Just Wondering: Will the First Ones Now Later be Last?

Norman E. Taylor
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Community Safety and Well-Being

“The global lens has perhaps never before been so sharply focused on the valiant and vital work of our health, human services and first responder professionals, and by extension, on the researchers, analysts, scholars and policy-makers who must capture, build and disseminate the knowledge and evidence that supports their work and their safety.”

So went the preface to our recent special COVID-19 call for papers, and on behalf of our editorial team, I am pleased to announce that we have received a strong response. We will be issuing our special issue in July with potentially a dozen or more highly relevant papers spanning original research, social innovation narratives, and commentaries from around the world. Our thanks go to the contributors and to our reviewers who have put aside precious time to make these important contributions to the global discourse on this unprecedented experience.

In my most recent editorial in Issue 5(1), I balked at the prospect of offering much comment so early into the pandemic. In the upcoming issue, I will have more to say alongside our featured authors.

Pandemics are not my forte by any means, but systems are, especially those that comprise our public policy spheres. It seems almost every day we are witnessing new ways in which these systems are adapting, stretching, and in many cases, revealing heroic capacities that until now were variously unknown, maybe hidden, or even denied. And yes, while we are also seeing some limitations and misalignments with a striking new clarity, it is the innovative elasticity of the system, along with heightened appreciation, respect and care for those within it, that has stirred my curiosity. Moreover, it leads me to wonder if this elasticity might endure beyond the unusual pressures of a crisis. Or, not.

Let me put it this way, with the question that is driving my current thinking, for now at least. In the past, when the system said, “No we can’t”, was it really saying, “No, we just don’t want to?”

In just these first two months since the pandemic took hold, all around the world there have been bold and surprising examples of the system saying, “Yes we can”, “Yes, we will”, “Yes, we must”. In more recent weeks, we are also seeing some increasingly aggressive efforts born of inertia, friction and rebound.

Quoting Dylan’s proverbial commentary on changing times is probably a bit played out. But I must confess, some of those lyrics are tugging at me, alongside a couple more questions. What is the shelf life of ‘normal’? How long in the sunlight does it take for a stubborn, prevailing socio-economic paradigm to expire?

More on this later. Meanwhile, stay safe and stay well.


Navigating Through the COVID-19 Pandemic: Build your Individualized Self-Care Plan

Dr. Katy Kamkar, Ph.D., C.Psych., Clinical Psychologist
Section Editor, Journal of Community Safety and Well-Being

COVID-19 has turned our lives upside down. Measures critical to our safety, including physical distancing, self-isolation and quarantine, have brought sudden and drastic changes to how we live and operate. COVID-19 can be experienced as grief, from missing going out for coffee, to attending social events, to death and mourning the loss of loved ones. While some have felt boredom, others have felt overwhelmed with multiple roles, working from home, childcare, eldercare, home schooling, among other household responsibilities.

Our range of emotions can include anxiety, fear, sadness, irritability, and/or feelings of anger. There are worries related to work, from how to work remotely to fear of losing employment and finances. Being self-isolated can cause feelings of loneliness, and for some, feelings of worthlessness and sadness. And, there is the constant fear of contracting the virus and of contaminating loved ones.

Inability to see loved ones is a significant stressor, especially the fear of not being with them during their final hours. Tragically for some, the inability to attend funeral gatherings and grieving alone has worsened feelings of solitude and sadness.

Physical closeness produces positive and happy hormones such as dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin, which also play a significant role in our grieving process. When closeness cannot occur, risk increases for mental health and prolonged grief.

Moral distress is an internal tension we might experience from feeling we did not do enough, may not have done the right thing, or any action or lack of action that might have shattered our belief system or values. For anyone in a helping profession such as front-line health workers or first responders, any intense preoccupation with the pain (emotional, physical or psychological) of those you are trying to help can lead to compassion fatigue. Both moral suffering and compassion fatigue can lead to exhaustion, cynicism and negative self-evaluation, and can in turn increase risks for burnout.

We may have days when our brain feels scattered, slow and less productive, even when working hard at home. Our flight-or-fight freeze response is activated more often. Everyday things that once seemed automatic - going out, pressing the elevator button, grocery shopping - are now perceived as a threat requiring cognitive and emotional efforts to ensure extra safety precautions.

Here are some tips and strategies:

Normalize all your emotions and thoughts. Acknowledge the sudden drastic changes to our daily lives. Do not fear your emotions. They are educational and provide cues for us to take action.

Keep in touch. We do not need to be physically close to see one another and to be together. Seek out family and friends through calling, texting, emailing, FaceTime, and social media.

Health is health, whether mental or physical. Work towards a lifestyle that includes balanced diet and physical activity. Avoid substance misuse.

Practice psychological flexibility. Set new structure and routine but retain some flexibility. Set a time to wake up in the morning and start each day by setting meaningful, healthy and creative activities. We will likely continue to experience series of “new normal” requiring us to adapt to change each time.

Re-evaluate and revise your thoughts, expectations, and goals to ensure they match the current reality and you can achieve a realistic outcome. The more flexible you are the more you will feel resilient.

Practice grounding. Distinguish current from potential worries, and on what you can control. This will help you to remain focused on the moment and present time, “the here and now”. Use your senses, what you touch, see, hear, sense and smell to help you. For example, feel the air touching your face.

Identify positives every day and practice gratitude. Create positive energy in your home by being kind to yourself and others. Seek balance as you keep up with the news while setting boundaries to manage anxiety. Our tolerance may vary each day. Consider your own temperature and make adjustments as needed.

Engage in self compassion and mindfulness to avoid judging yourself or negative self-labeling. Reframe negative thoughts and put them into perspective. Identify your resources, support, past self-learning, and apply your strengths to healthy decisions. Remind yourself you are human.

And finally, do not hesitate to seek professional help if you are experiencing increasing psychological distress; difficulty initiating tasks or taking care of responsibilities; chronic low mood, sadness, or excessive anxiety that is increasingly difficult to manage; lacking pleasure in activities; difficulties with sleep and/or concentration; or other symptoms that cause you concern.


Coming in July!

We are excited to announce that with the publication of the special COVID-19 themed issue in July, we will also launch the Journal of Community Safety and Well-Being’s upgraded website and peer-review platform through Open Journal Systems (OJS). OJS is an open source journal management and publishing system that was originally developed by the Public Knowledge Project through its federally funded efforts to expand and improve access to research. With over 10,000 journals on the platform, it is the most widely used open source journal system worldwide.

The Journal is currently on the OJS 2 platform and will be upgraded to OJS 3, which is significantly different from its predecessor. It includes enhancements and new features developed from community feedback, testing and new software design capabilities, such as:

▪ Simplified registration and ability to upload multiple manuscript files for authors.
▪ Modern feel and responsive design across multiple devices for readers.
▪ Flexible workflow, internal discussion feature and better record keeping of manuscript status for editors.
Simplified registration and ability to upload multiple manuscript files for authors.
Modern feel and responsive design across multiple devices for readers.
Flexible workflow, internal discussion feature and better record keeping of manuscript status for editors.

New features of the system as well as helpful tips and tools will be highlighted in upcoming newsletters and through Twitter—stay tuned!

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SG Publishing Inc.
Trusted Scholarly Publisher


No one knows precisely what long-term implications the current pandemic will have on Canadian policing. With unprecedented levels of stimulus funding offered by all levels of government, there will be extraordinary pressures on all public services—including police—to dramatically reduce costs. Past experiences with budget reductions might pale in comparison. Avoiding controversial changes to traditional organizational structures may be impossible.

These will be intensely challenging times but will also present opportunities to re-imagine how policing and community safety are organized and delivered.
We are already seeing deep changes to other parts of the criminal justice system. A recent Huffington Post article, Ontario’s Court System Advances ’25 Years in 25 Days’ due to COVID-19, highlights how long-discussed process and technology reforms are suddenly seeing the light of day. Promising innovations are also taking shape within Canadian policing that may be a harbinger of more to come.

The Community Safety Knowledge Alliance is excited about our upcoming special issue of The Journal of Community Safety and Well-Being, stimulating new thinking and interventions, focusing on a post COVID-19 world of community safety and well-being. Stay tuned.

Cal Corley, CEO
Community Safety Knowledge Alliance


Nick Crofts AM

Section Editor, JCSWB

Professor Nick Crofts is an epidemiologist and public health practitioner who has been working in the fields of HIV/AIDS, illicit drugs, harm reduction and law enforcement for over 30 years. For his work on control of HIV among drug users in Asia, Australia and globally, he received the International Rolleston Award in 1998 and was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2018.

This work on HIV and drug use in Asia, among the most marginalized of communities, made him aware of the need for all sectors to work together to address the human rights issues underlying health inequities. Building capacity among SE Asian police in relation to HIV led to work in many settings forging relationships between police and public health. The Centre for Law Enforcement and Public Health, established in 2011 to run an annual Law Enforcement and Public Health Conference, has generated the Global Law Enforcement and Public Health Association (GLEPHA).

GLEPHA is working with the World Health Organization in establishing guidance for police and health to work together in preparedness and response to health emergencies, especially as in the current COVID-19 pandemic.

He is married to his best friend, Kerri, and has four remarkable young women as daughters.


Have you had the chance to read our April issue? To view the Table of Contents and download articles from this issue, please visit:


Highlights from this issue include:

For Now, Let’s Just Thank … and Help … the Heroes
Norman E. Taylor

Police Leadership During a Pandemic
[Food for Afterthought]
Matthew Torigian

Dialogue Highlights from the LEPH2019 Panel on Police Mental Health and Well-Being
[Record of Proceedings]
Katy Kamkar, Grant Edwards, Ian Hesketh, Dale McFee, Konstantinos Papazoglou, Paul Pedersen, Katrina Sanders, Tom Stamatakis, Jeff Thompson


Check out our Top 3 most read articles for the Journal of CSWB based on the number of full text views and downloads recorded on our website from May 1, 2019 to April 30, 2020. Click here to view other articles from our archives.

On the economics of post-traumatic stress disorder among first responders in Canada (20,286 Views)
Stuart Wilson, Harminder Guliani, Georgi Boichev
Vol 1, No 2 (2016)

The ethical dangers and merits of predictive policing (5,311 Views)
Moish Kutnowski
Vol 2, No 1 (2017)

Mobilizing and engaging your community to reduce victimization and reinvest police resources (4,415 Views)
J.V.N. (Vince) Hawkes
Vol 1, No 2 (2016)


Call for Papers for Special COVID-19 Themed Issue

Submission Deadline: May 31st

The Journal is dedicating our next issue to worldwide professionals on the front lines of COVID-19. We encourage scholars, policy makers and practitioners to submit their papers of direct or indirect relevance to the current public health crisis and its associated challenges for community safety and well-being in all its forms. We are currently accepting submissions to the following article categories: Editorials, Commentaries and Food for Afterthought (Perspective). For more information, please visit our website: https://journalcswb.ca/index.php/cswb/announcement/view/9


Submit your Research to the Journal of CSWB—an OPEN ACCESS Publication

Did you know that the Journal of CSWB is an OPEN ACCESS publication? The Journal publishes peer-reviewed content under an open access creative commons license, where all articles are freely available and permanently accessible immediately upon publication, without subscription or registration barriers. We believe this ensures the widest possible dissemination of our published research and promotes future innovation in the field.

We encourage your contributions to the growing CSWB and LEPH body of knowledge and evidence base. We invite you to review the Focus and Scope of the Journal of CSWB prior to making a submission. If you have questions regarding the suitability of a submission or our author guidelines, please contact JCSWBCommunity@sgpublishing.ca.

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Become a Reviewer and Get Involved

Want to get involved with the Journal? We invite you to register as a reviewer. Getting involved in the peer review process can be a highly rewarding experience that can also improve your own research and help to further your career. Reviewers also play an integral role in ensuring the high standards of the journal are met through evaluating manuscripts and providing constructive criticism to editors and authors.

To register as a reviewer ensure the “reviewer” box is selected and reviewing interests are entered upon registering with the journal at: https://journalcswb.ca/index.php/cswb/user/register

Questions? Contact support@sgpublishing.ca

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