Posts on Jan 1970

Open Public Forum on Awareness and Prevention of Illegal Drugs

The Dalton Police Department will host a community forum on awareness and prevention of illegal drugs.  This is the 2nd in a series of forums planned by the police department in 2007.

The session will be focus on educating the public, particularly parents, on:

  • How to recognize if their child or another person is taking illegal drugs
  • Steps parents can take to minimize their child from becoming involved in illegal drugs
  • How to recognize illegal drug activity in their neighborhood
  • Proactive steps citizens can take to reduce and eliminate illegal drug activity in our community

The session is scheduled for Thursday May 3rd, from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.  There will be an extensive question and answer session following a brief lecture by police personnel.

The location for the forum will be at Dalton’s City Hall located at 300 West Waugh Street.

For more information about this forum, please contact Officer Chris McDonald at (706) 278-9085 extension 177 or by email at   

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Person Killed After Being Struck by Train

A Dalton man was killed after being struck by a train in the area Coronet Drive in Dalton.  The Whitfield County 911 Center received a call at approximately 1:56 p.m. from workers at the Beaulieu plant near Coronet drive saying that a man had been struck by a train.

Dalton officers were dispatched to the scene where the man was found unconscious with no pulse.  Emergency Medical personnel were notified and responded to the scene.

This is the second person struck by a train in the Dalton area within the last 30 days.  It is both unsafe and against the law to walk on or near train tracks.  This incident as well as the earlier death clearly points to the dangers associated with being near trains.

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Dalton Police Officers Participate in Child Safety Seat Check

Several members of the Dalton Police Department along with members of the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office, Georgia State Patrol, Whitfield County Fire Department, and the local chapter of the American Red Cross, recently held a child safety seat check at the Wal-Mart on East Walnut Avenue.

Officials were present to check child safety seats and provide information to residents regarding laws and safety of child restraints.


Officials standing by to check child safety seats at a recent safety seat check

The police department and the sheriff’s office also provided impaired driver education through the use of their golf carts and impaired driver simulation goggles.  This involves the driver to wear goggles that simulate them being intoxicated and then require them to drive through a cone obstacle course.  "This shows the driver just how unsafe it is to drive while being impaired", says Officer Chris McDonald, Dalton Police Department’s public information officer.

Car_seat_check_032307_003 Golf carts used during the impaired driving simulation exercise

Car_seat_check_032307_005Retta Gavin of the Dalton chapter of the American Red Cross marks child safety seats prior to installation

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Calls for Service: What an Officer Encounters on a Domestic Dispute Call

As previously mentioned in earlier posts, Dalton Police Officers responded to over 50,000 calls for service in 2006.  While some of these calls involve traffic stops for moving violations and routine report calls, many of the officer’s calls require much more time to complete.  Let’s take a look at the time frame for a domestic dispute call, a commonly encountered incident for our officers.

Once the officer gets the call from the 911 center they must assess the information received and determine the best route, and what "code" to respond.  Generally the officer will respond with both lights and siren activated for the safety of others but must deactivate it prior to the arrival to the scene.  In route to the scene, the officers have many things running through their mind.  Maybe it is that of the 146 officers killed in the line of duty for 2006, 38 died as a result of a motor vehicle crash.  Or, the officer may be reminded that domestic disputes are one of the most dangerous types of calls he or she can respond to and that many officers are killed by the offender of these types of crimes.  In addition, the officer must monitor and operate the police radio, negotiate traffic conditions, and determine the fastest route to the incident location.

Once on the scene, the officer will make contact with the persons involved and begin the investigation.  Emotions are generally high among all parties involved and so is the danger.  During the investigation, if it is determined that a crime of domestic violence has occurred,  an arrest is generally made.  The officer must constantly be mindful of department policy, State law, and criminal procedures at all levels of the call.  It is at this level of the encounter that the officer is most at risk since the "arrest phase" is the most dangerous for the officer.  If the offender has fled the scene prior to the officer’s arrival, they may be required to locate and/or obtain an arrest warrant from the magistrate court after all the proper paperwork is completed.

Once the person is arrested and in custody.  Many more steps are needed to aid in a successful prosecution of the violator.  These steps include getting statements from the victim and any witnesses to the incident, and taking pictures of the victim’s injuries and/or crime scene.

This does not complete the call.  The officer will now access the situation and give guidance and counseling to the victim.  This may include information about spousal abuse, how to obtain a restraining order or Temporary Protective Order, Battered Women’s Shelters in the area, and providing literature for the victim concerning many of the above issues.

The officer will then complete a comprehensive report using their on-board computer with details of the incident and the actions taken by the officer(s) at the scene.

In some of these cases, the offender will choose a jury trial in Superior Court.  In these instances, the officer will receive a subpoena and be required to attend the trial and testify on behalf of the prosecution.

This is one example of the many crimes that officers respond to that that requires time and expertise to complete.  Others include, but not limited to, DUI stops, cases involving assault, and burglaries where officers are required to search the building or structure for the offenders.   

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911 Hang-up Calls

The Dalton Police Department wants to remind residents to be aware of the high number of 911 hang-up calls that are received.

In February of 2007, the Whitfield County 911 Center received almost 200 911 hang up calls.  In each of these, the dispatcher attempts to contact the caller to verify the problem.  Even if the dispatcher makes contact with someone at the residence who says everything is OK, an officer must still respond to ensure that no problem exists.  In many of these cases, it involves children playing on the phone.

Parents are asked to speak with their children about when and how they should contact the police or other first responders in case of an emergency.  Also, parents should explain to their children to not call 911 at a prank. 

The following is a list of non-emergency phone numbers to agencies or locations in Dalton and Whitfield County as well as the National Poison Control Center number:

  • Dalton Police Department: 706-278-9085 or 706-278-3333
  • Whitfield County 911 Center: 706-370-4900
  • Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office: 706-278-1233
  • Dalton Fire Department: 706-278-7363
  • Georgia State Patrol: 706-272-2200
  • Poison Control Center: 1-800-222-1222
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Police Cadets Graduate from Police Academy

Three Dalton Police Officers recently graduated from the 10-week basic mandate police officer training at the regional police academy in Dalton.

Following graduation, the officers enter the 17-week Police Officer Training (PTO) program where they will be given hands on instruction in police department procedures and tactics by certified instructors.

Upon completion of the PTO program, officers will be assigned to the patrol division where there daily duties will include the enforcement of local and State laws.

Academy_graduation_023 From left to right: Officer Jeremy Jolley holding the Top Gun award, Officer Jimmy Nutt, Officer Brian Tison holding the academy’s award for excellence in the area of "Honor, Integrity, Respect, and Courage (H.I.R.C.)"

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Police Prepare for Second Annual Teen Citizens Police Academy

The Dalton Police Department is now accepting applications for their 2nd annual Teen Citizens Police Academy.  Teenagers interested in attending this academy are asked to contact Sergeant Mike Dyer to obtain an application.  Class size will be limited to 15 participants ranging from 13-18 years of age.

Participants will attend 4 sessions on a weekly basis with each session lasting approximately 3 hours with a final graduation ceremony at the Police Department.  Participants will gain insite into what is required of today’s law enforcment officer.

Contact information for Sergeant Mike Dyer is (706) 278-9085 extension 109 or by email at

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Police Begin 15th Annual Citizens Police Academy

The Dalton Police Department recently began its 15th annual Citizens Police Academy.  The academy has been in place for approximately 11 years with the first one starting in 1995.  There have been over 200 graduates of the Citizens Police Academy since its introduction. 

The program lasts for 10 weeks and meets each Tuesday night from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.  The classes cover all three of the department’s divisions and gives the participants insight into how police work is conducted in general and specifically how the Dalton Police Department operates.

Some of the topics covered include Constitutional overview, overview of each department, crime scene processing, use of force, and firearms.  The participants are also given the opportunity to ride with an officer for an entire shift giving them hands on experience of police procedures and duties.  Following the 10-week program, the police department holds a graduation ceremony where the participants can invite their families for a meal and receiving a diploma.

The program is great for those interested in the inner workings of the police department, says Officer Chris McDonald, the police department’s public information officer and past coordinator for the program.  "A common phrase I would hear at the end of the program is ‘I never knew that being a police officer was this complex’.  Academy graduates are very helpful in educating other members of the community about the police department and its services", says Officer McDonald.

The program is held once a year, generally during the spring.  Anyone interested in this program is encouraged to submit an application to Sergeant Mike Dyer.  Sergeant Dyer can be reached at (706) 278-9085 extension 109 or by email at

2007_cpa_028 Chief James Chadwick speaking to members of the 15th annual Citizens Police Academy on the history of policing and Constitutional Law


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Dalton Resident Hit by Train

The recent death of Mr. Saul Garcia this past Sunday morning underscores the importance of educating the public on the danger of trains and increased enforcement of no trespassing laws around train property.

In the case of Mr. Garcia, he had went onto railroad property around the Waugh Street bridge and apparently layed down on the tracks.  This occurred in the early morning hours of Sunday March 11th.  By the time the conductor saw Mr. Garcia, there was not enough time to stop the train before hitting him.  The police department had made contact with Mr. Garcia earlier that morning and alcohol readings showed that he had been drinking.

According to the website, Operation Lifesaver, there were 530 trespassing fatalities in the United States in 2006.  Parents and teachers should talk to their children about the dangers of being around trains and railroad property.  Children are at an increased risk since it may be harder for them to get out of the way of an approaching train.

The police department actively enforces trespassing laws on railroad property.  Signs are in place by the railroad company along the tracks warning individuals of State law violations for trespassers.  The criminal code for this violation is 16-7-21, Criminal Trespass.  The fine for violation of this law is $644.00 through the City’s Municipal Court.

Rr_trespassing_sign Rr_trespassing_sign_2 No Trespassing Signs posted by CSX Railroad Police.  These signs warn violators of both the criminal law and the safety issues associated with being on railroad property

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Police Volunteer Speaks to Pre-School Children

Police volunteer, Pat Flammini, recently spoke to a group of pre-school children at the First Methodist Church.

Ms. Flammini is one of 5 police volunteers and spoke to the children about what police officers do and what police volunteers do to help them.  She also spoke to the children about using seat belts, dealing with strangers, and other general safety tips.  She stressed the need for them to use their eyes and ears to be aware of what is happening around them.

Police volunteer Flammini also explained to the children the various equipment a police officer and a police volunteer carries and what equipment they have in their patrol car.

Volunteer Volunteer_2 Police Volunteer Pat Flammini speaks with children and prepares one of them for duty

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