Behind the Badge: Crisis Communication and Mental Wellness with Former Police Chief Kristen Ziman

Truth Be Told

Mar 27 2024 • 47 mins

Former Police Chief of Aurora, IL, Kristen Ziman, discusses her career in law enforcement and the importance of effective communication in crisis situations with host, Dave Thompson. She shares her experiences leading during a mass shooting and the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the need for preparation and open communication channels. Ziman emphasizes the significance of managing upwards and creating an environment where feedback is valued. She also discusses the challenges faced by law enforcement officers and the importance of maintaining a high standard of performance. In this conversation, Kristen discusses the importance of effective communication and leadership during challenging times, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the aftermath of George Floyd. She emphasizes the need for trust, autonomy, and open communication in law enforcement and community relationships. Ziman shares her experiences of dealing with high emotional states and the challenges of public communication as a leader. She also highlights the importance of creating a culture that encourages dissent and accountability, as well as destigmatizing mental health in law enforcement. Ultimately, Ziman encourages individuals to tap into the power of optimism and take control of their own future.


  • Effective communication is crucial in crisis situations, and leaders must prioritize internal communication with their team before addressing external stakeholders.
  • Preparing for the unexpected is essential, and organizations should regularly assess their readiness for potential crises.
  • Open and honest communication is key to building trust and maintaining a positive organizational culture.
  • Leaders should actively seek feedback from their team and create an environment where employees feel comfortable expressing their concerns and ideas. Effective communication and leadership are crucial during challenging times.
  • Trust and autonomy are key factors in building strong relationships between law enforcement and the community.
  • Leaders should be open to dissent and create a culture that encourages accountability.
  • Destigmatizing mental health is important in law enforcement and other professions.
  • Optimism and taking control of the future can lead to positive change.