Ex-Aurora police boss opens up about career tragedies, triumphs in new book

AURORA, Ill. —  Retired Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman is back in the spotlight in a new role as an author.  

At her first book signing at Wyckwood House Aurora, Ziman says she has taken the time to reflect over her thirty-year law enforcement career and penned those reflections into her new book, ‘Reimagining Blue.’ 

The former police boss started writing the novel in 2018 before finishing last year in September.

“I had a column in the local newspaper and I kept a law enforcement blog, so the natural progression was to write a book,” Ziman said.  

SEE ALSO: Retired Aurora police chief Kristen Ziman is not in favor of ‘no chase’ policies

Ziman opened up about writing vulnerably about her childhood along with personal and professional failures in hopes her realness captures a vast audience.  

“It’s a book about leadership about women’s empowerment and it’s just written from the perspective of a very flawed human being who happens to be a police officer,” Ziman said.  

The book also touches on divisive topics. 

“I talk about the racial divide. I talk about George Floyd and what that did to my profession and to me as a human,” Ziman said.  

Over her career, Ziman made history in Aurora as the first woman lieutenant, commander and eventually chief. Although she’s not sure if she’ll return to policing one day, her years of experience are still in high demand as she’s part of a task force investigating the recent Uvalde mass shooting.  

‘Now is the time’: Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman reflects on retirement

“The end in mind is to get to the truth because the truth you know always finds its way,” Ziman said. 

During her time as police chief in 2019, Ziman says she attended the funerals of the five people killed at the Henry Pratt plant in aurora. 

“Their futures were stolen from them. It was in that moment that I thought, ‘this is ridiculous,’ and I changed my stance where I decided at that moment we need to create more friction around gun sales,” Ziman said. “We have to keep guns out of the hands of people who are going to use them to harm others.”

The police chief turned published author says helping prevent mass shootings is one of the reasons she retired early. 

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“People always ask me, ‘are you going to take another chief job?’ I actually think I’m making a greater impact by going around and talking about mass shootings, even going into organizations and creating a culture of reporting.” 

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