Retired MPD Lt. Shares Insight into Uncertain World of Policing


In the brotherhood of police officers, what happened Friday is a grim reminder of what can happen anytime on the job.

“That just cuts you to the core, people out there need to understand these guys go out there not knowing whether they’re going to come home or not,” said Retired Mobile Police Officer John Graham. Graham runs a self-defense and martial arts studio. He was heavily featured during our recent series “Don’t be a Victim.” Before he was tackling reporters in our special series, he was tackling crime around Mobile for more than 20 years.

“Every call has the potential to go bad within seconds I’m talking milliseconds you could be in a gunfight you have to be on yellow alert and that takes an emotional toll over the years,

Graham said he was also shocked to learn the accused shooter, Ryan Burkhardt, was wearing body armor. Being a police officer can be a heavy burden–he said some officers can go decades without ever pulling their weapon–some end up in gun fights on their first day of work—and the violence of Friday morning is something that officer who was shot will probably carry with him for the rest of his life.

“I ride by roads where I drive by murders, suicides, killings, I have smell backs I have visions in my mind from what happened on those streets so a police officer never gets away from it,” said Graham.

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