Joan P. Yale, a 32-year veteran of the Nassau county Police Department, is the highest-ranking woman in any Long Island police agency. Rising through the ranks of detective, detective sergeant, lieutenant, captain, deputy inspector, inspector, deputy chief, and chief of patrol, her experience has been concentrated in both patrol and investigative operations.
For 25 years she has supervised duties of police officers and detectives, while fulfilling numerous administrative functions in the department.
Yale began her career by placing first on the Civil Service test for policewomen and then, upon graduation from the Police Academy, she was awarded First Place in Scholastic Achievement.
She has served as deputy commanding officer in three detective squads and in the Bureau of Special Operations. She has been a patrol supervisor, desk officer, commanded the Narcotics Enforcement Team and later was the commanding officer of the Seventh Precinct. She served as Deputy Chief of Patrol, in charge of all of its eight precincts and later as a Deputy Chief of Detectives.
On August 2, 2002, Yale became Chief of Patrol. Chief Yale is a charter member of the police department's Hostage Negotiating Team, formed in 1974. Through the years and the various assignments she held, Yale remained a member of this elite team, responding to scores of hostage and barricade incidents. She now serves as the team's Chief Negotiator.
Yale is a Department Hearing Officer and member of the Disciplinary Review Board, the Uniform Committee and the Rules and Regulations Committee. She has served on the promotional board for lieutenants in the Fairfax County, Virginia, Police Department, and on a similar assessment panel for the Philadelphia Police Department.
She has represented the Nassau Police Department on numerous radio and television programs, discussing issues of women in policing as well as matters of crime and law enforcement.
A New York State Certified Police Instructor since the mid-1970's, Yale has lectured police officers on a variety of criminal justice topics.
She was actively involved in the police department's efforts to recruit women into policing.