A former steel worker, Pat Patton was Dick Tracy’s long-time partner and worked most cases between 1931 and 1948 until he was appointed Chief Brandon’s successor as Chief of Police. Patton was at first portrayed in light-hearted roles but as cases got more deadly he matured into a serious character and saved Tracy’s life on many occasions. (Tracy of course returned the favor) After Tracy turned down promotion and Patton became Chief of Police in 1948, he would continue to work closely with his old partner, but never day-to-day like he had before the promotion.
During the Splitscreen case of 1982, Patton took a pleasure cruise vacation and during the time off he married Toby Townly, whom he had known for years. On his return he announced he would retire in a year and asked that Dick take his place on the force. This of course didn’t happen and Pat remained on the job after a year.
Patton and his wife would take in his delinquent nephews Packard and Peter Patton after his brother’s death, hoping to start a family in spite of his new wife’s protests. The 19-year old boys were sloppy and ill-mannered, but Pat wanted to believe the best of them. Later, Pat severed ties his nephews after it was revealed that they were arrested for their involvement with a car-theft ring. Pat agreed to pay for the young men’s legal representation, but told them they were no longer welcome to live with him and his wife.
Soon after Patton was shot by a man named Climer who gained the position of Police Chief while Pat recovered. Climer’s plot was uncovered and Sam Catchem took over as chief until Patton was well. In 2007 Patton took a leave from the force to deal with a cancer diagnosis but recovered with successful treatment and returned as Chief of Police in 2011 and has been very active since then.