Ronnie Smith Petition Given to Lawton City Council

    A standing room only crowd of supporters packed Lawton's City Council meeting Tuesday evening and showed loyalty to former police chief, Ronnie Smith. Smith says he was forced to step down from his position as police chief earlier this month by City Manager Larry Mitchell.
    So Tuesday night, His supporters rallied around him and presented a petition to try and get him reinstated.
         Smith did not attend the meeting, but others rallied on his behalf. His long time friend and Lawton business owner Mike Hodges launched a petition campaign earlier this month to try to get Smith back on the force. Tuesday night, he handed over the petition with close to 3,500 signatures from Lawton residents.
    "Tonight they kept bringing petitions and we had 3,397, and I know we went over to 3,500 tonight with what people came in," said Hodges.    
    Smith claims the city manager told him either step down or be terminated and lose his benefits. Smith says he was given two reasons.
    First, was over how his department presented cases to the DA's office. And second, an issue with the re-hiring of a former Lawton Police Officer.
    "That is not the way you treat your employees if you want them to best serve you and put their lives on the line it's not fair," said Smith supporter Mike Underwood. "You don't throw someone that has 37 and a half years, you don't give him an ultimatum: fire, retire, or or I am going to fire you by 4 p.m."
    Underwood, Hodges, and others addressed the council saying they just wanted to see Smith put back on the job that he's devoted to. So far, the city council has made no further action on the matter.

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