Lawton_Homicides are down across the state of Oklahoma. The two largest cities, Oklahoma City and Tulsa, saw a decline and so did Lawton. Lawton Police Chief Ronnie Smith says homicides are the hardest crimes to predict--and thus harder to prevent. "When someone doesn't know somebody and they get killed you know those are the ones we try to prevent if we're in the right place at the right time, but you can't always do that," said Chief Smith.
So this year it's taken people across town to help get that number of 11 homicides in 2007 down to 8 in 2008--a 25% decrease. "I think aggressive patrol by our patrol officers, our detectives working cases and getting people off the streets that are committing the crimes and our citizens calling in and reporting the crimes more often," said Chief Smith.
But it's not just homicides that are down in Lawton. Overall, crime was down 8% from the year before. "The citizens are aware more of what goes on at the police department and they call in more, neighborhood watches help, our sentinels help, so there's just a factor of things, our citizens, the officers, the detectives, everybody working together I think has made the overall difference."
He hopes that even after the recent rash of robberies across Lawton, those figures will stay below the year before. But he's proud to have those recent robberies solved and of Lawton's citizens and the officers that work for the Lawton Police Department. "I'm really proud of them. These guys, they get out there and work hard and do their job and it really helps us. I'm proud of all these guys and I think we have one of the best departments in the state. If not, the United States."