Alameda Sheriff's deputy, who was first an artist, appreciates department with mural

- An Alameda County Sheriff Deputy is using art to show her appreciation for the department. Her career in law enforcement started well after her career as an artist.

Sheriff’s Deputy Patty Stinson’s creations hang in the halls of Alameda County’s Emergency Services.

“A little over 3,000 of my own hours and my own money,” Stinson says about her labor of love. “At the end, they paid me for materials, but in the process, I paid for it myself.”

In pastels and charcoal, Stinson created three murals telling Alameda County’s history.

“Each panel, I tried to make it indicative of photographs from the era. First one is sepia colors, second is black and white, and last one is color,” she said.

Stinson is an artist first, having graduated from UC Berkeley’s arts program, but at age 51, she had a career change, becoming the oldest woman to graduate from the academy.

“The first academy, I failed out the day before graduation and they believed in me enough— I was 50 then— to send me back through another academy,” Stinson said.

Thankful for the opportunity to wear the uniform, Stinson spent nearly three years creating the murals. Not all of the history is a highlight, but it is truthful.

“This is Martin Luther King and Joan Baez, the singer. I made their faces together in the shape of a human heart,” she said.

was incarcerated in Santa Rita Jail and King came to visit her. There are also depictions of protests and officer-involved shootings.

Sheriff Greg Ahern says he’s proud of the work and what it represents.

“This is a depiction of my friend John Monego, who was killed in an armed robbery on December 11, 1998 at the Outback Steakhouse,” Ahern said.

The artist is also found in each mural, including a nod to her former protest days.
Only one portrait was difficult.

“It was Sheriff Ahern.  He has a very difficult face,” Stinson said.

But her work isn’t done. Her next big project is working on an interactive touch screen to explain each piece of Alameda history in the murals.

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