Dave T. Faulkner ’34
2021 Hall of Fame Honoree (Posthumous)
Thirty years ago, Oklahoma Military Academy alumnus Dave Faulkner was interred at Memorial Park Cemetery, while volleys of gunfire, police sirens and trumpeter’s taps echoed across the lawn.
Faulkner was an 1983 distinguished alum, third generation police officer and Navy war hero.
His hero was Will Rogers, a friend of his parents, and he had his heart for humanity, too. Will Rogers inspired Faulkner to attend OMA and play polo. Faulkner graduated from OMA as a star athlete and was offered polo scholarships to the University of Oklahoma, Iowa State and Texas. Rather than attend, he chose to serve his community by operating a gas station in Claremore.
Faulkner left the gas station after a few years to pursue the first highway patrol academy in 1937. A high achiever, he became one of the first original Highway Patrol Troopers for Oklahoma. During his highly decorated career, he served communities in McAlester, Altus and Tulsa, before working his way up to lieutenant in charge of District 9, later known as Troop B, in Tulsa.
He held the position of Troop B commander until his retirement in 1958. Just one day after his retirement, Faulkner filed for the democratic nomination for Tulsa County Sheriff. He won the primary, swept the general election and served a record 11 terms, or 23 years, as sheriff of Tulsa County – the longest tenure ever served in its history. He handed over his badge in 1982 and officially retired.
During his nearly quarter of a century in office, Faulkner molded the Tulsa County Sheriff’s office into one of the most professional law enforcement organizations in the state. He modernized the agency by establishing the following divisions: park ranger, training and warrants. Additionally, he pushed for legislation that would require additional training and education for his deputies.
Faulkner’s nephew is also named Dave Faulkner and is the longtime owner of Rogers County Abstract. Dave’s wife Mary Horne Faulkner is the daughter of Col. John Horne, a past OMA student and the last president of OMA. Mary is an honorary cadet. Dave will accept the Hall of Fame award on his uncle’s behalf.
Parallel to his own believes, Faulkner built his agency around the principles of honesty, professionalism and dedication. He served on the OMA Memorial advisory committee many years. He was inducted to the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Museum and Hall of Fame in 2019.
This well-respected man of great character will be celebrated today, and he will be remembered for his steadfast devotion to his country, his community and his family, as well as the man in the white Stetson hat.