Senate Honors Chief Christine Ziemba for Service to Community

Timothy M. Kennedy

April 26, 2011

Senator Kennedy sponsors resolution recognizing Chief Ziemba as trailblazer for women in law enforcement

ALBANY, N.Y. – When Christine Ziemba was hired by the Cheektowaga Police Department, she became the first female police officer in the town’s history. After joining the department, Ziemba started climbing the ranks, and in March 2002, the Cheektowaga Town Board named her Chief of Police, making her the first woman to ever lead a police force in Western New York.

Chief Ziemba recently retired after 34 years of service to the town of Cheektowaga and the greater Western New York community. The New York State Senate honored Chief Ziemba for her long and accomplished career protecting our neighborhoods with a resolution put forward by Senator Timothy M. Kennedy, D-58th District.

Senator Kennedy’s resolution declares, “Within every community of the State of New York there are certain individuals who, by virtue of their commitment and dedication, command the respect and admiration of their community for their exemplary contributions and service on behalf of others. ...Chief Christine Ziemba has been a pioneer for women in law enforcement, successfully attaining women's leadership. Her dream and unrelenting ambition helped to pave the way.”

“Chief Christine Ziemba has devoted her life to public service. She has demonstrated great courage and diligence in protecting our families and improving the safety of our neighborhoods. That alone makes Chief Ziemba very deserving of this recognition,” Senator Kennedy said.

“However, when you consider the path that she has paved for women in law enforcement, inspiring and encouraging other women to serve and protect, it becomes clear that this recognition is long-overdue and is the very least we can do to honor and thank Chief Ziemba for her service,” he added. “Chief Christine Ziemba is a courageous public servant, a fighter for public safety, and a trailblazer for the hardworking women of New York State. I am very proud to lead the State Senate in honoring her.”

Senator Kennedy noted many of Chief Ziemba’s impressive accomplishments. Throughout her career, she has served the community and protected our safety in variety of roles within the department. She worked undercover with the Narcotics unit, and she was later assigned to the Juvenile Aid Bureau. Ziemba helped create a Sex Offense Unit that was unique in its origins. It was the first in the nation to have specific officers handle cases throughout the entire investigation process.

Chief Ziemba also designed and led the Crime Resistance Unit. In that role, Ziemba grew the D.A.R.E. program, launched the Citizens’ Police Academy, and worked with the Police Explorers’ Program and neighborhood watch groups. When she became chief, she focused on collaboration and cooperation with other police forces and community groups to improve community safety and streamline services.

Chief Ziemba was present in Albany when the Senate voted on the resolution honoring her. Click here to view video of Senator Kennedy presenting the resolution on the floor of the Senate.

Senator Kennedy and Chief Ziemba prior to Senate vote on resolution honoring her service