During the last three decades, Florence L. Finkle has worked to hold law enforcement officers accountable for committing crimes and/or violating internal departmental policies, and improving law enforcement practices and accountability systems. Ms. Finkle prosecuted corrupt police officers, helped build and reform the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board, improved the New York City Department of Correction’s internal investigations and operational audits, and served as a consultant with the Seattle Police Monitor.
Ms. Finkle began her career in 1987, as an assistant district attorney at the New York County District Attorney’s office. As a member of its Official Corruption Unit, she helped build the case against police officers assigned to the 30th Precinct, an investigation that led to the conviction of 30 officers on various charges of corruption. Following three separate jury trials, Ms. Finkle obtained convictions of officers who committed perjury to cover up their illegal searches and seizures.
From 1996 to 2007, Ms. Finkle led the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board (“NYC CCRB”), the largest civilian police oversight agency in the United States, first as its deputy executive director for investigations and then as the NYC CCRB’s executive director. Over the course of 11 years, Ms. Finke spearheaded the drive to professionalize the NYC CCRB’s operations. The NYC CCRB improved the quality and timeliness of its investigations, increased investigator productivity, expanded its mediation and community outreach programs, and promulgated policy recommendations resulting in changes in police practices. Ms. Finkle broadened her criminal justice experience in her next role as the first assistant attorney general for the New York State Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, which investigates, prosecutes, and files civil lawsuits against Medicaid providers.
Ms. Finkle served as deputy commissioner for integrity and policy at the New York City Department of Correction, from 2010 to 2014, where she managed the department’s Investigation Division, Policy Compliance Unit, and Policies and Procedures Unit. She improved the quality of the department’s internal investigations by establishing a vertical investigative process, creating a training program for investigators, and instituting demanding standards for gathering, documenting, and analyzing evidence. Ms. Finkle’s investigations led to indictments of 23 correction officers. In addition, she developed and conducted the department’s first-ever peer-review security audits and issued reports requiring that jails implement action plans to rectify deficiencies. From 2018 to 2020, Ms. Finkle worked for the court-appointed Seattle Police Monitor and managed a team of experts who reviewed the Seattle Office of Police Accountability’s administrative disciplinary investigations. Ms. Finkle wrote the report describing the assessment’s methodology, findings, and recommendations for improving the quality and timeliness of investigations. Ms. Finkle most recently worked, from 2020 to 2021, as a consultant for Impact Justice, which staffed the District of Columbia Police Reform Commission. For the commission’s report, “Decentering the Police to Improve Public Safety," she formulated the recommendations and drafted the section on improving police accountability.
Ms. Finkle, who attended her first NACOLE annual conference in 1997, has served as a NACOLE board member since 2017 and co-chairs NACOLE’s Training, Education, and Standards Committee. In 2018, the board of directors selected her to serve as NACOLE secretary.
Ms. Finkle graduated summa cum laude in 1984 from Tufts University and obtained her law degree from New York University School of Law in 1987.