Fox Valley Labor News staff reports
Friday, Jan. 8
AURORA – After an extensive process that included surveys, presentations and multiple interviews, Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner made his recommendation from among four internal candidates.
“I’m very pleased to recommend Kristen as our next chief,” Weisner said during a press conference Thursday, Jan. 7. “Becoming Aurora’s first female police chief is not the only way she has been a trailblazer and I’m confident that her considerable talent will lead the department to new heights.”
Born and raised in Aurora, Commander Ziman has worked her way through the ranks during her nearly 25 year career with the Aurora Police Department, beginning as a police cadet in 1991.
“I am both excited and grateful beyond belief to serve the men and women of the Aurora Police Department and the citizens of this community” she said. “I do not take this responsibility lightly and will work tirelessly and energetically to build upon the legacy of this professional organization.”
A graduate of West Aurora High School, Ziman served three years as an Aurora Police cadet before becoming a sworn officer in 1994. She worked in patrol, field training, community policing and investigations as a domestic violence detective before being promoted to sergeant in 2003. She was promoted to lieutenant in 2008 and to commander in 2010.
Commander Ziman earned her Associate’s Degree from Waubonsee Community College, Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Aurora University and Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice Management from Boston University. In addition, she is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and completed the Kellogg Women’s Senior Leadership Program at Northwestern University, Senior Executives in State and Local Government at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and the Senior Management Institute for Police.
Commander Ziman lives in Aurora with her spouse, Chris, and their children Megan, Jimmy, Bailey and Jacob.
Mayor Weisner’s recommendation will be considered by the City Council Tuesday, Jan. 12. If approved, she will begin as the new Aurora Police Chief immediately, making her the first female chief in the department’s history and the 28th chief in the history of the department.
Ziman has been “the first” in a number of positions throughout her career and has worked diligently to mentor other women in law enforcement locally and nationally. She is the Past President of the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE).
“The short term goal is to build a Command Staff of individuals who will bring talent, expertise, and diversity of thought to the position. Once we have the decision-makers in place, we are going move immediately to action by identifying systems and processes that need to be created or improved upon”, Ziman said. “The long term goals are to be even more engaged with the citizens we serve and to continue to work tirelessly to make this community a safe place to live, work and play. In doing so, we will continue our efforts to reduce crime while protecting with vigilance and serving with compassion.”
The recommendation for Chief will be considered by the City Council Tuesday, Jan. 12 at a Special Committee of the Whole Meeting at 5 p.m., followed immediately by a meet and greet for the public on the fifth floor of City Hall, 44 E. Downer Place. At 6 p.m,. the City Council will convene for their regularly scheduled meeting, where they will vote on the Mayor’s recommendation for Chief of Police.
-City of Aurora/Aurora Police Department