Taiwan has been a few of the exceptions recording very low infection figures in the worldwide pandemic COVID-19 since early 2020. The island was regarded as ‘abnormally normal’ during the public health crisis. This study analysed the management of COVID-19 in two cities in Taiwan—Taipei City and New Taipei City, by exploring the roles of two groups of easily forgotten, street-level personnel who were indispensable—the village chiefs and police constables in field stations. We argued the effectiveness of infection control could partly be explained by the well-developed community policing practices. A close cooperation among public officers could be seen in the enforcement of home quarantine order for the Taiwan resident returnees in the early days of the anti-pandemic fight. This government–society collegiality in Taiwan is merely a continuation of the institutionalized practice of community policing evolving from the colonial and authoritarian regimes. Copyright © 2023 The Author(s).