Posts on Jan 1970

City of Dalton Hosts REVERSE 911 Open House

The City of Dalton will be hosting a REVERSE 911 open house on Wednesday, January 31 from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.  The location of the open house will be Dalton’s City Hall located at 300 W. Waugh Street in Dalton.

Company representatives will be present to introduce  the REVERSE 911 system to the community. 

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REVERSE 911 Now Available in Dalton

City of Dalton officials now have a new way to get the word out in the event of an emergency.  REVERSE 911 is an outbound notification system used for time-sensitive, mass distribution of messages.  The system is particularly effective in times of crisis when rapid communication to a targeted group of citizens or emergency responders is critical.  REVERSE 911 is used by hundreds of communities across North America to warn of emergencies such as natural disaster evacuations, missing person alerts, terrorism threats, escaped felons, water contaminations and hazardous materials incidents.

"REVERSE 911 could be used to alert people of a chemical spill, missing children, a water main break or escaped prisoners.  It really has many uses" said Jason Parker, lieutenant with the Dalton Police Department.

Dalton Police Chief Chadwick added, "Our community now has a valuable tool that allows the enhancement of public safety that we did not have previously.  This automated community emergency notification system moves us closer to being prepared when disaster strikes".

Aside from emergency-related events, REVERSE 911 is also useful during less urgent situations that require communication to a large number of people.  REVERSE 911 provides an easy means of communicating consistent information to groups of citizens, member of organizations, schools and universities, health care facilities, businesses or internal personnel.

REVERSE 911 combines 9-1-1 calling data and GIS mapping technology to geographically target and notify affected individuals.  Users simply outline the targeted area on the online map, record a voice message, and then launch the session.  Simultaneously, REVERSE 911 dials all phone numbers in the designated calling zone. Alternatively, users can launch calls from lists of numbers that can be pre-built and re-used.  Notification results are immediately available which provide call session statistics.  The real-time detail is extremely helpful during door-to-door evacuations.

REVERSE 911 can send notification sot land lines, cell phones, alpha and digital pagers, fax machines, email addresses and tty/tdd devices (for hearing impaired).  The system will provide notifications to Dalton citizens as well as to all residents of Whitfield County.

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Becoming a Police Officer: Polygraph Examination

The polygraph, commonly referred to as a "Lie Detector" is an important step in the hiring process.  Generally speaking, the pre-employment polygraph is given fairly early in the hiring process.  It accounts for the majority of applications being returned to human resources. 

While the polygraph is a time consuming matter, we feel that it is important due to fact that honesty is the foundation of everything a police officer does.  The Dalton Police Department, as well as other law enforcment agencies, cannot tolerate dishonesty in any form.

Many people think that polygraphs can no longer be used for employment purposes when the Employee Polygraph Protection Act became law in 1998.  This Federal law established guidelines for polygraph testing and imposed restrictions on most private employers.  This law however did not affect Local, State, or Federal governmental agencies.

There are many sites that one can learn more about polygraphs:  www.polygraph.org, www.policepolygraph.org, and www.georgiapolygraph.org.

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Becoming a Police Officer: Background Investigation

One of the final stages of the hiring process is the background investigation.  Background investigations are conducted by other sworn officers.  A person’s entire background is looked into.  This is the most timely and costly step of the hiring process but certainly one of the most important. 

During the background investigation, information on the applicant is sought in the areas of:

  • Educational background including disciplinary problems in school
  • Work history
  • Personality traits
  • Criminal activity
  • Driver’s history
  • Credit history
  • One-on-one interviews as dictated by the investigator

A fellow officer can take comfort knowing that each member of the department went through the same stringent background as themselves. 

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IACP and Bank of America Team Up to Battle ID Crimes

The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and Bank of America have recently teamed up by creating a new website, www.idsafety.org, designed to help consumers and law enforcement combat identity crime.

The website offers residents information on What are ID crimes. How to protect themselves. Determining whether they’ve been a victim and if so, what they should do next.

There is also information for law enforcement agencies concerning prevention, victim assistance, and the investigation of ID crimes.

While ID crimes are among the fastest growing crimes in this nation, they are also some of the most preventable.  Individuals are encouraged to educate themselves about this growing trend in crime to reduce and eliminate their chances of becoming a victim.

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Becoming a Police Officer: Psychological Examination

Following the comprehensive background investigation, the applicant’s psychological exam is scored.  The psychological consists of a series of written tests asking various questions aimed at making a psychological evaluation of the applicant’s ability to perform law enforcement duties. 

There is no booklet available to study for this test.  The applicant’s task is to simply answer all questions truthfully.  It has safeguards in place to identify persons trying to manipulate the test by answering questions by their perception of the "correct" answer.

The grading of the psychological test is done off site by a company called Psychological Resources.  If the applicant fails the psychological test, the application is returned to human resources and the applicant must wait one year before re-applying for a position. 

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Preparing Your Vehicle For Inclement Weather

As inclement weather moves into the North Georgia Area, motorists are reminded of certain steps they should take in preparing their vehicles for these conditions.  Keeping your vehicle properly maintained and always having an emergency kit can lesson your chances of becoming stranded on the side of the road and if stranded, able to stay alive until help can arrive.

There are several important things that need to be checked on your vehicles as well as items that should be carried in case you become stranded.

The following is a list of things that should be checked on your vehicle to ensure they are in good working order. 

  • Have your car battery tested
  • Have the antifreeze level and effectiveness at sub-freezing temperatures checked
  • Make sure the windshield wipers are in good condition
  • Check the windshield washer fluid level and fill with windshield washer fluid instead of water
  • Make sure all lights are working correctly, including flashing hazard lights
  • Have the brakes inspected
  • Have the tire tread checked
  • Make sure the inside heater and defrost is in proper working condition

An emergency kit is also recommended and should always be kept in the vehicle.  The kit should include:

  • Flashlight and extra batteries – lithium batteries are preferable since they do not discharge during non-use
  • Blanket
  • Extra cap and gloves/mittens
  • Small too kit and booster cables
  • Small bag of kitty litter – Used to gain traction in icy road conditions
  • Bottles water and snack foods/powerbars
  • Brightly colored cloth – used as a signaling device
  • First Aid Kit

The police department would also like to remind motorist of some driving tips during inclement weather:

  • Limit travel to essential travel only
  • Leave early and expect there to be driving delays and avoid lightly traveled roads
  • Motorist should slow down on wet or slick roads due to rain and snow and drive much slower than the posted speed limit
  • Avoid quick accelerations, hard braking and quick turns or lane changes
  • Keep gas tank filled to reduce chances of running out of gas if stranded

If you become stranded, if is recommended that you do the following:

  • Stay with your vehicle as long as possible
  • During the day, hang the brightly colored cloth on your antenna
  • During the night, used your emergency flashers
  • If possible, run the engine for short periods of time to provide warmth

If you have further questions about this topic, please contact Officer Steve Zahn at 706-278-9085 ext. 124 or by email at szahn@cityofdalton-ga.gov.

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Becoming a Police Officer: Georgia P.O.S.T. Entrance Exam

Anyone interested in a law enforcement position that requries certification by the state must pass a basic state test commonly known as the Georgia P.O.S.T. Entrance Exam.  This test is completely seperate from our written test. 

The applicant must attends our regional academy, the North West Georgia Regional Police Academy, at a pre-arranged time for the testing.  The testing takes about 2 hours and insures that the applicant possesses basic language skills necessary to perform in the law enforcement field.

This test can be taken at any time during the hiring process but must be completed prior to the interview with the Chief of Police.  The test is good for the lifetime of the applicant and is transferable from one agency to another within Georgia.  The failure rate for this test is very low.

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Becoming a Police Officer: Physical Fitness Assessment

At some part in the process, applicants participate in the Physical Fitness Assessment.  The assessment is designed to measure the overall fitness level of the applicant.  The test consists of 5 events which are dictated through The Cooper Institute in Dallas, Texas:

  • Vertical Jump (16" or greater) – This event is used to measure leg strength
  • Sit-ups (29 or more in 1 minute) – used to measure core body strength
  • 300 meter run (71 seconds or less) – measures anaerobic capacity
  • Push-ups (25 or more with no time limit) – This is a good indicator of upper body strength
  • 1.5 mile run/jog (16:28 or faster) – measures aerobic capacity

Physical Fitness Assessment’s are becoming more common place in law enforcement.  Most realize the nature of a police officer’s duties require a fitness level above the common citizen.  Unlike many other occupations, the police officer cannot always dictate when and where bad things will happen.  The officer must be physically ready and capable of responding to any situation they are called upon to handle.  Many of these situations require a fit person to resolve.

Officers failing to meet the standards are allowed one re-test of the fitness assessment at a later date.  if they fail the second time, the application is sent back to Human Resources and they must wait one year before reapplying.

Picture_045 Picture_043_3 Applicants participate in the push-up and 300 meter run as part of the fitness testing required in the hiring process

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Becoming a Police Officer: The Written Test

The written test is one of the initial tests all applicants must complete.  It consists of 125 multiple choice questions.  The questions are largely based on information given to them from inside the testing booklet.  There is no study guide available to the applicant to prepare for the written test.  There are also sentence structure word usage questions.  In order to continue in the process, the applicant must score a minimum of 70 on the written test.  While some fail the written test, approximately 90% pass and continue in the process.  If the written test is passed, the recruiting officer will contact the applicant to schedule them for a polygraph examination. 

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