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Community paints over graffiti

Community paints building (Source KSWO) Community paints building (Source KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - Tuesday morning, graffiti on a community building brought together several Lawton residents looking to make a difference.

Citizens, city employees and Lawton Police Officers repainted the building at the Lawton Municipal Pool Tuesday after it was tagged with graffiti over the weekend. A post showing the graffiti began circulating on Facebook and community members quickly responded with offers to get the building cleaned up.

DJ Zackery said he saw the post on Facebook and knew even though he was not the one responsible, he needed to do something to help get it cleaned up.

"Accountability is a big part of being a part of the community,” Zackery said. “You have to be willing to do the effort. Everyone can identify a problem, 'fine there's a problem'. Are you going to take the initiative to take a step forward to fix it? Are you going to be accountable for your actions? If we're a community, then we have to be accountable"

City of Lawton employee Russell Anderson was one of those community members spearheading the efforts from the city's side and said he hopes the event not only sends a message to the idle members of the community, but also to those who vandalized the building in the first place.

"It's to establish that this is our town. This isn't whoever did this's town, this is our town,” Anderson said. “This is to establish that this is our town and we have pride in Lawton. That's the most important thing we're putting out there is if we can come together, a simple solution of providing 5 gallons of paint to paint the building back over and say ‘hey, were not going to allow this in our town,’ that's a good thing."

More than a dozen people showed up Tuesday on short notice, and Zackery said he hopes the actions of those who showed up will influence those who couldn't make it.

"It shows that anyone can do it,” Zackery said. “Everyone here is employed, everyone took a break from their job, took their lunch early, called in and told their boss what they were doing and that they'd be late. So it's a community effort, you've just got to give a little time."

"It's really encouraging for the city of Lawton. If you look at what we've got today, imagine a week from now, we identify another solution we've got twice as many people,” Anderson said. “If we can get this as a movement, this is awesome, this is the one time we can all get together and we bond just because we live here, just because we're all neighbors.

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