Captain Craig Akard says, "The issue with the homicides we had in 2012 is that they were spread around town. They weren't confined to one area, so it was hard to put a major police presence in a specific area."
In 2013, police say crime was confined to certain areas of town, so they put more patrol presence in those areas.
Grant money helped them do that.
"We have received grants this past year that give us funds to spend for overtime so we can go do specific enforcement in areas," Capt. Akard says.
Of the 14 homicides in 2013, three remain unsolved.
Here's how that number stacks up to years past:
There were 17 in 2012, 10 the year before, three in 2010, and nine in 2009.
There were seven homicides in 2008 and 11 in 2007.
Before that, the number of homicides hadn't been in the double digits for 12 years.
While police say they don't know a reason for the spike in homicides last year, they say alert Lawton residents helped them keep crime down in 2013.
"If they saw something suspicious, they saw some people getting in fights and stuff, they went ahead and called us before the fights and stuff escalated to where somebody did get killed," Capt. Akard says.
Three of Lawton's 2013 homicides remain unsolved.
Thirty-five year-old Sarah McCoy was found fatally shot inside her home in January.
Twenty-six year-old Shallaina Jackson was found fatally stabbed on the side of a road March 26.
And 22-year-old Michael Elix, also known as Michael Denzel Carter, was found fatally shot inside his apartment in the 2300 block of Northwest Terrace Hills Blvd.
As for those three unsolved homicides, Capt. Akard says the department is awaiting DNA results from evidence taken at each of those scenes and they remain hopeful they will solve each case.
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