Year Inducted: 2010Tulsa Chief Clinton Riggs (deceased) was selected for his efforts to advance professionalism with the Tulsa force. Chief Riggs was born July 15, 1910, and served on the Tulsa Police Department from 1934 to 1937 and again 1945 to 1969 as a patrolman, motorcycle officer, sergeant, captain, and administrative chief of police. From 1937 to 1941 Riggs served as a highway patrolman with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol before joining the Army and serving in World War II until 1945.
In 1939 Chief Riggs attended the Northwestern Traffic Institute where he conceived the idea for the "yield" sign. The sign reduced accident rates and was quickly adopted worldwide. During his law enforcement career, Chief Riggs had many accomplishments and was credited with developing the Tulsa Police Academy, hiring and integration of African Americans in the Tulsa Police Department, raising scholarship money for forty-five officers to attend law school, and authored many laws including the law prohibiting convicted felons from carrying firearms.
Chief Riggs also developed and chaired the Police Science Division at the newly founded Tulsa Junior College from 1970 to 1981. Chief Riggs remained an active and contributing member to the Fraternal Order of Police throughout his life which included working with legislators at the state capitol from 1948 to 1960 in developing and monitoring the Police and Fire Pension funds. He had a firm belief in justice for all and that manifested in his teachings in Police Science, lectures to civic organizations, colleges, and universities.