Professionalism and Respectfulness

Published: January 14, 2013

By Jim Lichtman
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The New Hampshire Technical Institute is a small community college tucked into the historic town of Concord. NHTI is also the home of the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center – a remarkable resource for both students and visitors.

This is the third year I have had the opportunity to co-teachContemporary Ethical Issues with Professor Stephen Ambra. The intensive class runs seven hours a day for five straight days. However, unlike past years where there were clear, standout students, the class of 2013 as a whole, was remarkable. They not only came together faster than previous classes – important when it came to forming groups for final presentations – but forty percent were men, many part of the Criminal Justice program. Throughout all five days last week, all demonstrated a remarkable amount of candor and self-reflection.

As in past years, Steve Ambra’s pre-class assignment was to read my book, What Do You Stand For? – Stories About Principles that Matter, then answer the key questions for themselves. This initial response comes from one of the Criminal Justice students.

“I was inspired by Lt. Jon Twiss of the Derry Police Department. About ten years ago, while Jon was a detective, he responded to a kidnapping call where a little boy had been taken from his home. As the day unfolded, he described all the emotions of that day beginning when he arrived at the victim’s home.

“While the parents were distraught, Jon needed information to further his investigation. After speaking to the family and the neighbors of the boy, Lt. Twiss found the man suspected of taking the boy.  He knew that the only way of finding the boy was by showing the man respect and not treating him harshly. By talking to this man like a human being, the man gave them the location of the boy. Regrettably, the man informed Lt. Twiss that he believed that he had strangled the child to death. Fortunately, when Lt. Twiss found the boy he was still alive and brought to the hospital where he made a full recovery.

“Without Lt. Twiss’s extraordinary professionalism and respectfulness, that little boy may not have ever been found, never mind alive.

“Lt. Twiss not only inspired me, but reminded me why I am pursuing Criminal Justice and why I have the utmost respect for all law enforcement officers. Without their objective views and professionalism, our lives wouldn’t be as safe as they are.”



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