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Alumni Stories: Following in Criminal Justice Footsteps

By John Robert Morton, Student and Affairs Liaison, and Keith Graves, AMU Graduate

October is Crime Prevention Month. In the spirit of celebrating how law enforcement officers protect and serve the public, this month’s alumni spotlight is Keith Graves. Keith is an American Military University (AMU) graduate, police officer and instructor with a master’s degree in criminal justice.

Keith Graves, AMU Alumnus

Developing a Law Enforcement Foundation

Keith is a third-generation law enforcement officer. His father and great-grandfather were both police officers, and he grew up in a neighborhood filled with police officers and firefighters.

Service to your community and your country was a big deal in Keith’s neighborhood. It was a different time in the United States of America when law enforcement officers were considered heroes for serving and protecting neighborhoods, which led Keith to develop an instinct to serve and protect.

Because he came from a family of police officers, entering the criminal justice field was a no-brainer for Keith. He has always seen the importance of being able to help people and prefers to not be cooped up in an office.

Entering the Criminal Justice Field

In 1987, Keith served in the Army Reserves as a combat engineer and later got a job as a police officer with the City of Livermore Police Department. Over time, Keith received special assignments like Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) and Narcotics investigations, which would shape the rest of his career.

In 1995, Keith became a narcotics/vice detective. He was the California Narcotics Officer of the Year in 2016 and also won a Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) California Hero award.

He has held assignments as a training sergeant, patrol sergeant, community-oriented policing officer, traffic officer and SWAT Team Leader. Keith was also supervisor for the Special Operations Unit, a unit tasked with narcotics, vice, and gang investigations.

In addition, Keith went to the prestigious Drug Recognition Expert course and became a Drug Recognition Expert Instructor (IACP #3292). Keith notes, “I was good at teaching and began teaching a variety of drug-related subjects.” He eventually taught both the Drug Recognition Expert course and the California Narcotics Officers’ Association Drug Abuse Recognition Course.

Keith has also taught at the Alameda County Sheriff’s Academy and developed several drug courses for the California Narcotics Officers Association. Keith has taught thousands of officers and businesses around the world about drug use, drug trends, compliance training, and drug investigations.

Taking Classes as an Adult Learner

Keith earned his bachelor’s degree in management at St. Mary’s University of California. As an adult learner, taking classes wasn’t easy for Keith. He says, “I was working and had a family while I was going to school. It was worth it, but it took a toll on the whole family.”

Keith chose AMU for his master’s degree because the online format offered more flexibility and was easier on his career and family. This format enabled Keith to study on his own time and spend more time with his family.

During his time in the master’s degree in criminal justice, Keith enjoyed a well-rounded program that added to his law enforcement knowledge. Keith says, “By far, my favorite class was INTL631, Criminal Intelligence. Part of my duties as a narcotics detective was also doing drug intelligence. We never had formal training in it, and this class helped me immensely in my day-to-day duties.”

RELATED: Online Education vs. the Traditional College Experience

Starting a Training Company

In 2017, Keith retired and now he owns a company specializing in drug investigation training. His company, Graves and Associates, offers classes across the United States and around the world each year. Keith has taught thousands of officers and businesses around the world about drug use, drug trends, compliance training, and drug investigations.

Keith says, “I am lucky to have the opportunities I have now. I started out as a beat cop in a mid-sized California city, and now I am the CEO of an international training company.”

Supporting His Family and Other Officers

Of this family, Keith says, “I have been married to my wife for 29 years, and my kids turned out to be great people contributing to our community. My daughter is an elementary school teacher, and my son is in law enforcement. I am very proud of them all.”

In Keith’s free time, he likes to support organizations that benefit retired law enforcement officers. He says, “When you hang up your badge, you do not get to forget all of the bad things you saw in your career, and it takes a toll.” Keith created a retiree association in his state, and it provides peer support and other services to its members.

RELATED: The Past, Present and Future of Policing from a NYPD Veteran

Advice to Future Students

Keith also has advice for students who seek to enter the criminal justice field. He advises, “Take as much training as you can. From degrees to certificates to webinars, training is the key to improving yourself.”

He also says that students who are interested in police work should talk to as many people as they can, from field officers to police chiefs. He says, “Everyone in the criminal justice field has knowledge that can increase your experience and your worldview.”

About the Author

John Robert Morton is a Student & Alumni Affairs Liaison and has been with the University for 13 years. His bachelor’s degree in European history is from Troy University in Troy, Alabama. He also completed master’s degrees in political science and sports management from American Military University. As a liaison, John Robert enjoys helping students and alumni to achieve their personal and professional goals.

About Our Department

The AMU and APU Student and Alumni Affairs Office is dedicated to sustaining lifelong relationships with university alumni by providing engaging opportunities to stay involved and connected. We work closely with a variety of stakeholders to strengthen the alumni experience and to offer a variety of benefits, services, activities, and events throughout the year.

As a team, we work to build and sustain relationships with alumni along their personal and professional journeys. We actively look for ways to recognize and showcase alumni, telling their stories to motivate and encourage students in the pursuit of their goals.

If you are a member of the alumni community and are looking for ways to remain actively involved, please contact and speak with a member of the team.

Alumni Stories: Following in Criminal Justice Footsteps is written by Edge Staff for

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What Will YOUR Family Do When Chinese Communists Disrupt America’s Food Supply?​

Survival Cave Food is here.

In these uncertain times, safeguarding your family’s well-being is paramount. As patriots deeply concerned about the international situation, particularly the potential for disruptions to the world’s food supply orchestrated by the Communist Party of China, you understand the urgency of preparedness. At Survival Cave Food, we share your concerns and offer a solution to ensure your loved ones are well-equipped to weather any storm.

Why Survival Cave Food?

Our commitment to providing the best survival foods stems from a deep understanding of the current geopolitical landscape. With the very real possibility of the Communist Party of China disrupting the global food supply chain, time is of the essence. Traditional grocery stores will see their shelves emptied within two days, while supply centers will be barren within a week. Survival Cave Food offers a range of premium emergency food solutions, meticulously crafted to provide long-term sustenance and security.

A Reliable Source in Unpredictable Times

With our focus on nutritious, long-lasting options, Survival Cave Food stands as your #1 source for the best survival foods. Our freeze-dried meals and high-quality canned meats ensure you have access to essential nutrients, even in the face of potential disruptions caused by international tensions or conflicts. Rest easy knowing your pantry is stocked with dependable options designed to sustain you through any crisis.

Supporting Your Journey of Self-Sufficiency

As patriots, self-sufficiency and preparedness are core values. Survival Cave Food aligns with these principles, empowering you to take control of your family’s food security. Our products not only provide sustenance but also peace of mind, knowing you’re prepared for whatever challenges may arise.

Made in the USA, Trusted by Patriots

At Survival Cave Food, we take pride in our American-made products. Our canned meats are not just meals; they’re lifelines crafted with care and integrity. Whether you’re stocking up for emergencies, planning outdoor adventures, or simply seeking convenient, nutritious options for your family, our products deliver on quality and reliability.

Join the Movement

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Order Now and Prepare with Confidence

Don’t wait for uncertainty to strike. Take proactive measures to secure your family’s future with Survival Cave Food. Explore our range of premium survival foods and experience the peace of mind that comes with being prepared for anything.

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2A UNDER ATTACK! Credit Card Company To Start Tracking Gun Sales

2A UNDER ATTACK! Credit Card Company To Start Tracking Gun Sales

( – Discover will be the first credit card company to track gun transactions made by its customers starting in April 2023.

On September 11, 2022, Breitbart News reported Visa gave in to pressure from groups that want stricter gun laws and New York Democrats and agreed to use a new sales classification system to find transactions involving guns and ammunition.

According to the Associated Press, MasterCard and other significant credit companies have also agreed to alert authorities to gun transactions.

The Independent Journal Review (IJR) wrote an article on March 2, 2023, that said Discover will be the first credit card company to track gun purchases, starting in April.

IJR stated, “Starting in April, anyone using a Discover card to make a transaction in a gun store will have that purchase recorded.”

According to reports, Discover cards are used by more than 55 million people, so just one business has a lot of information about gun transactions.

Reuters says that Discover Financial Services was the first of its competitors to make a public announcement about when the initiative.

This is meant to help police investigate gun-related crimes, will start in February 2023.

Discover would “allow its network to track purchases at gun retailers come April,” making it the first among its peers.

According to Discover,

“We remain committed on maintaining our commitment to preserving and supporting legal purchases on our network while protecting cardholder privacy.”

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) authorized the code in September 2022.

A spokesman for the ISO said, “Users in the industry will decide whether or not to use the new merchant category code.”

Do credit card companies track gun purchases?

Copyright 2023,

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Evacuation Planning for Families

Emergencies can be highly unpredictable. You could be well-prepared for a crisis, but if there’s an earthquake and the house comes crumbling down… whatever food and water supplies you’ve stored will be destroyed.

Evacuation Planning for Families

Emergencies can be highly unpredictable. You could be well-prepared for a crisis, but if there’s an earthquake and the house comes crumbling down… whatever food and water supplies you’ve stored will be destroyed. The structural integrity of the house will be compromised, and you’ll not be able to stay there, you’ll have no choice but to evacuate. Based on this scenario, every prepper needs to have an evacuation plan. This article will give you a few points to bear in mind when formulating your plan.

  • Proximity
    During a catastrophe, roads may be impassable. The area could be flooded. Your car may be damaged, etc. How close will your shelter be?
    Do you have family, friends or even neighbors who are nearby and could take you in? Is it within walking distance or will you need a vehicle to get there?
  • Is your family aware?
    A plan is only good when everyone is onboard and knows what’s going on. What if your spouse is at work? If the kids are at a friend’s house, do they know what to do? Will everyone meet at home and evacuate, or will they meet you at the secondary location?
    During a crisis, there’s often little time to think. Contacting your family members may not be possible if they don’t have access to a phone. Any of these scenarios could happen, and they usually do. So, stay prepared and rehearse well.
  • Be detailed
    Ensure that all family members from the children to the adults have a laminated card with a list of all the family members and their contact information. If anyone is alone and injured, first responders will know how to reach the next of kin.
    If there’s panic and everyone is scrambling for their lives, as would happen in a tsunami, you may lose sight of a family member or two when the situation is chaotic. With these details, there’s a much higher chance of finding them sooner and getting to a safe place as a family as soon as possible.
  • Communication
    During a crisis there must be a plan of communication. If everyone is calling the same person for information, calls may not go through or be delayed. One way to do it if you have children, will be for one or two children to call the mother while another child calls the father.
    If calls don’t work, ask them to try texting. It will be good to have codes that everyone remembers so that you do not have to send long texts to get your message across.
  • Kits
    It goes without saying that every family member needs a bug out bag or a grab bag that they can grab and go in an emergency. The grab bag will contain supplies such as food, water and other items that will help you get through the next 72-hours without much hassle.
  • Pets
    If you have pets, you will need to evacuate them too. While you can’t move an aquarium, you can save your cat, dog, hamster or rabbit away from danger. You’ll need food supplies for them in your grab bag, and a portable carrier to transport the pet.
    It’s good to bring a tent or small shelter for them to stay warm and dry in. Evacuation shelters may not allow pets. If you must leave them outside, they’ll be sheltered, and you can still check on them at regular intervals.

Observe these tips when creating your evacuation plan. It’s imperative that you have a good plan and a good support network. Get to know the people around your neighborhood well. These are the people who will most likely be able to help you in an emergency, and vice-versa. No man is an island.

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