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Religious leaders, ex-gang members meet to solve crime problem

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LAWTON, Okla_Church leaders, ex-gang members, police officers and even a mother of a victim of one of this year's homicides gathered at City Hall Friday evening to talk about how to solve the crime problem in Lawton.

In addition to the prayer walks and music programs that churches in the community have utilized to get the youth off the streets, the meeting also focused on the importance of better parenting, and the idea that everyone must make a commitment to work together to really see change.

The meeting started off with a prayer and proceeded with strategy. People from all walks of life spoke up with suggestions on how to help the youth of the community make better choices.

Amanda Sosa, a young woman concerned about the youth in the community, expressed the problem in Lawton seems to be the lack of positive options for the youth.

"There's nothing to do. We go from growing up as small children to being able to play on playgrounds to being teenager to where all we have to do is parties. You know, we still want to have fun but you know there's not really a way we can do that positively," Sosa said.

Admittedly she said teenagers are difficult, but she said there is a way to deal with them.

"You really have to give them an ultimatum, like, 'Yeah, partying is fun, but what positivity are you getting from that? What do you want from your life?' "

There were people from all walks of life, young and old, in attendance. It was clear the commitment to solving the crime problem in Lawton is strong, and as several people were over heard saying, as the participation grows, the crime will most definitely drop.

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