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Foster's guest ticket to State of Union honors Aurora police chief

Jan 28, 2020
In The News

U.S. Rep. Bill Foster has chosen to honor a suburban law enforcement leader with a ticket to the State of the Union address.

Aurora police Chief Kristen Ziman is scheduled to attend the Feb. 4 speech by President Donald Trump in the House of Representatives' chamber in Washington, D.C., as the guest of Foster, a Naperville Democrat who represents the 11th District.

Foster said in a news release he chose Ziman for her dedication to the safety and well-being of people in Illinois' second-largest city, parts of which he represents.

"As police chief, she's been a steadfast leader, especially in times of crisis -- never more so than last February, when she led the law enforcement response to the horrific mass shooting at the Henry Pratt plant in Aurora that left five employees dead and six Aurora police officers injured," Foster said in a statement. "Chief Ziman represents the selflessness of the police officers and first responders we rely on to keep our community safe, and I am proud to have her as my guest."

Ziman, in a news release, said she is honored to join Foster and represent Aurora police at the annual address. She said she'll do so to commemorate the five Henry Pratt workers who were killed in the shooting last Feb. 15.

"I am honored to take their memory and the stories of the men and women of the Aurora Police Department to the nation's capital," she said.

Ziman is the first female police chief in Aurora and also the first woman to hold the rank of police commander. The Aurora native climbed the ranks of the department after joining in 1991 as a cadet fresh out of West Aurora High School. She later received an associate degree from Waubonsee Community College, a bachelor's degree from Aurora University and master's degrees from Boston University and the Naval Postgraduate School.

Ziman became a sergeant in 2003, lieutenant in 2008, commander in 2010 and police chief in 2016.

No taxpayer dollars are being used to fund her trip to attend the speech.