Ms. Pilnyak began her career at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office (DANY), where she spent 10 years and was a member of the Sex Crimes Unit handling, among other types of crime, sex crimes, domestic violence and homicides. She also served in the Crime Strategies Unit at DANY where she analyzed crime statistics from the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and produced in-depth crime analysis with strategies to decrease crime conditions in specific geographic areas of Manhattan. The strategies centered around collaboration with various non-profit organizations, community stakeholders, elected officials and other law enforcement partners and were tailored to prevent activities of repeat offenders who were responsible for the bulk of crime conditions. This resulted in stronger partnerships with the community and the law enforcement partners and saw significant reductions in targeted crime conditions. This process was known as intelligence-driven prosecution and cemented her commitment to innovation and collaboration to address law enforcement concerns.
In 2017, Ms. Pilnyak left DANY to serve as the Executive Director of Justice Operations at the New York City Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ). This role allowed her to engage with broad coalition of stakeholders to identify inefficiencies and areas for improvement in the criminal justice system for New York City. She devised and implemented various policy recommendations targeted at removing inefficiencies from arrest processing to the conclusion of a case leading to a 62% decrease in number of incarcerated defendants with a case pending in excess of three years.
Ms. Pilnyak was promoted to the position of Deputy Director of Crime Strategies at MOCJ within six months, broadening her role to that of overseeing all criminal justice strategies in New York City and devising and implementing criminal justice reform initiatives for the City. During her tenure, she worked closely with senior leadership for the New York State court system, public defenders, prosecutors, NYPD, Department of Correction and other law enforcement partners to implement major criminal justice reform efforts, such as the bail reform, juvenile justice reform, and lightening the touch of low-level enforcement, to increase fairness while increasing public safety.
In 2019, Ms. Pilnyak left MOCJ to join NYPD where she served in the two-star position of Assistant Deputy Commissioner at the Risk Management Bureau. She worked on developing policies and programs to guide the Department on implementing reforms brought about by both the federal monitorship arising out of stop and frisk abuses and the tragic death of George Floyd.
In her position, she was responsible for running day-to-day operations for, among other units, the body-worn camera (BWC) unit and the Quality Assurance Division (QAD) and was directly involved in the ongoing audit and investigation of thousands of Fourth Amendment cases involving search and seizure and, in many instances, use of force. To further amplify these efforts, she oversaw re-design of data analytics to identify potentially at-risk officers through better utilization of technology.
One of her most notable accomplishment during her tenure at NYPD was spearheading the implementation of the Department’s new Early Intervention Program. The program is designed to utilize risk management strategies to intervene at the earliest possible opportunity to support employee wellness and professional development by identifying and mitigating factors which might lead to negative performance issues, employee discipline, or negative interactions with the public. The Early Intervention Program is a non-disciplinary system which, at its core, is designed to mentor, support and coach officers. The goal of the program is to ensure that every officer is performing their job in a way that scrupulously adheres to the legal, moral, and ethical principles to which the Department subscribes by correcting issues as soon as they are identified.
She currently serves as the Deputy Consent Decree Monitor for the City of Aurora (CO).
Ms. Pilnyak is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and Cornell University School of Law.