Fort Sill Official Fires Back at Gang Report

Lawton, OK – Fort Sill's liaison to the city of Lawton is firing back at a police officer's comments that soldiers at the base are involved in gangs.

Col. Robert Bridgford issued a written statement saying information released by police Lt. Darrell Southerland ``was completely inaccurate.''

Southerland oversees the city's gang task force unit and told The Oklahoman last week that he's warned Fort Sill officials for years about a widespread gang problem.

Bridgford's statement says no soldier has been arrested or implicated in gang activity in the past year. It also says military police have no information of soldiers being a member of a gang or being involved in gang-related activities.

Bridgford's statement came after a closed-door meeting with Lawton Mayor John Purcell, City Manager Larry Mitchell, Police Chief Ronnie Smith and Southerland.