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Glancer Magazine

WOMEN INSPIRED | Kristen Ziman, Retired Aurora Police Chief


AURORA–Kristen was born in Aurora in 1973 and lived there with her blended family of four kids and wife, Christine, until she retired as police chief in 2021 and moved to Florida.

Not fully ready to fade off into the sunset, Kristen pursued her passion for writing and penned a book entitled Reimagining Blue: Thoughts on Life, Leadership, and a New Way Forward in Policing, that will be released in July.

“I had been working on the book for a year before our city suffered a devastating mass shooting in February of 2019,” she says. “After the shooting, I stopped writing. I had writer’s block; so I put it off until I could face my own emotions, and when I finally did, the words poured out of me.”

About the same time, she also realized the impact she was making by speaking to police departments and various organizations about the lessons she learned, and wisdom she gained during her 30 years in law enforcement; subsequently launching a professional speaking business as well.

“My speaking topics range from culture and women’s empowerment to critical incident prevention and preparedness,” Kristen says. “If I can help an organization prevent the next mass shooting or help them navigate through a critical incident, that’s adding value.”

When Kristen first became a police officer, it never occurred to her that she could get promoted to Chief, and when she did, it took her a while to understand the impact that “firsts” have on young women and girls.

“I finally realized that my achievements belonged to all women. I felt a deep connection to those women before me who paved the path so I could enter a male-dominated profession,” she shares. “Once I began to embrace my achievement, I channeled it into empowering and supporting other women. I have made it my mission to meet with women in my community and remind them of the possibility that exists within them to chase their passions.”

Kristen is playful, underestimated, and resilient. She takes her work seriously, but not herself. When stressed and overwhelmed, she curls up with a great book and escapes from the world. She loves guided meditation, writing, listening to podcasts, and traveling to unknown places.

The words of Theodore Roosevelt reinforce her daily mantra.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”

Her advice to other women is to put your skill into the world fearlessly. Surround yourself with people who value your talent and personhood and allow the noise of ridicule to fall away. -Kristen Kucharski, Photos Submitted


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