Posts on Jan 1970

Traffic Crashes & Injuries Decline

Traffic crashes and injuries in 2007 are down from this time last year.  Through three quarters this year, the city has seen 939 accidents.  Last year through three quarters, there were 1055 accidents.  This reflects an 11% decrease.  As for injuries, the city has seen a 17% decrease.  Through three quarters this year, there have been 224 injuries.  That’s down from 268 injuries through three quarters in 2006.

The Dalton Police Department has also increased roadchecks and have issued more speeding citations this year.

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Preventing Identity Theft

As identity thieves continue to prey upon innocent victims, they also continue to find new ways to steal your money.  However, there are some steps you can take to avoid being a victim.

1.  Check your credit report – Knowing your credit history is the number one way to protect your identity. Checking your credit report periodically allows you to see if an identify thief has opened a new credit card account with a fake address and phone number.

2.  Don’t give out your SSN – Only give out your Social Security number when it is required.  Just because a form has a space for your SSN doesn’t mean you have to fill it in.

3.  Protect your computer – Always use a secure wireless connection, use an encrypted service, update your virus protection regularly, install an adequate firewall, and assume that any Email that asks for your personal information is fraud.

4.  Keep track of your billing cycles – Be sure to call if don’t receive a regular credit bill in the mail.  Chances are, an identity thief has changed your address.

5.  Closely examine your financial statements – Go over your credit card statements to make sure you made the purchases listed.

6.  Guard your mail from theft – Make a practice of picking up your mail as soon as possible after it is delivered.  Consider investing in a locked mailbox or play it extra safe with a post office box.

7.  Invest in a shredder – Get into the habit of shredding all documents before throwing them in the garbage.

8.  Practice safe online shopping – Shop only from secure sites that will encrypt your order information and credit card number.

9.  Avoid sketchy ATMs – Be skeptical of portable machines you see in convenience stores and hotel lobbies, especially if they have a cord protruding from the back that’s not plugged in. 

10. Be suspicious of unexpected calls or letters – Be wary of when a business calls or Emails you and asks for personal information.  Make it a policy not to get personal unless you’re the one who initiated the contact.

11. Put real passwords on your accounts – Create one password that you can use in multiple applications that no one else well know.  A strong password is a random eight-character combination of numbers, letters and symbols.

12. Keep your credit card close to you – When you’re out spending money, watch how salespeople and waiters handle your cards and make sure they don’t have a chance to copy them.

13. Use safe checks and use them sparingly – Always get your checks from your bank.  These checks are far more likely to contain fraud protection features like a watermark, thermochromatic ink, chemically reactive paper, and light-sensitive ink and fibers.

14. Secure your home – Find a non-obvious location in your home where you can store your Social Security card, passport and all records that contain personal information.

15. Carry only what you need – Leave your Social Security card at home in a secure place.  Carry only credit cards you plan to use.

16. Spring clean your credit cards – Cancel credit cards you don’t use regularly. The more cards you have, the more opportunities a thief has to steal from you.

17. Opt out – Get your name off of marketing lists that get sold and resold.

18. Read privacy policies – They are essential for understanding what your bank, financial institutes and other businesses that you deal with do with you information.

19. Protect a deceased relative – When someone dies, contact the credit bureaus and have the "deceased" alert put on the person’s reports.  Inform Social Security of the death yourself, with a copy of the death certificate.

20. Place fraud alerts on your credit reports – Putting a fraud alert tag on your credit report will limit a thief’s ability to open accounts in your name.

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Halloween Safety Tips

With Halloween just around the corner, we would like to remind everyone of some safety tips to ensure a safe and fun trick-or-treating experience.

General Safety Tips:

  • Try to trick-or-treat during daylight.  If it is dark, make sure a couple of people are carrying working flashlights.
  • Have your children wear light colored and/or some type of reflective clothing.
  • Map out a safe route for your children to take.  Remind them to not take short cuts through backyards, alleys, or other areas.
  • Older kids should go out with friends.  Younger kids should always be accompanied by an adult.
  • Remind children to never enter a strange house or car.

Costume Tips:

  • Encourage kids to wear comfortable shoes
  • Keep costumes short to prevent tripping or falls
  • Make sure costumes are flame-retardant to reduce dangers from candles or open flames
  • Try make-up instead of a mask.  Masks can obstruct a child’s vision.

Eating Treats:

  • Remind your children to not eat their treats until they get home  Feeding them a meal or substantial snack before they go trick-or-treating will help keep them from eating the treats
  • Eat only unopened candies and other treats that are in their original wrappers.  Parents should inspect fruit or homemade goodies for anything suspicious.

Halloween tips for the Adults:

  • Welcome trick-or-treaters at home by turning on your exterior lights.
  • Remove objects from your yard that might present a hazard to visitors.
  • Mobilize your neighborhood watch members to help monitor and patrol the neighborhood.
  • Drive slowly all evening.  Children can dart out in front of you at any time.
  • If you see criminal activity or anything suspicious, call the Police Department or Sheriff’s Office.
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Warning Children About The Dangers of Drugs & Alcohol

The Dalton Police Department took part in Red Ribbon Week for the Dalton Public Schools.  Officer Abe Chiesa visited Park Creek Elementary on Wednesday.  He spoke to the students about the dangers and side effects of drugs and alcohol. 

Red Ribbon Week is the oldest and largest drug prevention campaign in the country.  It serves as a vehicle for communities to take a stand against drugs through a commitment to drug prevention and education, and a personal commitment to live drug free lives with the ultimate goal being the creation of a drug free America.

100_0195 Officer Abe Chiesa shows before and after pictures of drug users

100_0198 A group of students get a first hand look at different types of drugs and paraphernalia

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Dalton Police Participate in Disaster Awareness Day

The Dalton Police Department took part in Dalton State College’s Disaster Awareness Day.  The Police Department, along with other local agencies, was on hand to answer questions about natural and man-made disasters.  Some examples of possible disasters in Georgia include hazardous materials spills, wildfires, winter storms, floods and tornadoes.  It is important for everyone to develop a family disaster plan and to create a disaster supplies kit.

100_0199 Officer Ray Figg distributes disaster awareness pamphlets

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Two Dalton State students take a tour of the department’s Crime Scene van

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Cub Scouts Visit Dalton Police Department

A group of Whitfield County Tiger Cub Scouts visited the Dalton Police Department Tuesday.  The group of young men learned about being a good citizen and obeying laws.  Officer Steve Zahn also spoke with the scouts about the importance of wearing seat belts.

100_0180 Cub scouts learning about Georgia laws

100_0185 Officer Steve Zahn answers questions about being a good citizen

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Department Receives 11th AED

Representatives from Windstream and the American Red Cross presented the Dalton Police Department it’s 11th Automated External Defibrillator (AED) on Monday.  The department currently has 2 AED’s housed inside the deparment and another 8 inside patrol cars.  The department is the only law enforcement agency north of Atlanta to have AED’s inside patrol cars. 

An AED is a device about the size of a laptop computer that analyzes the heart’s rhythm for any abnormalities and, if necessary, directs the rescuer to deliver an electrical shock to the victim.  This shock, called defibrillation, may help the heart reestablish an effective rhythm of its own.

100_0174 An Automated External Defibrillator (AED)

100_0172 Representatives from Windstream and the American Red Cross present the AED to Chief James Chadwick

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Officers Participate in Community Safety Event

A group of Dalton Police officers, along with other law enforcement agencies, helped check numerous child safety seats on Friday.  The free event was held at Wal-Mart on Shugart Road, and was sponsored by Safe Kids Dalton and the American Red Cross.  Seats were checked for proper installation and parents were given instruction on the proper way to install their car safety seat.

100_0166 Officer Ricky Long inspects a child safety seat

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New Public Safety Commissioner

We would like to introduce the newest member of the Public Safety Commission.  Bill Weaver came to Dalton in 1963 to work for the Dalton Public School system.  He began his career as a teacher and was serving as Deputy Superintendent of the school system when he retired in 2001.

Mr. Weaver stays busy working with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization, serving as chairman of the Looper Speech and Hearing Center and working closely with the Georgia Highlands board.  He says he became interested in serving on the Public Safety Commission after taking part in the first Citizen’s Police Academy.  Mr. Weaver says he hopes to bring years of experience to the commission and says this is just one way he can serve the Dalton community.

100_0162 Public Safety Commissioner Bill Weaver

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Dalton Police Department Crime Statistics

Recent statistics show overall crime in Dalton is down from this time last year.  Part I offenses are down from 1,205 to 1,145.  These offenses include homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, theft and arson.  Part II offenses are also down to 5,155 from 5,580 this time last year.  These offenses include forgery, fraud, vandalism, drug crimes, liquor violations and DUIs.  Arrests, citations and traffic crashes are also down.

Here is a look at the recent crime statistics.  These numbers measure from January – September of each year.

Part I Offenses

2007

2006

Homicide

4

2

Rape

6

9

Robbery

24

24

Aggravated Assault

86

88

Burglary

169

168

Larceny – Theft

810

817

Motor Vehicle Theft

41

88

Arson

5

9

Part II Offenses

2007

2006

Other Assaults

432

477

Forgery/Counterfeiting

193

212

Fraud

213

170

Embezzlement

18

34

Stolen Property

3

17

Vandalism

481

496

Weapons Violations

42

52

Commercial Sex

13

10

Other Sex Offenses

95

56

Drug Sales

38

48

Drug Possession

306

371

Gambling

1

0

Offenses Against Family/Children

69

77

Liquor Violations

220

243

Drunkenness

193

171

Other Disorderly Conduct

519

541

Curfew Violations

44

76

All Other Offenses

1897

2315

DUI

378

484

Part I and II Total

6300

7055

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