Chief Jan Zimmerman receives inaugural Top Cop award
By Raymore Journal staff
The Ray-Pec Sunrise Optimist Club recently recognized Chief Jan Zimmerman as its Top Cop.
On July 26, Chief Zimmerman received the Optimist Club’s first Top Cop award. The award recognizes excellence in law enforcement in the Cass County area.
“One of the purposes of our organization is to teach and show respect for the law,” Brian Mills, Ray-Pec Optimist Club President, said. “We honor our law enforcement community. We respect them. We’re here to support them.”
Zimmerman started her law enforcement career as a dispatcher for the Kansas City Police Department in 1979, and worked her way up from police officer to major before joining the Raymore Police Department in 2012.
During her assignment as a captain at the KCPD Training Academy in 1997, Zimmerman first became involved with the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program. This idea of law enforcement partnering with mental health providers was new in the KC metro area. She traveled to Memphis to learn about the program firsthand and presented the idea to the Board of Police Commissioners upon returning.
CIT quickly became a reality for KCPD, and Zimmerman piloted the program at Central Patrol, where she was assigned following her promotion to major. She ultimately served as a Jackson County Mental Health Court Commissioner and considers this experience as one of her proudest career accomplishments, as the entire KCPD now participates actively in crisis intervention.
She again piloted the program when she came to Raymore in 2012, and ensures that all officers receive extensive training in crisis intervention. Twice now, officers from the Raymore Police Department have been recognized as CIT officers of the year for their work through the program.
In Zimmerman’s decade in Raymore, she has also worked with members of the community to develop a comprehensive policy to bring body-worn cameras to every Raymore officer, developed a core team of officers and other staff to develop new and innovative ways to attract new recruits to the department, expanded the Raymore Animal Control and Shelter services and championed the leasing of ground for a police firing range and training facility that has become a regional hub not only for other departments in Cass County, but also the police department at the federal Honeywell facility in Kansas City.
Zimmerman also serves as the program director for the Surviving Spouse and Family Endowment Fund (SAFE) with the Kansas City Crime Commission, is a governor-appointed board member of the Missouri Gaming Commission, a board member of the Greater KC Public Safety Credit Union, and is involved with the Kansas City Metro Chiefs and Sheriffs Association, Missouri Police Chiefs and Sheriffs Association, Mid-America Regional Council and the Raymore Community Foundation.
Zimmerman is the first female in the history of the Missouri Police Chiefs Association to receive this award.
After a decade of service to the citizens of Raymore, Chief Zimmerman will retire in August 2022.