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Aurora mayor nominates first woman police chief

Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner has chosen a nominee for police chief who, if approved, will be the first female chief in department history.

Commander Kristen Ziman was chosen from four internal candidates by the mayor after an “extensive process” that included surveys, presentations and multiple interviews, according to a statement from the city. Former Chief Greg Thomas retired Nov. 13, and Commander Paul Nelson has been serving as interim chief.

“I’m very pleased to recommend Kristen as our next chief,” Weisner said in the statement. “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.”

The mayor’s recommendation will be considered by the city council on Jan. 12, and if confirmed, Ziman would begin as the new police chief immediately.

Ziman was born and raised in Aurora, and is a graduate of West Aurora High School. She began her career with the Aurora Police Department in 1991, and was promoted to sergeant in 2003, to lieutenant in 2008 and to commander in 2010.

She lives in Aurora with her husband, Chris, and their four children.