Since 1917, the Tulsa Police Department has suffered the loss of 39 police officers who were killed in the line of duty. Every new police officer takes an oath of office which contains the following statement: “I will protect the Right, Lives, and Property of all citizens and uphold the honor of the Police Profession, with my life, if need be.” These 39 officers gave the ultimate sacrifice for the citizens of Tulsa.
In September 1996, a small group of individuals who shared a common dream came together to form the Tulsa Police Officers’ Memorial Committee. This group consists of police officers, retired officers, officers’ families, and police chaplains. Their dream is to build an everlasting memorial to honor Tulsa police officers who were killed in the line of duty; to create a place where police officers, family members of fallen officers, and citizens can come to honor those officers who bravely gave their lives in the line of duty.
The original proposed Memorial Park would feature a Wall of Memory, which would list the fallen officers’ names in granite. There would also be bronze reliefs depicting different units within the Police Department. In front of the wall would be a statue of a Tulsa police officer handing a folded flag to the child of a fallen officer, as well as a replica of the Tulsa Police badge set in granite or tile. Encircling that would be a Walk of Honor, a tree lined sidewalk with a walkway leading to each tree. A brick engraved with the officer’s name would be set into each pathway, and the trees will shade a park bench and a plaque displaying information about each officer.
The final plan changed partly due to the layout of the property. The original concept stayed the same – a statue of a Tulsa Police Officer handing a folded flag to a child as the focal point. Behind the statue is a wall that has our Oath of Office highlighting the last line “…With My Life if Need Be.” There is also a Walk of Honor where each officer has a station with a remembrance plaque and a bench.