The Dispatch | Vol. 3, No. 3, July 2021


Disruption or Merely Interruption?

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

As I write this piece, it is my 14th day post second vaccination. If I am to believe the current public health guidance, I think I just left the pandemic. I’m wondering why I am feeling a bit like it is just another Monday?

Please don’t get me wrong here. Of course, I consider it a privilege to have arrived at this point. My gratitude and respect for our health professionals overwhelms me. I also recognize that somewhere inside me a still-forming catharsis is most likely underway, and just as likely to reveal itself when least expected. Perhaps this dulled experience today is because we really do not yet know what we had hoped to know. Amid the unevenness of vaccine uptake even locally, and the continuing inequities in global access, surely the promise of COVID-19 immunity is still tenuous at best. That might be some of what I’m feeling.

There is something else, though. Drawing upon the familiar notion that any crisis may present equal parts danger and opportunity, I worry that as the former begins to fade, those of us working in the human services might be inclined to simply abandon the latter, intentionally or otherwise. What a shame that would be.

The term disruptive innovation has gained a lot of popularity in business and investment circles, and there have been many examples of disruptive technologies, characterized as those that quickly make irrelevant the systems and habits they replace. This tends to work well in the private sector where market forces can accelerate the embrace of better solutions to everyday problems and needs, whether real or simply concocted in pursuit of profits.

The promise of disruptive innovation in the public sphere is a lot more difficult to achieve. No doubt, the problems and needs are very real indeed, and surely no one needs to concoct new ones. The problem is that the prevailing systems and habits are far less likely to yield, even in the best of times. Our public systems have been already strained and battered and we are still a long way from anything akin to normal operations. Thus, any attempts at systemic innovation will be competing head on with the challenges of system recovery for many months to come.

At the same time, a lot has been revealed since early 2020 about the so-called normal operations of the system. We do know that better ways are sorely needed, and some are long, long overdue.

Here’s hoping that promising social innovations underway prior to the pandemic will gain renewed traction, that collaborative work will continue to present and authenticate new and more equitable solutions, and that we will all someday look back on this tragic time as so much more than an interruption in our regularly scheduled programs.


As JCSWB celebrates its 5-year anniversary we reflect proudly on how we began, where we are today, and how our contributions are shaping the unique intersection of human services and criminal justice. As we look forward to the next 5 years, we would like to acknowledge and thank:

Our Community. The relationships we continue to build with Canadian and international associations and organizations ensure that we are publishing content that benefits a broad and diverse audience.

Our Partnerships. Providing benefit to all through the dissemination of rigorous, peer-reviewed papers that further the collaboration between sectors and strengthen the work being done in the CSWB community.

Our Authors. You trust us to publish your important work and continue to create and innovate meaningful discussions and research.

Our Reviewers. Your selfless commitment and dedication have been integral to ensuring that we continue to meet the highest possible standards of rigorous peer-review in each and every issue. We are grateful for all that you do in support of our collective mission.

Our Editorial Team. We are fortunate to collaborate with an exceptional Editor-in-Chief and Editorial Board. Your guidance, passion and tireless support has fueled the growth of JCSWB over the past 5 years and has positioned it for future success. We look forward to continuing our work together along with the members of our newly implemented Contributing Editor Community.

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CSKA Welcomes Seven Police Chiefs to the Alliance

These are extraordinary times for community safety organizations as they take stock of the impacts of the pandemic and look ahead to what many expect will be a very difficult period of austerity looming over the horizon. As Larry Summers, former Chief Economist for the World Bank said recently, the overall economic impact of the pandemic is about four times that of the 2007-2008 global financial crisis.

Against this backdrop, earlier this week the Community Safety Knowledge Alliance (CSKA) welcomed seven police services from across Canada as full members in the alliance. CSKA will support the chiefs of Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Peel Regional, Ottawa and Sudbury police services with independent organizational development support and research on a variety of strategic and tactical issues as they prepare their organizations for the future and shape the emerging practice of collaborative community safety and well-being.

During the early days of Covid-19, this small group of chiefs began discussing how they might partner in preparing their organizations for post-pandemic realities. These discussions took on greater urgency after the intensification last year of broad-based calls for social change, with its emphasis on social justice and social inclusion. The idea of joining CSKA soon emerged.

CSKA will assemble customized teams of leading academics, social scientists and other experts to support the group in such areas as:

▪ Developing and implementing new approaches to organizing and delivering multi-disciplinary and cross-sectoral community safety services
▪ Helping build internal change leadership capacity
▪ Undertaking what-works reviews to identify promising progressive practices
Developing and implementing new approaches to organizing and delivering multi-disciplinary and cross-sectoral community safety services
Helping build internal change leadership capacity
Undertaking what-works reviews to identify promising progressive practices

Among the strategic outcomes anticipated through these efforts will be more effective programming responses to improving community safety, improved cross-sectoral partnerships, reduced demand on finite resources, enhanced organizational resilience, and change readiness.

Knowledge mobilization is Important, and we will use a variety of means to communicate new knowledge and insights from our work to the broader policing and community safety sectors. Of course, the Journal of Community Safety and Well-being will continue to be a central medium in this regard.
CSKA is a Saskatoon and Ottawa-based non-profit. Established in 2015, it supports governments, the police sector and others in developing, implementing and assessing new approaches to community safety and well-being.

Cal Corley, MBA
CEO, Community Safety Knowledge Alliance


Rachel Bromberg

Contributing Editor, Journal of CSWB

Rachel Bromberg is the Co-Founder of the Reach Out Response Network, which is an advocacy-focused non-profit supporting the City of Toronto in developing and implementing a civilian-led mental health crisis response service that will launch in early 2022. She is also the Executive Director of the International Crisis Response Association, which is a service providers network connecting individuals across Toronto and the United States who are building or leading similar services in their communities. Rachel is a member of the Toronto Regional Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health's Constituency Council. She is currently completing a dual degree in law and social work (JD/MSW), and she has been working in the mental health field for the past seven years at organizations such as Stella's Place, CAMH, Planned Parenthood, the LGBT Youth Line, and the Canadian Suicide Prevention Service.

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A Message From our Partners at CPKN

Policing in a Digital World: Competencies and Training for Canadian Law Enforcement

As part of ongoing efforts to enhance competency-based management tools, resources, and learning for Canadian police, the Canadian Police Knowledge Network is working to develop nationally relevant digital competencies and training to ensure police services can appropriately respond to the proliferation of digital evidence and cybercrimes.

As part of the project, CPKN recently released the Competency-based Management Framework for Digital Competencies in Canadian Policing report, which outlines 10 digital competencies for 10 policing roles, including uniformed first responders, investigators, and unit managers and can be readily adapted to fit the unique needs of individual police services. It will help to ensure members, regardless of role, are appropriately equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to effectively deal with cyber-related crime and incidents. Work is now underway to develop training that support the development of digital competencies for frontline members.

Learn more and access the report.


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


Highlights from this issue include:

Improving police transparency in Canada
[Social Innovation Narratives]
Lance Valcour

Observational study of visual testing efficacy in detecting cannabis usage
[Original Research]
Phillip Olla, Mustafa Abumeeiz, Lauren Elliott, Rachel Foote, Mialynn Lee-Daigle, Stephen Bartol, Laszlo Erdodi

The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on domestic violence and child abuse
[Original Research: LEPH 2021]
Sandra M. Bucerius, Brad W.R. Roberts, Daniel J. Jones


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 July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021. Click here to view other articles from our archives.

Policing of sex work in South Africa: The positive policing partnership approach [LEPH 2019] (4,019 Views)
Donna Maree Evans, Marlise L. Richter, Munyaradazi I. Katumba
Vol 4, No 4 (2019)

On the economics of post-traumatic stress disorder among first responders in Canada (3,324 Views)
Stuart Wilson, Harminder Guliani, Georgi Boichev
Vol 1, No 2 (2016)

Mental health and well-being of police in a health pandemic: Critical issues for police leaders in a post-COVID-19 environment (2,336 Views)
Vol 5, No. 2 (2020)
Jacqueline M. Drew, Sherri Martin



Thank you again to all LEPH2021 presenters who submitted their manuscripts for consideration in our conference themed issues. The response and number of high-quality submissions exceeded our expectations. Don’t forget that our LEPH2021 theme is continuing on into our September 2021 issue.

Celebrating 5 Years of the Journal of CSWB

JCSWB 5-Year

Visit the website to view some of the Journal of CSWB’s milestones over the last 5 years! Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @JournalCSWB and LinkedIn to catch more journal achievements and interesting facts.

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