Transforming Law Enforcement: Integral Policing Roundtable

Chris OrreyCognitive, Ethical, Free, How should we relate to the social justice movement?, IAM Insider, Leadership, World Affairs

Modern law enforcement faces complex and evolving challenges that demand innovative solutions. High-profile incidents, such as the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Eric Garner, have intensified public scrutiny, leading to significant swings in perception and policy. To navigate this turbulent environment, integrative frameworks offer the most promising path forward. By addressing deep-rooted issues and promoting sustainable change, these frameworks provide the necessary tools for transformative progress in policing.

In this wide-ranging roundtable discussion, the Institute of Applied Metatheory’s Josh Leonard hosts three leading experts in the field of integral policing to explore how applying big-picture, integrative frameworks could help address the complex challenges facing modern law enforcement.

The three panelists for this conversation are Chris Orrey, a retired police lieutenant from California, Gestur Palmason, a former police officer from Iceland, and Ryan Johansen, the current Chief of Police for San Bruno, California. Together, they explore the current landscape of policing from a big-picture perspective and demonstrate the potential for integral metatheory to drive transformative change in one of the most critical and challenging issue areas of our time.

The discussion delves into the powerful pendulum swings in public perception and policy that often follow high-profile incidents like the murder of George Floyd in 2020, and how an integral approach could help transcend these reactive cycles through a dialectical integration of opposing social pressures.

Key leverage points for transformation that emerge from the conversation include:

  1. Training police leadership in the Integral Four Quadrants model as a powerful sense-making tool for navigating complexity,
  2. Emphasizing officer wellness and resilience programs to support the healthy interior development of individual officers,
  3. Rethinking police metrics and KPIs to more holistically assess the success and health of police departments across all four quadrants,
  4. Fostering a culture of ongoing learning and development that empowers officers to adapt and grow with the increasing complexity of their roles.

While the path to a more integral future for policing is far from clear, the remarkable results and breakthroughs shared by Chief Johansen offer an inspiring glimpse of what’s possible when these big-picture integrative frameworks are put into practice with tact and vision.

The roundtable also reflects on the critical role of developmental leadership in shepherding this transformation. As more mature leaders begin to recognize the power and potential of integrative frameworks to help them better navigate the complexities of modern policing, we could be on the cusp of an exciting new wave of innovation and evolution in the field.

Join us for this thought-provoking and timely discussion as we explore how integrative metatheory could hold the key to ushering in a new era of policing — one that fosters greater trust, effectiveness, and resilience for officers and communities alike.

0:00 Introduction
7:18 The Current Context of Policing
11:14 Recruitment and Retention Issues
16:04 Integral Approaches to Officer Wellness
19:28 Navigating Polarities in Policing
25:21 Challenges in Police Reform
33:32 Innovations in Policing
38:01 Community Engagement and Education
43:00 Legislative Pressures on Policing
49:35 Identifying Leverage Points
1:02:26 Practical Applications of Integral Metatheory
1:12:30 Measuring Success
1:24:57 Integrating Green in Policing

Chris Orrey

About Chris Orrey

Chris Orrey is a retired police lieutenant with over 30 years of service with the Hayward, California Police Department. She is a graduate of California’s Command College, an 18-month program designed to prepare law enforcement leaders for the challenges of the future, and the LAPD Leadership Training Program, which is based on the West Point Leadership Program. In true Integral fashion, she will soon have a Master’s Degree in Comparative Religion and Philosophy and will be continuing her education at the California Institute for Human Science, pursuing a doctorate degree in Integral Noetic Sciences with an emphasis on Wisdom Design. Her in-progress Master’s thesis is on the application of Wilberian Integral Theory to U.S. policing: Integral Policing: Transforming U.S. Policing via the AQAL Map.

Ryan Johansen

About Ryan Johansen

Ryan Johansen currently serves as the Chief of Police for the City of San Bruno, California, a diverse community of approximately 50,000 residents located amid the urban sprawl of the San Francisco Bay Area. Ryan has been a policing professional for approximately 20 years, beginning his career as a patrol officer with the Southeastern Division of the San Diego Police Department. Ryan transferred to the San Bruno Police Department in 2006, and in the years that followed, he has served in a variety of positions and assignments, including: Police Chief, Incident Commander, Tactical Commander, Field Services Division Lieutenant, Administrative Division Lieutenant, Watch Commander, Public Information Officer, Traffic Sergeant, Patrol Sergeant, Detective Corporal, Gang Unit Supervisor, Patrol Corporal, and Patrol Officer. Ryan served as the Investigations Commander for the San Bruno Gas Pipeline Explosion in 2008, the Incident Commander for the YouTube Active Shooter Incident in 2018, and the Tactical Commander for the Tanforan Mall Active Shooter Incident in 2019

Gestur Palmason

About Gestur Palmason

Gestur was a professional musician, lifeguard, glacier guide & bodyguard before starting his 15 year career in law enforcement. He served on the Icelandic Counter Terrorism Unit, the country’s only special operations unit. He lead the National Asylum Reception Centre formed to deal with the influx in irregular migrants to the country. He has lead various projects, investigations and intelligence gathering missions across services, borders, teams and perspectives (including NATO & Europol). Before leaving the police he was rated the top qualifying candidate for the highest ranking position in the Icelandic Police. He started coaching in 2013 when bored working as a temporary bomb tech assistant for the Icelandic Coast Guard.

Josh Leonard

About Josh Leonard

Josh Leonard is a seasoned social impact organizational leader with more than two decades of real-world experience developing strategy, culture, programs, and leaders through an integral lens. He brings 10+ years of executive leadership with the YMCA and the Institute for Cultural Evolution to bear on the emerging challenges organizations face today in grappling with the complexity of the 21st century. Josh is a developmental leader who is adept at facilitating growth in individuals, teams, and organizations to achieve their goals for impact.