentuated in the amazing color insert--from service in Vietnam to his work in the Office of Emergency Management.  
Ray Kelly's energy shines with the success of his focus on his three C's: counter-terrorism, crime fighting, and community relations, all requiring constant vigilance.  
Kelly offers solace when many of the nation's police departments are facing a great deal of scrutiny: the rash of controversial cases, he writes, "do not represent typical police work; they are an aberration." 
Lesson learned: Kelly strives for nothing less than professionalism but he has also demanded the same from clergy, community leaders and athletic/entertainment celebrities.  
"Vigilance" is an upbeat work with a prescription moving forward, requiring soul searching and care when navigating the "political swirl that surrounds us." 
Ray Kelly has never sent up the white flag of surrender when facing the daunting problems of crime and terrorism; he is truly an American hero. 
"Onward" is the perfect title for Kelly's last chapter of "Vigilance" in which he offers new insight for improvement; after all, "the future of our country and our way of life is at stake." 

0-16 is the score Ray Kelly batted - and that's in our favor, post-9/11. Mr. Kelly gives us a tense behind-the-scenes look at terrorist plots that centered around our city in the aftermath of that horrendous day. As NYC's Police Commissioner (twice!) Ray Kelly protected and defended us with insight and ferocity. He grew up in the city he watched over, when crime reflected each different decade. By the time he came into office for the second time just after 9/11, Mr. Kelly had an overview that was unrivaled in law enforcement.  
His behind-the-scenes tales extend to tales of Old New York, when the innocence of playing stickball in the streets was as much a part of life as the multi-ethnic diversity of the population. From every neighborhood he lived in, he regales us with back stories told in his own unique point of view.  
Get to know about New York City through the eyes of a man who has lived its ins and outs. Famous names seeded throughout his autobiography remind us that this is not fiction, not a script for an action film. It's the real deal. Fascinating, engrossing. Told by a real guy, our very own Ray Kelly.

Vigilance by Ray Kelly has earned Whom You Know's Highest Recommendation.


We all remember where we were when the twin towers fell and the world stood still. Whether you were looking down Broadway, or glued to the TV in your living room or a classroom across the country, the images and fear of September 11, 2001, are burned into the collective memory of our nation. As the world grappled with the aftershocks of the World Trade Center attacks, no one understood better than Ray Kelly—who became New York City Police Commissioner just four months later—that New York’s security was a matter of national security. In his gripping memoir, VIGILANCE: My Life Serving America and Protecting Its Empire City (Hachette Books; September 8, 2015), Kelly, a longtime public servant whose legendary discipline helped fuel his remarkable ascent, shares a candid and detailed account about his life driving violent crime down to record lows, the sixteen terrorist plots foiled on his watch, and his groundbreaking efforts to reshape law enforcement for the post-9/11 world.

After serving as a Marine in Vietnam, Ray Kelly, the son of a New York milkman, soared through the NYPD ranks in decades marked by riots, drugs, and a staggering murder rate. Kelly developed a reputation as a fixer who could clean up troubled precincts. In his first stint as commissioner, under Mayor David Dinkins, Kelly oversaw the police response to the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing. Following leadership positions at Interpol, the Treasury Department, and the U.S. Customs, Mayor Bloomberg appointed Kelly as police commissioner once again in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, making him the first person to hold the post for two non-consecutive terms. Throughout his second term, Kelly transformed the NYPD from a traditional police department into a resource-rich counterterrorism-and-intelligence force. 

In a time when both terrorism and race relations between police and the communities they serve are at the forefront of the national conversation, Kelly, now the longest serving Commissioner in the history of the NYPD, stands as a veteran who has confronted both issues on the front lines. 

VIGILANCE: My Life Serving America and Protecting Its Empire City
By Ray Kelly
Hachette Books 352 Pages | ISBN: 9780316383813

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