He and his partner Sarge first appear in the episode Things Change, Attack of the Mousers, and later in The Shredder Strikes Back, Part 2, The Return of Nano, The Christmas Aliens and All Hallows Thieves. He also appears in "Turtles Forever". He is voiced by Pete Capella.
The first issue of Dreamwave Comics' brief run of TMNT comics, also titled Things Change, shows John and the police officer modeled after Kevin Eastman (here named 'Frank'), as childhood friends. They were present at the accident that lodged the four baby Turtles and ooze canister into the sewer.
The rest of the issue proceeds much like the episode version, although John and Frank catch sight of one another and lament the career choices one another has made.
At the issue's conclusion, following John's death, Frank spots the item John had dropped in the alley - a photo of the two of them as children.