Christmas is almost here, and soon we will be bidding goodbye to 2009. Good riddance, I might say, given the events that have transpired in the past year. I am reminded of the ancient Chinese curse: "May you live in interesting times".

For we are, indeed, living in interesting times. In 2009 we've seen the United States federal deficit increase exponentially as a runaway tax-and-spend Congress has plunged us into unprecedented debt. We have seen our economy teeter on the brink of collapse (and some say we're still teetering...). We have watched as Korea and Iran race to develop nuclear weapons and delivery systems while our do-nothing President apologizes to the World for the "bad behavior" of the United States. And that same President somehow managed to nearly-simultanously escalate the war in Afghanistan and collect a Nobel Peace Prize.

Pandemic H1N1 Influenza ran amok in 2009, causing more panic than anything else, although the death toll was not insignificant. The federal government is about to take over the health care system in the United States; given the government's record of creating runaway bureaucracies such as the Veterans Administration and the Social Security Administration (either of which could be the poster child for poor service and rampant inefficiency) I am gravely pessimistic about the future of health care in America.

But amid all this gloom and doom, I have to admit there have been some great moments for me in 2009. Despite tight training budgets, we were able to conduct almost as many Tactical Anatomy classes in 2009 as we did in 2008. More cops attended TAS courses in 2009 on their own dime than in any previous year, which tells me two things: first, that this training is needed in the law enforcement community, and second, that there are a lot of dedicated trainers out there who will stop at nothing to make sure their people get the best training they can find. To all those dedicated instructors, I want to say thank you, and don't give up doing what you do. Officers' lives depend on you.

I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas, and a happy and safe New Year. Here's hoping 2010 turns out to be a great year.

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Screen shot of Dr. Williams being interviewed by Police One TV