Captain Don Graham was born in Manhattan New York and
spent most of his childhood growing up in
Bayonne, New Jersey. At the age of 14, Don's mother moved the
family to the San Fernando Valley in the City of Los Angeles and,
as a mixed race minority, immediately fell in love with his new,
cosmopolitan city. After high school and a short stint in the
printing business, Don started at Los Angeles Valley College where
he originally studies music and action. Don soon changed his
interests to Political Science and in 1992, was elected President
of the Student Union. Don went on to become the president and chief
lobbyist for the California Students Association of Community
College representing the nearly quarter million community college
students in the fourteen campuses of the Southern California
During his last semester at Valley College, Don went to work at the
Campus Police Office and discovered a new way to serve his
community. Enamored by the strength of character and integrity he
found in the retired Los Angeles Police Department officers that
made up the campus police, Don decided to follow that path of human
discovery and was hired for the 11-95 Academy Class of the Los
Angeles Police Department.
Don was elected president of his Academy Class and graduated second
in academics. After completing his probation at Pacific Area, Don
was transferred to Devonshire Area and became so attached to the
community there, it is now home to Don and his family. During his
nine years as an officer at Devonshire Area, Don worked patrol, the
school car, and then officer-in-charge of the Devonshire Volunteer
Surveillance Team from 1999-2000. During that year, the team had
its most successful crime fighting year recapping over 1100
arrests, developing the DEVSTAT anti-truancy program and winning a
national community policing award. In July of 2000, Don was
promoted from Police Officer 2 to be the Senior Lead Officer of
Northridge. During his tenure at Devonshire, Don received numerous
commendations including recognition as an officer of the month,
quarter and the Devonshire Officer of the Year for 2005 for his
work at reducing crime at the Northridge Mall.
In 2006, Don promoted to sergeant in Southeast Area and, after a
successful stint in patrol, was asked to supervise the Southeast
Crime Intelligence Team. Don helped design and build the framework
for the crime control systems at Southeast and developed strong
partnerships between detectives, patrol, CAD, the Senior Lead
Officers and regional crime intelligence teams from other agencies.
Two papers that Don authored were selected by the Office of
Operations and published as best practices.
In 2008 Don was promoted to Sergeant II as a Commander's Aide and
transferred to Operations-Central Bureau and later to the Office of
Operations. Don served three commanders, two of which promoted to
Deputy Chief while Don was their aide. In his role, Don
participated in the planning and management of many of the large
events of the time including a Laker Parade, Michael Jackson's
Funeral, the Proposition 8 protests, a Dodger's Playoff Series, the
2009 Emmy Awards, Grammy Awards and the 2009 Oscars where he served
as the Admin/Finance Chief of the Incident Management Team.
During his tenure as a sergeant at the Office of Operations, Don
deepened his commitment to community partnerships by becoming
immersed in the spectacular expansion of the LAPD Cadet program.
Don worked as a facilitator, curriculum designer, supervisor and
class leader for three classes of the LAPD Cadet Parent
Don promoted to lieutenant in 2012 and transferred to West Valley
Patrol Division where he commanded watches 3, 5 and 4. He also
served as the Area's Acting Detective Commanding Officer from
October 2012 until February 2013. Don served as the Deputy Planning
Chief for Carmageddon II - the second 405 Freeway Closure, a
Planning Chief for Watch A during the Dorner Incident and the
Planning Chief for the 2013 Grammy Awards. In February of 2013, Don
was selected to be the adjutant to Assistant Chief Earl C.
Paysinger, the longest serving Director of the Office of Operations
in LAPD's history.
On October 5, 2014, Don was promoted to Captain and assumed command
of Central Patrol Division.
Don earned a Bachelor's of Science in Business Management and a
Masters of Business Administration, both with honors, from the
University of Phoenix. Don has completed the Los Angeles Police
Department's 21st Century Leadership School and was elected Class
Speaker for Class 292 of the Sherman Block Supervisory Institute.
Don lives in Granada Hills, California where he plies his most
important trade, husband to Amy and father of Isaac, LeahRose and