Lloyd Patterson: Cleveland’s First Black Deputy Chief

Lloyd Patterson was born to Ambrose and Willa Byrd Patterson in 1931.  They resided in Cleveland, Ohio, living at 8128 Central Ave. and 6005 Quincy Ave. Lloyd attended the Cleveland Public Schools and graduated from East Technical High School in 1941.

Being an entrepreneur, even as a young student, Patterson worked part time for the Call and Post newspaper.   After graduating from East Tech High School, he began working there full time and also joined the National Guard.  In his youth he became an avid hunter and firearms enthusiast.  Patterson was call to active duty during the Korean Crisis and he underwent specialist training at Fort Bliss.   Because of his interest in firearms, he was a candidate for the Fort Bliss Pistol Team and was a member of the Fort Bliss Gun Club, the National Rifle Association and the United States Rifle Association.  Patterson had even been training to participate in the Olympics as a pistol expert, but his military service interfered with him accomplishing that goal.

Call & Post 02/05/1949
Call & Post 05/10/1952

After completing his active duty in the service, Patterson returned to Cleveland and his job at the Call and Post and also attended classes at Cuyahoga Community College.  He started his own business called Patterson Arms Services, participated in pistol competitions, and gave lectures at community events on firearms safety, hunting and fishing.

In 1957, Lloyd Patterson took the civil service examination. He was appointed a Cleveland Police Officer on September 16th and assigned Badge Number 1554.  After graduating from the Police Academy, he served in the Fifth District, the Detective Bureau and the Homicide Unit.  He continued his interest in firearms as a member of the Police Pistol Team. 

Call and Post 04/18/1956
Police Museum photograph of two ranks of Cleveland Police shooters posed for an official photo in front of a police car. They are partially identified as follows: Front Row, L-R: Lloyd Patterson 1554,Inspector  Lawrence Choura, Unidentified, Louis Fox 122, Unidentified, Sgt. Lee Peters, Glen Groudle 1231, Howard Wise 789, Lieut. Frederick Cousino 311, Sgt. Leroy Jones. Back Row, L-R: Michael Grabouwski 378, Anthony Governale 1360, Hubert Humpal 502, Lieut. Nicholas Lusk 598, Unidentified, Unidentified. 1965 competition at Camp Perry, Ohio

Detective Patterson was promoted to Sergeant on 04/28/1971 and assigned back to the Fifth District as a supervisor. He returned to the Detective Bureau in 1972.  He completed the 16-week advanced training program at the FBI National Academy in 1975.  Sergeant Patterson successfully completed another promotional examination and was appointed a Lieutenant in 1979.  He was assigned to the Scientific Investigation Unit, where he remained until he was appointed Officer in Charge of the Minority Recruitment Unit.

Patrolman Lloyd Patterson, #1559
Sergeant Lloyd Patterson

Lieutenant Patterson was selected by Police Chief William T. Hanton to serve as Deputy Chief, the first black officer to attain this rank.  Safety Director Reginald Turner administered the Oath of Office on April 28, 1982, saying that the appointment of a minority to this position was long overdue.  As Deputy Chief, Patterson supervised the Bureaus of Traffic, Inspections, Administrative Services and Security Services.  He also continued to oversee the Minority Recruitment Unit.

Lieutenant Lloyd Patterson
Deputy Chief Lloyd Patterson

Deputy Chief Patterson retired in June, 1983 and moved to Nevada to join his wife Leana, who had moved there a short time before due to health issues.  There they started an Appaloosa ranch, and Patterson found his new calling – visiting auctions and flea markets.  He also continued in public service by becoming a spokesman for the local water district. Lloyd Patterson passed away in Las Vegas on August 18, 2009.  He was preceded in death by his wife Lena Burgan Patterson and survived by four stepchildren and two brothers.  A memorial service was held at the Rome Missionary Baptist Church in Oakwood Village, Ohio on 09/12/2009.  Arrangements were handled in Las Vegas by Desert Memorial. 

Throughout his life, Patterson had been very active in a number of organizations including the Prince Hall Shriners, the Black Shield Police Association (where he served as President for a time), the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 8. Patterson also co-founded the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives. 

Deputy Chief Patterson was an original founder of the Cleveland Police Historical Society and Museum and actively supported the Cleveland Police Museum even after retiring to Las Vegas.  He showered the Museum with raffle prizes for its annual golf outing since the outing began, with many of those prizes coming from his frequent flea market visits.

The Incorporators of the Cleveland Police Historical Society & Museum in 1983.
Commander Robert Bolton, Deputy Chief Lloyd Patterson, Chief of Police William T. Hanton and Deputy Chief Richard Kazmir.

Written by Cleveland Police Historical Society and Museum volunteer Commander Robert Cermak, retired

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