Lieutenant Rebekah McKinzie has worked for the Gainesville Police Department for over 17 years. She has extensive experience responding to and investigating narcotics violations, complex fraud schemes, domestic violence, crimes against children, and sexual assaults. She has spent approximately half of her career in criminal investigations. During her time supervising the Child and Sex Crimes squad she attended a training offered through the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence that stressed the importance of trauma informed investigations. After attending this training Lt. McKinzie recognized that the effects of trauma on sexual assault victims were largely misinterpreted by detectives and that this misinterpretation interfered with her detectives’ ability to properly interview victims and investigate sexual assault cases. Lt. McKinzie was an integral part of bringing the trauma informed approach to her agency which resulted in more successful outcomes of its sexual assault investigations. After implementing and seeing the positive effects of trauma informed investigations within her agency, Lt. McKinzie was fortunate to become a law enforcement consultant/trainer for the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence and now travels throughout the state of Florida instructing law enforcement, corrections, military, prosecutors, medical professionals, victim advocates about the need to use a trauma informed approach in cases of sexual assault.
Additionally, she is a certified Florida Department of Law Enforcement instructor and serves as an adjunct instructor with Santa Fe College teaching police recruits at the Institute of Public Safety. She also teaches child sexual exploitation, internet crimes against children solicitation/travel investigations, and sexual assault advanced training to sworn law enforcement.
Lt. McKinzie recognizes that there is still a lot of work to be done and currently her focus as a patrol shift lieutenant is improving the initial response to sexual and domestic violence by law enforcement to improve outcomes for survivors.