Today, marks 56 years since Atlantic City Police Officer Clayton Graham was shot and killed in the line of duty on Monday, April 23, 1962. Monday morning, the Graham family, the Atlantic City Police Department, Fire Department and the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office gathered at the Clayton G. Graham Public Safety Building for a ceremony to remember the life, service and sacrifice of Officer Graham. The building was named for Officer Graham in 1998.
Officer Graham, 42, was a U.S. Army veteran and Purple Heart recipient. He had served with the Atlantic City Police Department for 14 years. He was survived by his wife Beatrice and five children when he was killed in the line of duty.
With 25 years of law enforcement service, retired Atlantic City Police Officer Michael Graham was 18 months old when his father, Clayton Graham Sr., became the first Atlantic City police officer to be fatally shot in the line of duty, on April 23, 1962. His mother, Beatrice, became a widow at 29 years old with five children. Beatrice would later marry Atlantic City Police Officer Henry “Hank” Tyner, who had four children from his first marriage. The couple would have a son and Michael Graham would have a brother— Damon Tyner. Hank Tyner would serve in the Atlantic City Police Department for 30 years and retire at the rank of an Inspector.
Although Michael Graham was just 18 months old when his father was shot and killed in the line of duty, he said his memory inspired him to seek a career in law enforcement.
“I had a calling to be a public servant and a police officer,” Michael Graham said.
Officer Graham’s son Clayton Graham serves as a Criminal Superior Court Judge in Indianapolis, Indiana, son Charles Graham is a retired Group Supervisory Agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration, daughter Michelle Fauntleroy is a retired school teacher, daughter Cheryl Graham is employed at the Atlantic City Police Department and Michael Graham now serves as an Agent at the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office.