Officer Floyd James "Skip" Fink, Jr.

Officer Floyd James "Skip" Fink, Jr.

Arizona Department of Public Safety, Arizona

End of Watch Friday, February 18, 2000

Floyd James "Skip" Fink, Jr.

Officer Floyd Fink was killed when his patrol car was rear-ended while he was stopped behind another vehicle on the shoulder of U.S. 60 near the McLintock Drive exit in Tempe, Arizona.

Upon impact, Officer Fink's patrol car burst into flames, trapping him inside. Passing motorists were able to extract him, and he was flown to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

The driver who struck Officer Fink fled the scene on foot but was captured a short time later. He was found to be under the influence of methamphetamines and marijuana at the time of the crash and charged with several felony charges. He pled guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 18 years in prison.

Officer Fink had been employed with the Arizona Department of Public Safety for 28 years. He is survived by his wife and four adult children.

Bio

  • Age 53
  • Tour 28 years
  • Badge 940

Incident Details

  • Cause Vehicular assault
  • Weapon Automobile; Narcotics involved
  • Offender Sentenced to 18 years

drunk driver, hit and run, traffic stop

Most Recent Reflection

View all 66 Reflections

In the summer of 1993 I was just arriving back to the valley after living in Los Angeles for a little while. As a young thoughtful black man, arriving somewhat disallusioned after being harrassed with the threat of jail by over zealous officers with unclear motives; I had no criminal record, no illegal habits, and no predisdopsition towards fringe behavior. But, what i did have was a recent and well earned mistrust for law enforcement based upon the bad batch that i had encountered. Armed with a shiny new atittude problem, I was speeding southbound on I-17 when i was pulled over by DPS. I knew that I was in the wrong, but i had my pen and scratch paper prepared as my only defense should my lead foot serve as catalyst towards a violent encounter. I nervously observed as a big towering officer lumbered toward my vehicle. He leaned down and motioned for me to lower my window(it was "cracked" and i had no intention of lowering it further). Just as I was setting up to engage in peaceful defiance of any request not in print, Officer Fink greeted me with a disarming and fatherly smile. That was the only weapon needed to lower this "wanna be" thugs defenses, and he weilded it with marksman like precision. Officer Fink encouraged me to drive slower, and enquired regarding my origin & destination. Fast forwad 15 minutes and we were standing on the side of the road chatting about life and our experiences, with the smell of Holsum bakery wafting through the air. I dont remember all that we discussed, but the part that I do remember has benefited myself, as well as every young man that I've shared it with subsequent to this encounter. Officer Fink told me that we're living in sensitive times between Police & young men of color(i.e. Rodney King). He admitted, "More officers need to educate themselves about the areas they work. But, more people need to keep in mind that the officer is a human with a family just like them." He advised, "when a cop pulls you over, try not to be quick to assume. Sure, there are bad apples in every bunch. But many incidents are created, not cause the officer is evil, but because he's afraid. Just like you." He then encouraged me to do something that I've not only done, but ive encouraged ALL my friends to do. When an officer pulls you over, put him at ease by putting your hands on the steering wheel so that he can see them. He informed me that that small gesture of consideration will go miles towards an environment of respect during that short encounter. Not only have I followed Officer Finks advice in all my future dealings with law enforcement, but Ive never had another negative encounter to this day! Sure, I've met cops that make me scratch my head as to how they passed the psych eval. But ive met far more HUMANS, looking to do a job before going home to their families. Ive met friends that stop and chat me up when we encounter each other in the neighborhood. Many of the guys I'VE shared Officer Finks advice with, have utilized it to their own benefit. I can resolutely say this kindhearted officer left behind a legacy that stretches beyond the boundaries of Arizona. I can only hope that his legacy has continued within the department. Its not just about his professionalism and sense of duty. Its the fact that he saw me as a human, and taught me to see Officers in the same manner. Im not so naive as to think that all Officers & citizens will follow our lead. But when i see an officer approach with a kind smile, or I see civillians and officers from different backgrounds, peacefully "shooting the breeze", I'd like to think that men like Officer Fink are leaving more of a legacy than we might realize. I believe strongly that one day, all men will exist in peace(Psalm 37:10, 11, 29). But until that day, lets try to follow Officer Finks lead, regardless of occupation or background.

Past Aquaintance

September 4, 2018

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.