As we continue to celebrate Correctional Officers Week and our outstanding Correctional Officers across the state, today we highlight Sergeant Leonard Patton. Sgt. Patton was born on the Fort Sam military base in Houston, Texas. His family moved to Bethel, Alaska when he was a baby. As a teenager, Sgt. Patton took initiative to obtain his GED so he may start working to help his family after the passing of his stepfather. One of his first jobs was as a fish thrower at the Bethel fish canary.
Before starting his career with DOC, Sgt. Patton owned and operated a river taxi service on the Kuskokwim River during the winter months. He also held positions with the Napakiak School District as the head maintenance mechanic and as a teacher of the Yu’pik language. He was a volunteer with the Napakiak Search and Rescue and a Community Service Officer/Animal Control Officer with the Bethel Police Department.
Just prior to joining DOC, Sgt. Patton was the Chief of Police for the village of Napakiak. The village and the Tribal Council of Napakiak offered him a dollar more than DOC to keep him on because he was so valuable to the community. Sgt. Patton started his DOC career at YKCC in 2006. In 2010 he was promoted to the position of Shift Sergeant, which he still holds today.
Sgt. Patton loves to hunt and prepare and eat traditional Yup’ik foods. He has five children and six grandchildren (number seven is on the way) whom he loves to spend time with. He is very friendly and everybody seems to know him. While driving, you may see him wave hello. He has lived a fulfilling life so far and always has a good story to tell… always. If you have something that is broken he can fix it and loves the challenge. Being fluent in Yup’ik and with his background in maintenance and community service, Sgt. Patton is invaluable to the YKCC family. He is a problem solver who loves to help people no matter the situation. We appreciate you!