Lawton Police under Investigation

- Lawton city officials say for several months they have heard complaints about the internal practices and administration of the police department. Now they want to find out if the complaints warrant any changes.

The Lawton Police Department is recruiting, but with reports of low morale and complaints of how the department is run, that effort may be a little harder than in the past.

“If you got a police department that is in super low morale right now and there is even tension down there it just doesn't create a good atmosphere for the city of Lawton and tax payers,” said Keith Jackson, a Lawton City Council member.

Jackson and the rest of the council voted unanimously for an independent investigation on their police department.

“We didn't want any ties at all. We wanted it to be a clean investigation,” he said.

The city hired the Fidelis Investigating and Consulting Company in Oklahoma City for $125 an hour to look into the concerns Jackson says  many officers and their spouses have been voicing.

“Concerns about their morale, concerned about hiring practices, concerned about their promotion practices, concerned about the moral issues in the department and lots of issues,” he said.

The investigation will begin once the contract with Fidelis is finalized. Jackson says the council plans to take that up during the next city council meeting.

Now that the council has taken the steps to conduct the investigation Jackson says it's important for those who have been making the complaints to step forward with their concerns.

He says without the reports from those people it will be hard to conduct the investigation.

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