Reflections of the past

      Time magazine was one of the first publications to share its review of the last decade, calling it "the decade from Hell." In the story (dated November 24), citing the major disasters and tragedies of the last 10 years (9/11 in 2001, stock market crashes in 2000–2001 and the current struggling economic condition, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, conflicts overseas with Afghanistan and Iraq, etc.), Andy Serwer says that we can call the '00s by whatever name we'd like, "just give thanks that it is nearly over."

   Before we spend our two cents condemning this past decade, we might want to step back, let the dust settle and reflect on those things that could instead be stepping stones into a better decade. With that thought in mind, and as we hammer the nail in on the latest decade, in this issue we have collected a variety of features reflecting on 2009, the 2000s and an era of technology.

  • The December cover highlights some of our favorite covers from 2000 to the present, celebrating another 10 years of Law Enforcement Technology (and counting!).
  • We've also pulled together a collection of polls and statistics on a variety of topics (Page 46) representing both reader opinions and governmental statistics on the state of a couple policing matters.
  • In a compilation of the technological policing highlights for the last eight decades, the timeline on Page 52 shows the origins of some of the technologies at your and your officers' fingertips every day, observing years of progress and foreshadowing emerging police technologies to come.
  • Finally, wrapping up 2009, our roundtable participants share their stories (Page 38) of what was tough this year, how they've seen technology advance and what they'd like to see in future law enforcement tech.

   Best of luck to all; 2009 was, by most accounts and across industries, a challenge.

   In another decade, we'll be better able to tell if the '00s were, in fact, just 10 miserable years. I'm trucking into 2010 with the prospect of a fresh start with a new decade and (fingers crossed) a healing economic state, and that should give us all a reason with which to raise a glass.

   Whether or not your glass is half full or half empty, let's hoist it and cheer to a better 10 (because either way it cost a couple bucks and in this economy, that shouldn't go to waste).