Welcome to our special Buyer's Guide edition of POLICE Magazine. In the past our Buyer's Guide has been combined with our July issue, but this year we decided to make it a separate issue and send it with one of our regular issues. This is a bonus for you, our loyal readers, and we also believe this format will be more useful for you throughout this fiscal year as you search for information and vendors of the apparel, footwear, equipment, and tools that you need to keep your jurisdictions and yourself safe.

There are those who say that print buyer's guides are unnecessary in the digital age. But we believe that a print buyer's guide can still be a very valuable resource for law enforcement quartermasters and other officers who make purchase recommendations.

Studies have shown that many people still prefer printed reference material to digital reference material. Some people prefer to sit back and read paper documents. Even for those who find digital material more convenient, print buyer's guides can guide you where to look online to find more information.

One place you can look online for more information and as a complement to our Buyer's Guide is the POLICE Magazine Directory at PoliceMag.com. Our online directory is easy to find on the PoliceMag.com Website, and it allows you to search by name or product category. Each listing that your search returns gives you live links to the company's Website and the contact's e-mail. We believe that our print Buyer's Guide and our online directory give you the best of both the print and digital worlds.

In some ways, we chose to treat this bonus issue of POLICE Magazine as a place to try some things we don't normally do in the regular monthly edition of POLICE. For example, we conducted multiple surveys of our readers and chose to represent that information visually, giving you snapshots of certain aspects of everyday life in American law enforcement.

Another editorial decision we made when we created this special Buyer's Guide was that we wanted it to contain some of the topical coverage that is the hallmark of POLICE Magazine. That's why we chose to include a powerful look at law enforcement layoffs by acclaimed journalist Kristine Meldrum Denholm (You can read her Maggie award-winning article "Chasing Ghosts" in our October 2010 issue and online at PoliceMag.com.) in this Buyer's Guide. We know this is not a pleasant subject, but we believe this article is important, and it will help you cope with these challenging times.

We hope this special Buyer's Guide issue of POLICE Magazine-coupled with our online directory-will be a helpful resource for you throughout the coming year. Thank you for reading POLICE Magazine and PoliceMag.com.