Sentinel Program

The Sentinel Program is a volunteer organization serving the Lawton Police Department. It consists of men and women over the age of 21 from all walks of life. The Sentinel members augment the services provided by the Lawton Police Department. They do not perform duties which will place them in danger. With crime becoming an ever increasing concern for citizens, many of them want to actively help their community in some way. The Sentinel program provides this opportunity for citizens to give something back to the community, and it also assists the Department in providing services that the citizens of Lawton have come to appreciate from its Police Department, such a funeral escorts, residence checks, and public assists. Other areas in which they can work are, but are not limited to: training division, property and identification, the Chief's office, or patrol division.

The Sentinel program is not a stepping stone to becoming a police officer. Our best Sentinels are individuals who have secure employment and are just wanting to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. "Citizens in Service to the Community" is the motto of the Sentinel program, and it is proudly displayed on the Sentinel patch. The Lawton Police Department is proud of its Sentinels, and the Sentinels are proud of their Police Department.

Interested volunteers must complete an extensive application process including a full background check. The purpose of this process is to ensure that those accepted to the program will protect the confidentiality of sensitive materials and situations that occasionally occur. An oral interview board rates the applicant's suitability for acceptance into the program. The applicant then appears before an oral interview board, after which the selection is made and sent to the Chief of Police for final approval. Acceptance into the Sentinel Academy is also contingent upon completion of the newly formed Citizen Police Academy.

Sentinel members then begin their academy which is held at the Lawton Police Department's training room located at 4th and Gore. The academy lasts approximately 30 hours and is conducted over a two month time frame. The classes are held one night a week and on some Saturdays. Since the Sentinels will become "ambassadors" of the Lawton Police Department, the Department strives to train them in the best way possible, keeping in mind that the intent is not to produce fully trained police officers. Classes conducted during the academy include, but are not limited to: First Aid/C.P.R., report writing, hazardous materials, traffic control, and defensive driving. The academy concludes with a graduation dinner attended by members of the Police Department and city government. Sentinels who have graduated then volunteer a minimum of four hours per week or sixteen hours per month to the program.

If you wish to be a member of this organization, or just have a question contact sentinel Kay Carney at 581-3258 or E- mail her at kcarney@cityof.lawton.ok.us or Sergeant Steve Martin at smartin@cityof.lawton.ok.us. We will also advertise this process through the local media.