Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Officer Floyd James "Skip" Fink, Jr.

Arizona Department of Public Safety, Arizona

End of Watch Friday, February 18, 2000

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Officer Floyd James "Skip" Fink, Jr.

I remember the day of your passing. I retired from the Tempe Police Department after 28 years of service at the age of 53. I am so sad that you never were given the joy of the five years, I have had since retiring. Rest in peace my brother and know there are those who are grateful for your sacrifice. God bless your family.

Detective
Tempe Police Department

August 24, 2019

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

Skip,
Just found this site when reading articles on Trooper Edenhofer, latest AZ DPS to die in line of duty (RIP).

Rember first time we met? You were determined to INTIMIDATE me, and crush my hand when we shook (Your little test of guys!). You did not know me, I had not done anything wrong to you, BUT I had the nerve to be in love with your special gal, the one you helped raise and mentored when she followed you into DPS. You were not going to let some wimpy, sniveler break her heart! Over his broken, dead body!!

Well, YOU learned something didn't you. Not only was my grip equal to yours (admit hand was little sore later), but as for intimidation, I was raised by 6'4" WWII Marine! You could not come close to what he taught me about not being afraid and standing ground.

As soon as you realized I was not a flake/wimp we hit it off. I got the extreme honor and pleasure of being your "partner" on numerous ride alongs. You showed me how you could arrest some one while still allowing them their dignity if they treated you same.

I was shocked when heard news that Feb. morning while we were getting dressed for work. La Retta just turned to me and said "That is Skip." I asked how she could know, it just happened and no names had been given. She said "I just know!"

She was right, and both our world's were less rosy from that day forward. We will both never forget you. Who could, you were as intense and focused as you were mischievous and scheming. You were the ultimate professional with a sprinkling of boyish mischief thrown in for good measure.

Couple years after your death I was playing on MVD website for license plates and found a special one. Found I could get personalized Fallen Officer plate, with your name and badge number on it. Not second wait, ordered immediately. As long as I have vehicle to attach it to (motorized wheel chair soon?) I will keep FINK 940 in your memory.

Oh, and just to update you on your decision to "let me" marry La Retta, next year will be 25 years married, so I think she might keep me!

BE SAFE!

Dennis Lehan
Married to Skip's cousin

August 3, 2018

Another DPS officer has paid the ultimate price for his service and will be joining you at the right hand of God. I wasn't living in AZ when you paid the price Officer Fink but my mother was and she was terribly upset at the incident, circumstances and that officers were driving Crown Vics that had a known design flaw that contributed to your being taken from your family, friends, co-workers and the citizens of the State of Arizona. She sent me many news articles regarding the case. I will be honest, as time went on, and not living in AZ, it did fade from my mind. Then I moved back to Arizona, to a small town in Central Arizona and several years after moving here I met Michael Ann and she is an amazing woman. Who would have thought? Life works in mysterious ways because in 2000 I never dreamed I would be moving back to AZ let alone have even an acquaintance with anyone you knew and loved. I don't know her well but we have mutual friends and I see her on social media and I can tell she is a person whose love has no boundaries or time limits and she will never let a fallen officer be forgotten...I know you already know that but I'm just sayin'! I am honored to have crossed paths with her and witnessed her strength and support for all law enforcement officers. So many hearts are heavy again so look out for this young man,Tyler Edenhofer, and may you both Rest in Peace in Heaven because the angels among us are watching over all, fallen and still on the job!

Anonymous

July 27, 2018

Gone but never forgotten.

Desiree Komar McDonald

February 18, 2018

Just saw him mentioned on LivePD. So sorry for his loss.

Anonymous

March 5, 2017

"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."
Matthew 5:9

Marshal Chris Di Gerolamo
Federal Air Marshal Service

February 17, 2013

Thank you for your service and for helping to make America a safer place.

Deputy Brian Jones
Boulder County Sheriff's Office, CO

February 6, 2013

I still miss you, Skip. I saw your son a couple of weeks ago in Globe, he looks so much like you.

You big bear, I love your smile.

Donna Hudson
friend

July 30, 2012

Skip,

I was too young to know you well, but you are missed. Stories and anecdotes from my family referenced you often. you had the respect, both as a man and as an officer, of the greatest man I know. You are remembered by those of us that remain.

Jeff
Family of a retired AZ DPS officer

July 27, 2012

Yesterday marked the 12th anniversary of your death. Sometimes it seems like only yesterday that you left and sometimes it seems like it's been a lifetime. You are missed...

Michael Ann

February 19, 2012

Officer Fink,
On today, the 12th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of the state of Arizona. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

R.I.P.
USBP

Anonymous
U.S. Border Patrol

February 18, 2012

officer fink, you were the best. us native americans (apaches) you knew how to speak our lingo. we have a strong bound because you stopped and ck. on us up at seneca lake. Ron

Ron Edwards
friend

December 27, 2011

It's more than eleven years later and not a day goes by that thoughts of you don't cross my mind. Today, they are more prevalent as Arizona has lost yet another officer. Please watch over him and show him the ropes.

Michael Ann

October 29, 2011

FLOYD AND I WENT TO ARIZONA WESTERN COLLEGE BACK IN THE 64' IN YUMA ARIZONA. I REMEMBERED HIM AS A GREAT PERSON, TOUGH GUY AND NICE AT THE SAME TIME. LAST TIME I SAW HIM I THINK WAS IN GLOBE OR MIAMI ARIZONA MANY YEARS BACK, TODAY CAME TO MI MIND YOUR FACE FLOYD AND I TOUGHT I WOULD CONTACT YOU THROUGH INTERNET,
YOU WENT AHEAD AND I HOPE TO SEE YOU THER AGAIN FINK, AND MANY THANKS FOR SAVING MY LITTLE A...THAT TIME IN SAN LUIS MEXICO.

FINK GOD BLESS YOU.
I STILL LIVE IN MY BEAUTIFUL CITY OF HERMOSILLO SONORA.

ADIOS AMIGO

retired civilian
great friend of his

August 22, 2011

When calamity comes, the wicked are brought down, but even in death the righteous have a refuge - Proverbs 14:32.

You are remembered.

Constable Amanda Pandolfi #1249
York Regional Police, Ontario Canada

February 18, 2011

Skip,
Words cannot describe the loss my family felt the day when we heard you had been killed in the line of duty. You and my step-dad had worked together in the department for years. You were such a well respected and down to earth guy. Those who knew you were truly blessed. May you rest in peace.

Anonymous

August 24, 2010

Skip,
I don't really remember you because I was so young when you were friends with my father. I do remember and want to thank you for saving my dad. We were at a rodeo and my dad was bull riding. He came off onto his head about two jumps out of the shoot. The bull then went after him and picked my dad up with his horns and pinned him against the fence back behind the shoots. As my dad described it you reached down with one hand and grabbed my dad by the belt, pulling him to safety. He had a few injuries but if you weren't there it could have been a hell of a lot worse. To me you were his Angel that day. I just want to thank you for being a HERO in so many ways. You saved my dad, and you served our state. I will never forget you! Thank you so much!!!!

Officer Codi Hale (Mulleneaux)
MCSO/ you were a friend of my fathers

June 3, 2010

My Brother, it has been 10 years since your last breath. I/(we) still think of you. The thought of you bring smiles to our face and tears to ours eyes and sometimes both at the same time. I still run into people that knew or worked with you in some capacity.....always with a good memory and a smile. Miss your Hugs.

Anonymous

February 19, 2010

Another year has passed and you are still admired and respectfully remembered in the hearts and minds of so many. My thoughts and prayers are with your loved ones and friends on this anniversary of your EOW. You will never be forgotten.

James Sheppard
Father of Sgt. Jason L. Sheppard EOW 12/7/06

February 18, 2010

To Officer Floyd Fink, his loved ones, and his fellow officers:

On this the ninth anniversary of your tragic death, please know that your memory is honored and revered today.

My heart is with all family members and friends who call you beloved. They are all in my thoughts and prayers today. I can see from the loving reflections left by your loyal friends that you were an amazing man who is loved and missed by all those whose lives you touched.

This world, this country, your community truly are better places because of you. To have lost you is a great tragedy, an irreplaceable, immeasurable loss for society. We are grateful for and to you, and honor you for all you did for us day in and day out whether you received a word of thanks or praise.

I am sure you were proud to have your son follow in your footsteps. Rest in Peace, Officer Fink. I am so humbled by your valor and service.

This reflection is sent with the utmost respect for the distinquished service Skip gave to his community and the citizens of Arizona, and for the supreme sacrifice he and his family made on February 18, 2000.

Phyllis Loya
mother of Officer Larry Lasater, eow 4/24/05

February 18, 2009

My thoughts and prayers are with your loved ones and friends on this anniversary of your EOW. Continue to keep watch over them and those still out on patrol watching over the Thin Blue Line. You will never be forgotten.

James Sheppard
Father of Sgt. Jason L. Sheppard EOW 12/7/06

February 18, 2009

Skip,


What do I say about you! You are such a comedian and I enjoyed every minute while doing ride alongs with my husband. You were his FTO and he learned so much from you. From the bottom of my heart, I will miss you and my condolences to your family. I will never forget you. I have never seen so many people at a funeral from so many agencies. You were loved by many.

Officer Denise Ossanna
Cottonwood Police

January 16, 2009

3 digits, we miss you Skip!

Ryan

December 3, 2008

Even in the world after this world we will be together...

Two magical beings of light and air, dancing through the heavens, shaking the stars free from the night sky.

Even in the life beyond this life, where a billion souls free-fall through the universe...

I will come, and I will find you.

I miss you.

Cindy Handrick
Sister-in-law

June 13, 2008

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