Kristen Amato

Detective with the Naperville Police Department
Class of 2008

Kristen Amato is a detective with the Naperville Police Department, where she has served on the force since 2021.

She began college at a university but was not acclimating the way she hoped, so she began taking classes at Moraine Valley in 2006. The following year, Kristen took her first criminal justice class and found her calling. She excelled academically and played on the college’s softball team. She also held a student job at the Photo ID desk, which she enjoyed because she met so many people. After earning her Associate in Arts degree from Moraine Valley, she pursued a bachelor’s degree from Governors State University, where she majored in criminal justice.

Kristen’s passion for helping others led to her decision to serve her country in the military and later to pursue a career in law enforcement. Kristen was a correctional officer at the Federal Bureau of Prisons for two years and then took a position at the Bellwood Police Department. She worked there for six years, where she helped new recruits become police officers as a field training officer and held the position of detective for 18 months before moving to the Naperville Police Department. During her career, she has served as a lead homicide investigator, sexual assault investigator, narcotics investigator and evidence technician.

She always found helping others fulfilling and says she has the best job in the world because she can assist people on their worst days, but she often interacts with people in parks, stores or on the street and builds positive relationships in the community.

Kristen has received commendations such as the Looking Beyond the Safety Belt Award from the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, the Chief ’s Commendation from the Naperville Police Department and recognition of commendable DUI enforcement from the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists.

Kristen has been an advocate for equal opportunities for the LGBTQ community. She developed a presentation to help elderly people avoid becoming victims of identity theft. And she enjoys participating in the Shop with a Cop Program, which pairs low-income children and teens with law enforcement officers for a holiday shopping experience.

Kristen has been married to her wife, Jennifer Burns, for five years. Her family also includes parents Frank and Deanne Amato; two brothers, Joseph and Robert; and her 13-year-old niece Grace.