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Police react differently after recent shootings

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)
(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -A shots fired call near Northwest 38th Street and Rogers Lane had law enforcement on high alert Friday morning.

The call came in around 8:30 a.m. after an officer heard a gunshot and called for backup. Officers began searching and found 23-year-old Daniel Edwards in a wooded area, refusing to come out. The situation ended peacefully an hour later, but police are taking every call seriously after recent events around the country.

Lawton Police were out in full force Friday morning and shut down around three blocks of Northwest 38th Street. They say in light of the recent shootings in Dallas and threats of retaliation against police across the country, they are being cautious with every call.

"Your heart gets to racing, you're wondering, you're listening, you're worried about everybody else. You're worried about if he's going to jump out and start shooting," said Det. Nancy Lombardo, LPD public information officer.

Det. Lombardo says when she heard the call, she left the station as quickly as she could. She says there's always concern when they hear a call involving a possible active shooter, but it's increased since the tragedy in Dallas.

"When you hear a gunshot go off, and you actually know there is a gun, they said their hair raised up on their arms, and you know you got a situation. We have apartment complexes out here. We had people walking around wanting to know what had happened, and we're trying to secure the line as quickly as possible," Det. Lombardo explained.

Det. Lombardo says they've taken each call as seriously as the next, with some officers doubling up in patrol cars for extra support. She says with the threats of retaliation against law enforcement happening in other cities, they can't take it lightly in the Lawton community. She says they will continue to do their jobs, with their eyes open, in hopes that the community will continue to support that.

"Police officers are like anybody else, okay. We live, we breathe and we bleed like everyone else. But ultimately, we're out here to protect everybody, no matter what the sacrifice is," Det. Lombardo said.

Det. Lombardo says most of the community has shown positive support toward law enforcement, and only a few have not. She says the positivity they've received from residents, in light of all the bad around the country, makes doing what they do much easier.

"We didn't use to feel that kind of love. As much as we didn't use to feel that kind of hate, we didn't feel that kind of love, so to know that your...what you do is important and it's appreciated means the world," she said.

Det. Lombardo was one of a few officers who went to Dallas Thursday for the memorial for one of the officers killed during the protest. She said she had never been around that many officers before and it brought her to tears to see all the support.

So far in 2016, 62 law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty; 28 of them were killed by gunfire according to data from the Officer Down Memorial Page.

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