Lawton police chief leaves after 37 years on force

LAWTON, OK. (AP) - The chief of police in Lawton has resigned after 37 years on the force.

Chief Ronnie Smith informed the city Tuesday that he would leave the agency. The city named Assistant Chief James Apple as acting chief until a replacement is found.

In October, an arbitrator ruled that the former head of the department's special operations unit was unjustly fired, a ruling the city is appealing.

Assistant City Manager Bryan Long told The Oklahoman that Smith's resignation was voluntary and did not come about for disciplinary reasons. Long says there was nothing out of the ordinary about the chief leaving office.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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