Dr. Relly Nadler: Today, we’re talking with a former frontline civil servant who is going to talk about how emotional intelligence fits into his global efforts. We will give his full intro in a minute, Robert Brzenchek, and we will get you his bio. I think it will be a very engaging conversation, especially dealing with law enforcement and things that are going on currently today.
Cathy, welcome to the show.
Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Well, thank you, Relly. I’m very excited to be here today. We have, I think, a very interesting and unique show today, focused on the work of an individual who actually calls himself a person who has been on the frontline of service.
I think Bob’s history and his current focus are much deeper and I hope he’ll reveal some of that as we go through the program today. His spouse is a very interesting person as well.
So, we will have an engaging conversation with Bob.
Dr. Relly Nadler: Let me say something about Bob Brzenchek. He is the founder/owner of a Delaware-based nonprofit that’s called Brzenchek Foundation Corporation. The mission is to be a global chain agent to empower communities through advocacy, training, consulting, and philanthropy.
Mr. Brzenchek, or Bob – we will call him – hosts his own podcast with a focus on social justice, criminal justice, and reform; that’s called Injustice Anywhere Is a Threat to Justice Everywhere. So, that will be something we will ask him about and the reach.
He has published two books – about gangs. One is The Gang Life: Laugh Now, Cry Later – Suppression and Prevention. That was in 2017.
And then a more recent one in 2020, Transnational Organizational Crime in Gangs. It looks at intervention, prevention, and suppression of cyber security.
He has also done many articles on gangs, emergency management, homeland, international security, and cyber security.
He is pursuing his Ph.D. with research on gang unit officer experience. So, really a special niche for those folks who are working in depth with gangs. He’s interviewed with various gangs ranging from MS13, the Bloods, the Crips, and Latin Kings and also in his capacity as law enforcement official.
His website and then we will bring him on is, www.robertbrzenchek.com. You can find more of his stuff.
Bob, welcome. We are so glad to have you here.
Robert Brzenchek: Thank you so much. Greetings from Florida where we just had a benefit event in West Palm Beach at an art studio with emerging law enforcement and troubled youth in an art studio. So, in the sunshine state and happy to be here.
Dr. Relly Nadler: That’s great. Where do you normally live?
Dr. Cathy Greenberg: We are happy to have you.
So, Bob, we always like to start out our program by giving our audience a little bit of an opportunity to get to know you more personally, as much as we can from a voice. But can you tell us a little bit about who influenced you and the direction that you’ve taken in terms of calling yourself a frontline civil servant and how that fits into your current work?
So, who has influenced all of that in your life?
Robert Brzenchek: Well, you know, if you’ve watched the movie, The Irishman, the grandfather side of the family was related to the Bufalinos. So, I have some of that lineage in my line, but I also know that I wanted to serve and protect. So, I saw the other side and how that was and didn’t want any part of it. So, I got a front-row seat because once people asked me what I know about gangs – Well a little thing called Bufalinos. Also, working that as a frontline officer and PC in South Carolina.
The reason I said I’m a front-line servant – I did Leadership Wilkes-Barre in my hometown, home of Kids for Cash. Unfortunately, we are known for a whole bunch of fraud in Luzerne county. So, I know the other side. Seeing that front-row seat. That’s one of the reasons why I branched out into DC and South Carolina. You either paid somebody or knew somebody to get a job in my hometown. To the present day, it’s still that way.
So, I got a front-row seat to fraud. I know that I want to serve society and the community in a better way and that’s why I call myself a frontline servant.
Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Love it.
Dr. Relly Nadler: How long were you in law enforcement officer?
Robert Brzenchek: A total of fifteen years. I also did a Navy Intelligence stint at Marita, Georgia, and Andrew’s Joint Base. So, add all the civil servant time together; fifteen years.
Dr. Relly Nadler: Wow. Well, you and Cathy are going to have a…
Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Bob, tell us a little bit about what you want our viewers to know and perhaps how that led into the books that you write.
Robert Brzenchek: Yeah. I mean, if you’ve watched the movie The Irishman, that gave me a front-row seat to all the content that you see in my current book. In chapter three, I outline the family lineage and then how I dissuaded myself from joining that family lineage in the mafia.
It just inspired me because I saw people in need. I saw people in the community circuit, at policing, at community policing 101, talking with folks I got a front-line perspective of the community needs. I have to tell you, that’s one of the things that inspired me to write books. It’s an educational tool for the community to understand and have an insight into exactly what’s happening.
Because I could tell you, Dr. Greenberg, I’ve actually talked with people in the military and I’ve talked to people who’ve served the military – the YMCA, others – a lot of folks don’t know there are gangs in the military. It’s really alarming to me that a lot of folks don’t know that. It’s an uncomfortable conversation, however, it needs to be said.
Just because you are uncomfortable with it, you need to talk about it. That inspired me to write books. Because it is an educational tool. I actually have a Russian Mafia member in my book who merged MS13 in the early 2000s who washed out of the Coast Guard Academy purposely five times to get the tactics, tools, and techniques and bring them back to his group. Those are things that you are not going to hear every day on the street. You are going to hear that in my book or see that in my book.
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