Sacramento police officer Filmore Graham released a music video recently as a recruiting tool for the Sacramento Police Department and to show that people in law enforcement are productive citizens that really want to “make a difference” in the world.

He patrols the streets of Sacramento with a passion for public safety. But the music video, “I Made A Difference,” also conveys that officer Graham, who is a youthful age of 48, has bars and lyrical skills.

The idea for the video was born into life after Graham and Sacramento police chief Daniel Hahn had a discussion about recruiting more law enforcement candidates from all walks of life.

Graham, who goes by his stage name of Izreal, has been nominated for a Grammy, performed at the SXSW music festival and has produced several albums.

Be the Difference

“I’ve been doing music for a long time and I actually do a lot with our recruiting,” Graham told The OBSERVER. “So, (Hahn’s) idea was he really wanted to do something that just reached out to people on a different level and start getting people who wouldn’t think about law enforcement for different reasons. So that’s what this was. It’s the ultimate iceberg.”

Graham said the message in the song is an “emotional attachment” to what people don’t see in the role of a police officer. That entails a lot of interaction with the community in so many different ways.

“Many people don’t see policing in the vein of what it really is,” Graham said. “We show up when people need help. Right now, with all the budget cuts, we’re the one that connects people to services. Like mental health services or domestic violence services. We’re forced in a position to be a change agent in people’s lives. We do get to be a difference in people’s lives every day.”

Officer Graham is an 18-year veteran of the Sacramento Police department. He is a U.S. Navy Veteran who served during Operation Desert Storm. He received his Associate’s Degree from American River College and was working on completing his Bachelor’s Degree at Sacramento State University.

He received a Career Technical Education Teaching Credential in 2017.
“Fil Graham is a great police officer, and like many of our officers and professional staff, has many other talents outside of police work,” Chief Hahn said. “He has worked in our schools with young people for many years and made lifelong connections with them.”

In addition, officer Graham is also active with the SPD Outreach and Engagement team. He has taught Procedural Justice and Fair and Impartial Policing for SPD during annual police training.

He has been a Magnet Officer at Sacramento High School, Grant High School and is now assigned to C.K. McClatchy High School.

“As a department, we love when we can utilize our department members’ other talents to further serve our community,” Chief Hahn told The OBSERVER. “Fil is an amazing rapper-performer and he is utilizing this talent to connect with our youth and to recruit future members of our department.”

Aside from the clever video that officer Graham produced, the public will learn that from a human perspective, he knows what the community, specifically the Black community, goes through when dealing with the police.

He also said that’s one of the reasons why the Sacramento Police Department is pushing hard to get officers that reflect the face of the city.

“With the Black community, our history with law enforcement, for the lack of a better word, tenuous,” Graham said. “There’s so many types of dynamics. So how do you get the police department to reflect us? Well, you have to become the police department. Policing is that real rubber meets the road profession. You can talk about change but at some point you have to be the change.”

By Antonio R. Harvey | OBSERVER Staff Writer