Obituary – Chief Inspector Alexander Todd MacDonald Paterson
Chief Inspector Alexander Todd MacDonald Paterson
Airdrie Burgh Police – 1951 to 1967
Lanarkshire Constabulary – 1967 to 1975
Strathclyde Police 1975 – 1984
It is with deep regret that we inform you of the death of retired Chief Inspector Alex Paterson, aged 93 years, of Airdrie, who passed away peacefully, in his sleep, with his family by his side, on Friday morning, 23 August 2019.
Alex suffered a heart attack 17 years ago, however, after a triple heart bypass he returned to good health. Earlier this year he became less active with poor mobility, subsequently housebound and then confined to bed.
Alex was born in July 1926, in Glenmavis near Airdrie and was brought up there; he attended New Monkland Primary and Airdrie High School. He had four brothers and two sisters.
Alex joined the Royal Navy in 1944, prior to the end of World War II. He was involved in the dangerous waters of the Atlantic escorting supply ships in the convoy’s between Great Britain and Halifax, Nova Scotia. He was awarded three World War 2 campaign medals.
Alex enjoyed the Royal Navy so much that he signed up for another 6 years at the end of the war, travelling to the Far East and Korea, serving as a Petty Officer in the engine room.
On discharge from the Royal Navy Alex immediately applied to join Airdrie Burgh Police. His successful application meant that he commenced duties as a Constable on 17th August 1951. He was one of 6 additional constables appointed to the force as a result of the extension of Burgh boundaries in 1951.
As a constable Alex performed beat duties and was also selected to attend the Advanced Driving Course at the Scottish Police College, which he successfully passed. He had spells in the Traffic Department and the CID.
He was promoted Sergeant in 1965 and in 1967 became a member of Lanarkshire Constabulary at the time of amalgamation.
He was an active and leading member of the Lanarkshire Constabulary Underwater Unit, later the Strathclyde police Underwater Unit, for a number of years.
He was promoted Inspector to Coatbridge in 1973 and in 1974 he had the distinction of being the last police officer to lock the doors of the old Coatbridge Police Office in Muiryhall St and the first to open the doors of the new office in Whittington Street, Coatbridge.
Alex was awarded his Police Long Service & Good Conduct Medal on the 17th of December 1974.
Alex returned to Airdrie as a patrol Inspector where he remained until 1981. He was then promoted as Chief Inspector to the Complaints & Discipline Branch at Motherwell. He remained there until his retirement on 31 August 1984. His certificate of service describes his time in the police as ‘Exemplary’.
Irrespective of his rank Alex, or ‘Eckie P’ as he was fondly referred to, always looked after his colleagues, he was protective of the cops on his shift, he showed no favouritism, valued them and appreciated those who went that extra mile for the job, ensuring their efforts were noted.
He was a ‘man’s man’ and was rightfully held in high regard by everyone who worked for him.
Alex has always been a keen motoring enthusiast and was a founder member of the Airdrie Burgh Police car club, the Lanarkshire Constabulary car club and the Strathclyde Police car club. He held office in each of these clubs providing loyal service and fantastic organisational skills.
He was a life member and good supporter of RPOAS Lanarkshire.
He was an active member of Airdrie Bowling Club and one night shift his officers were chasing housebreakers who ran into the Club; Alex, knowing there was a big competition the next day, ordered his men not to run over the grass, but to go round the sides and catch them, a considerate man.
Post Police Service
Alex could not just retire, he became a Precognition Agent and investigating motor insurance claims throughout Scotland. He worked there for 7 years until 1991 when he retired altogether.
He has a passion for driving and enjoyed taking the family out for lunches and High Teas but never local, always after a good journey.
Alex kept active and enjoyed bowling; swimming; walking and fishing. He loved his family holidays, allowing him to interact with his kids, grandkids and great grandkids.
He was strong supporter of the Airdrie Probus Club and enjoyed regular Tuesday meetings with his good friends and former colleagues.
Alex was a widower, having sadly lost his loving wife Anne in January 2011. He was blessed with his Daughter Sandra and Son-in-Law Robin Pennie, a former Police Officer (retired in 1993) and was a beloved grandfather to Laura (and her husband Taylor) and grandsons Robbie and Stuart. He doted on his great grandchildren Chloe, Kyle and Ben. He was a family man and made every effort to ensure his family needs were his top priority.