After 36 years with the Tulsa Police Department, Sergeant Dave Walker is retiring. Walker said his next goal is to be a bridge between the community and police.
One said of Walker most people don’t see is his love of baseball. He said he ran the homicide squad with a baseball mentality and thinks that it can also help improve relations with police and the community.
“You don’t have to be the biggest, you don’t have to be the fastest, you just have to work and be fundamental,” Walker said.
Walker teaches baseball to pre-school students at the Crosstown Learning Center. He believes that if officers develop a bond with kids at a young age it will prevent some mistrust at a later age.
Walker hopes to be a voice that can bring police and the minority community closer together.
"I see baseball being involved in bridging that gap someway, somehow," he said.
Walker graduated the academy in 1982. He started in patrol, worked 10 years undercover in narcotics, did a stint in internal affairs before moving to the burglary unit, the robbery unit and finally, homicide, which he’s been in charge of for the past seven years.
He said he's most proud he did it all by the book.
"It was really easy to stay on the right side, getting the job done, and we proved you can be successful and do it the right way, all the time," Walker said.
He's grateful the TV show, First 48, gives people a glimpse of real police work.
"I think what they see is we care about their case and their case is the city's case," Walker said.
Walker said he'll miss the people but knows it's time to go.
He's proud they've solved 90 percent of the city's murders, but fully believes that success will continue.
Sergeant Brandon Watkins will take over the homicide unit from Walker.