Widow of former LPD detective Branham reflects on his legacy

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The widow of former Louisville Police detective Bobby Branham spoke to the media, May 23, about her husband's legacy and passion for law enforcement.

"He loved his job in law enforcement," said Mary Carroll Burnett. "He always said that he felt so lucky to have a career that he loved so much that he would've gone to work without being paid."

Branham died May 14 following surgery for wounds suffered in the line of duty 41 years ago.

The former detective was a 12-year veteran of the police force when he was shot in the stomach on July 16, 1972, while conducting a prostitution investigation near the intersection of East Oak and Preston.

Branham received Officer of the Year in 1969 and the Mayor's Award in 1973.

Following a medical retirement in 1974, Branham served as chief of detectives for the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office in Louisville.

Branham's widow also reflected on the level of respect Branham received from the community. Burnett shared a story of how several inmates incarcerated by Branham offered to "take care" of the person who shot him in the stomach.

"I know that he was so highly regarded by so many people," Burnett said.

LMPD Chief Steve Conrad issued the following statement regarding Branham's passing:

"We were saddened to learn about the death of retired Louisville Police Detective Bobby Branham.  Based on information we received, his death appears to be the result of complications that occurred from injuries he sustained while performing his duties as a police officer.  Out of respect for Detective Branham and his family, I have authorized our officers to wear mourning bands from now through the end of the memorial service on Friday evening.    We will keep Detective Branham's family in our thoughts and prayers."

Visitation for Detective Branham is Friday, May 24, at Newcomer Funeral Home located at 235 Juneau Drive in Louisville from 3 to 7 p.m. A celebration of life will follow at the Mellwood Art Center. Burial will be private.

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