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 (NYC CCRB), and improved the New York City Department of Correction’s internal investigations and operational audits.
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 New York City 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 and make it an effective police oversight agency. 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 expanded 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 most recently 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 internal 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 establishing demanding standards for gathering, documenting, and analyzing evidence. Ms. Finkle instituted systemic suspension of officers captured on video using excessive force and referred force cases for criminal prosecution, leading 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.
Ms. Finkle attended her first NACOLE annual conference in 1997, and in the years since has made numerous presentations at NACOLE conferences. She currently co-chairs NACOLE’s Training, Education, and Standards Committee.