In Memoriam

The state of Texas, law enforcement and county jails lost one of its biggest champions on August 19, 2023 when former Bell County Jail Administrator Robert “Bob” Patterson passed away. After serving three years in the United States Army as a Military Policeman, Bob joined the Bell County Sheriff’s Office as a jailer in 1978. After graduating from the Central Texas Police Academy, he continued his career with Bell County as a Patrol Deputy and then Criminal Investigator until returning to the jail as a Lieutenant in 1987. In 1991, Bob joined the Texas Commission on Jail Standards as an Inspector until 1995 when he once again returned to Bell County and was appointed Jail Administrator, the position he held until retiring in 2012. During his time as Jail Administrator, Bob continued to mentor the next generation of law enforcement and jailers not only in Bell County but across the great state of Texas and the United States. As a member of the Texas Jail Association and the American Jail Association, he was instrumental in professionalizing the field of corrections and was a strong advocate for more education at all levels, helping to create the Certified Jail Manager course and National Jail Leadership Academy. Not content with just being a member, Bob was recognized by his peers and was elected president of both organizations, a fitting honor that was well deserved. Remaining active with both organizations after retirement, he continued to be sought out as a consultant regarding jail design and operations while also contributing his time and efforts to several local civic organizations.