LAWTON, Okla._A neighborhood watch group is fighting back following Friday's shooting death of a man staying at a hotel where they meet once a month.
Sergeant Daniel Harter with the Lawton Police Department assists the neighborhood watch group and says he has no doubt they will bounce back after the violent crime, determined to be more vigilant than ever in their fight against crime.
Neighborhood Watch signs around the neighborhood make it clear to would-be criminals that this area is a no tolerance zone but that is only if the neighborhood stays on the look out. Tuesday they're holding a meeting in light of Friday's killing and a large group is expected to come.
"People will show up because of the recent crimes over here, but at the same time people will get to the point where it doesn't really affect them at a personal level so they'll attend one or two meetings until the next time a crime strikes close to home," said Harter.
Harter assists multiple watches throughout Lawton, and says the Mission Village watch is an average size and their meetings can range between 5 and 20 members. He says there's strength in numbers and the more they grow the more they'll benefit.
"Some of the neighborhood watches across Lawton have attendances from 25 to 30 and they're just real strong and it shows with the stronger neighborhood watches and the number of crimes seems to be lower in those areas," explained Harter.
While it may be ironic that the murder happened where the group meets, Harter says it's not deterring the crime fighters, but only motivating them even more.
"Everyone that shows up has a concern and a drive. They want to be there they want to do good in their community. They make a difference all across Lawton whether the public knows it or not," said Harter.
When crimes happen, it causes residents to be more on the lookout and even call about little things but Harter says the department welcomes that.
"Any tip that we can get and use to help us out it, it makes a big advantage compared to having nothing at all. Even the smallest leads can get into something big sometimes," said Harter.
Harter added that many people use kids as an excuse to not come but he encourages them to bring their kids to the meetings, because they have information that can keep them safe as well.
The Mission Village neighborhood watch meets on the third Tuesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. at the Super 8 hotel. If you are looking to join a neighborhood watch in your area, click here.