Posts on Jan 1970

Gang Awareness

The Dalton Police Department is working to stop gang violence and gang crimes.  The department began investigating street gangs in 1995, and the department started a Federal Safe Streets task force with the FBI in 2005 to work to prevent the spread of street gangs in our community.  This web posting is meant to help Dalton’s citizens understand more about criminal street gangs, and to help families avoid and prevent their spread.

To report possible gang or drug activity, call the Dalton Police Department’s tipline at 706-278-9085 extension 221.

What is a Gang?

The term "Criminal Street Gang" means any:

  • Organization, association, or group of three or more
  • Associated in fact; AND
  • Engaging in "Criminal Gang Activity".

What does "Criminal Gang Activity" mean?

  • The commission
  • The attempted commission
  • Conspiracy to commit
  • Solicitation, coercion or intimidation of another person to commit

ANY of the following offenses:

  • Racketeering offenses
  • Stalking offenses
  • Rape, aggravated sodomy, statutory rape or aggravated sexual battery
  • Escape and confinement offenses
  • Security of correctional facilities offenses
  • Encouraging a child to escape from custody
  • Criminal trespass or criminal damage to property resulting from gang related Tagging, Marking, Writing, or Graffiti on the property of another
  • Violating any federal, state, or foreign gang law
  • Crimes of violence
  • Weapons offenses

It is also against Georgia law to commit offenses related to:

  • Acquiring/maintaining property or proceeds from gang activity
  • Encouraging participation in, organizing or maintaining gangs
  • Retaliating against people for or discouraging people from leaving a gang

How do street gangs identify themselves?

  • Clothing: Gang members may wear clothing from a particular athletic team to represent their gang. Clothing may also include jewelry displaying gang symbols and/or names.
  • Colors: Gang members may dress in colors that represent their gang (sweat bands, hats, bandannas, shoe laces, belts, etc.).
  • Tattoos/Brands: Members may have tattoos/brands professionally drawn, self-drawn, and/or burned or carved on any part of their body.  Symbols, monikers, names associated with the gang may be displayed.

How do street gangs communicate?

  • Graffiti: Gangs use graffiti to show gang membership, gang superiority, territory, rivals, and revenge.
  • Hand signals: Gangs use hand signals as non-verbal communication between gang members.  Hand signs may also be used to challenge and/or disrespect rival gangs.
  • Symbols: Gangs use certain symbols that are specific to each gang
  • Alphabet/Codes: Gangs use certain codes or made-up alphabet letters to conceal written communication.  Different codes or alphabets are specific to each gang.

What are the different types of gangs?

  • Traditional Gangs: These groups have a well-defined structure, organization, along with an established system of motivation, and identifiable colors and hand signs.  Many profit from the drug trade.  Violence is prevalent.  Members generally can range in age from 8-30 years old or more.
  • Non-Traditional Gangs: These groups have little organization.  Usually evolve into a traditional gang and are unique to a local area.  Sometimes these gangs call themselves a "rap group" to avoid the stigma and law enforcement attention that traditional gangs attract.  They provide a false identity of the group to mislead others.
  • Hybrid Gangs: Some non-traditional gangs still adopt the same colors, signs, and symbols of traditional gangs. These "hybrid gangs" mix and match the identifiers of established gangs and have very loose affiliations with Traditional Gangs.
  • Criminal Enterprise Gangs: These groups are highly organized and focused on financial gain from criminal activities such as as prostitution, gun trafficking, fraud, and others.  Violence is only a tool used to protect the integrity of the enterprise or to make more money.  Typically, members of these gangs are older.
  • Nations: Nations are groups of traditional gangs that align under a set of symbols and identifiers. Example: The Folk and the People Nations
  • Taggers/Tagging Crews: These are typically groups that are focused on vandalism and artistic expression.  No other criminal acts are engaged by these loosely defined groups.

Why do young people join gangs?

  • Status, identity, or recognition
  • Excitement of gang activity
  • Breakdown of family
  • Low self-esteem
  • Poor communication at home
  • Lack of success in school
  • Need for acceptance or belonging
  • Lack of involvement in activities
  • Perceived or real need for protection
  • Peer pressure from gang members
  • Financial benefits from drug sales, burglaries, robberies, and other crimes
  • Family member is already involved
  • Confidence, loyalty, sex, rules, structure, discipline, and organization
  • Powerful group identity
  • Relieve boredom and gain reputation

How do gangs recruit members?

  • Hanging out at schools and neighborhoods
  • Promising security, money, and respect
  • Intimidation or threats
  • Seeking out those individuals that have special talents to assist with crimes
  • The Internet
  • Targeting younger children to handle many tasks and create long term loyalty
  • The ideal target age for recruitment is 10-13 years old

How do gangs initiate members?

  • Beat-in/jumped-in: Enduring a severe beating from members
  • Blessed-in: Member vouches for a person
  • Sexed-in: Females must engage in sexual acts with members
  • Criminal Act: Commit a crime to show loyalty

What warning signs may indicate that a person may belong to a gang?

  • Drawing graffiti (names of symbols)
  • Gang names, logos, and nicknames written on personal property
  • Withdrawal from family/normal activities
  • New friends that parents don’t know
  • Staying out late at night
  • Secretive activities
  • Sudden changes in behavior and personality
  • Unexplained injuries, body markings, and tattoos
  • Unexplained gifts of money, expensive items or jewelry
  • Possession of weapons
  • Use of hand signs and/or body gestures when communicating with friends
  • Expressing a preference for one color or avoiding others
  • Skipping school/work
  • Multiple suspensions/expulsion
  • Shows strong disrespect for authority
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Mentions the need for protection/weapons

What warning signs may indicate that a street gang may be operating in my area?

  • Clustering of rival groups
  • Movement of groups not common in your neighborhood (carloads of strangers)
  • Reports of fights and arguments on school property
  • Increased gang graffiti
  • Violent incidents reported in the area
  • Sudden/excessive change in dress (groups wearing or displaying a particular color)

What can parents do?

  • Develop open and frequent communication with your children.
  • Encourage children to become involved in other activities for a sense of belonging.
  • Monitor/limit children’s exposure to violence contained in television, music, and video games.
  • Cultivate respect for others’ property and pride in community.
  • Know the real names of those your child is spending time with and their families.
  • Don’t let children stay out late or spend a lot of time unsupervised.
  • Become involved in your child’s education and in your community.
  • Praise your children for doing well.
  • Talk to your children about gangs.
  • Spend quality time with your children.  Ask them for their opinion on family matters.
  • Identify with positive role models.
  • Be a good observer.
  • Seek the facts – kids will tell you what you want to hear and adults will believe what they want to hear… dig deeper.
  • Set clear limits and follow through with proper discipline.
  • Teach your children about decision making.
  • Team up with other parents.
  • Learn about gangs and drugs.
  • Help develop alternatives for the children in your neighborhood.
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Support Grows for DSC Scholarship Fund

Support is growing for the fund-raising efforts of the Dalton Police and Fire Departments’ scholarship endowment at Dalton State College.  On Monday, Mr. Larry Harrison donated a check for $500 from the Kiwanis Club of Dalton in advance of the August 11th fund-raiser dinner.  This latest donation adds to the support the departments have already gotten from area businesses like the Dalton Depot Restaurant and Trackside Cafe which is hosting the fund-raiser dinner.

Proceeds from the fund-raising effort will go to the Dalton State College Endowment for a scholarship which will be awarded to one child of a Dalton Police Officer and a Dalton Firefighter to attend Dalton State College each year.  Dalton State College will administrate and award the scholarship.

The Firefighters and Police Officers of Dalton Scholarship Benefit Dinner will be held August 11th from 5:00 until 9:00 pm at the Dalton Depot Restaurant and Trackside Cafe, and tickets are $10.00 and can be purchased from any Dalton Police Officer or Firefighter, and are also available at Police Headquarters at 301 Jones Street.

For more information on the fund-raiser dinner, click here.

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Kiwanis Club of Dalton President Larry Harrison hands Dalton Police Chief Jason Parker a $500 donation to support the Dalton Police and Firefighters’ Scholarship (Click image to enlarge/Photo credit: Tiffany Sun)

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Tickets Still Available for Fundraiser Dinner

Tickets are still available for the August 11th Firefighters and Police Officers of Dalton Scholarship Benefit at the Dalton Depot Restaurant.  Tickets to the event cost $10.00 and all proceeds go to the Dalton State College Endowment to award the child of one Dalton Police Officer and one Dalton Firefighter each year with a scholarship to DSC.

For each $10.00 ticket you get a plate of Smokehouse Barbecue from the Dalton Depot, either in a buffet or curbside takeaway service.  For those dining in at the Depot, the band Cherry Vendetta will be performing.  The dinner runs from 5-9 pm. 

"This event will add to the wonderful legacy of community support that Dalton’s citizens have always shown for their police and fire departments," says Dalton Police Chief Jason Parker.  "At the end of the day, we can all be part of an effort that establishes this endowment for future generations of firefighters’ and police officers’ children."

Tickets can be purchased from any Dalton police officer or firefighter, and they’re also available at the Police Department’s headquarters at 301 Jones Street.

For more information on the event, click here.

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July 25th Podcast

Today we’re starting another effort to keep the citizens of the city of Dalton informed about the efforts of the Dalton Police Department.  Periodically, we’ll be uploading new "podcasts" onto the Dalton Police Blog.  Each message will be a short update on enforcement efforts and other activities of the department.  Today’s message deals with the upcoming National Night Out and Public Safety Fair scheduled for August 5th, and the Police and Fire Department Fundraiser Bar-B-Que scheduled for August 11th. 

Give it a listen, and then let us know what you think.  If there’s anything you’d like to hear discussed on future podcasts, let us know and we’ll try to put it together for you.

To listen, just click the link below. Or, to save the audio to your computer, just right-click on the link and click "Save Target As". 

Download FirstPodcast07252008.mp3

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Dalton Police Set to Host National Night Out Fair

Make plans now to attend the Dalton Police Department’s National Night Out and Public Safety Fair on August 5th from 6 pm to 9 pm at the North Georgia Fair Grounds at 500 Legion Drive.  Admission and parking are both free of charge.

Police Chief Jason Parker says, "our participation in National Night Out 2008 is a great way for the community to meet Dalton Police Officers and other public safety personnel in a more personal setting.  This National Night Out Against Crime is also about raising the public’s awareness of crime, drug, and gang prevention efforts and opportunities.  There has been a tremendous amount of interest in this year’s event, and we expect a large citizen turnout."

There are many events planned, including demonstrations of the department’s Fatal Vision drunk driving awareness golf cart, taekwondo demonstrations, and an inflatable moonwalk provided by Amerigroup.  There will be free hot dogs provided by Outback Steakhouse.  There will also be plenty of free fingerprint kits for children, free gun locks, and plenty of crime prevention, traffic and fire safety information.  Supplies will be limited, so you’re encouraged to get there early!

National Night Out is a nationwide event organized by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW) designed to "(1) heighten crime prevention and awareness; (2) Generate support for and participation in local anticrime programs; (3) Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and (4) Send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back." 

The 2007 National Night Out involved more than 35.4 million people in more than 11,000 communities.  Many communities host citywide and neighborhood events along with traditional outside lights and front porch vigils. For more information on the national organization, visit http://www.nationaltownwatch.org/nno/ .

Download NationalNightOutMediaFlyer.pdf (343.8K)

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Dalton Police Warn Citizens About a Scam

The Dalton Police Department is warning the public to be aware of a scam reported to the department this week.

An elderly woman reports that on Wednesday, July 23rd, a clean cut white male came to her house claiming to know her late husband.  After she let him into the house, they spoke for approximately 15 minutes.  Then another man arrived at the house, coming in uninvited with a roll of carpet.  When the two men unrolled the carpet in the living room, the woman told them she wasn’t interested in buying anything, and not to put it down.  While the first, clean-cut man distracted the victim, the second visitor went into her purse and then into the bedroom and stole approximately $1,400.  The victim didn’t realize her money was missing until after the suspects left her house.

The first suspect is described as a white male, between 45 and 55 years old, between 5’2 and 5’5 tall, weighing between 120 and 150 pounds.  He was wearing a white shirt (not a t-shirt), blue shorts, white socks, tennis shoes, and a John Deere hat. 

The second suspect is described as a white male with a large build, though not fat.  He stands approximately 6′ tall, and was wearing a dirty white t-shirt.

The men were driving a green pick-up truck.

If you have any information about this crime or the identity of the two suspects, please call Dalton Police detective Mack Flood at 706-278-9085, extension 218.

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Dalton Police Seek Check Fraud Suspect

The Dalton Police Department is asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspect pictured below.  She is accused of cashing two stolen checks on or about July 13th at the Mini-Super Store at 616 Fourth Avenue in Dalton.  The images below were captured by the store’s security cameras.   The checks were stolen between June 26th and July 14th, apparently from the supervisor’s office at Oriental Weavers on Dug Gap Road.  The checks were worth a total of $594.13. 

The suspect appears to be a Hispanic woman with dark hair, wearing a multi-colored top.  Anyone with information concerning the incident or the identity of the suspect is asked to call Detective John Helton of the Dalton Police Department at 706-278-9085, extension 143.

Please click on the photo thumbnails below to enlarge.

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UPDATE: Christina Marie Gonzalez of Dalton turned herself in to Detective Helton on August 1st, 2008.

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Dalton Police Work to Conserve Fuel

Just like every other American family and business, the Dalton Police Department gets hit in the wallet by rising gas and oil prices.

To reduce the impact on taxpayers, the department started a more focused effort towards conserving fuel in May of 2008.  The goal of the effort is to decrease the total gallons of fuel used by the department, without reducing the level of public service to Dalton’s citizens.

To accomplish that goal, the department is working with several methods.  One includes increasing an officer’s amount of "foot patrol" for officers, from approximately 15 minutes for a shift to approximately an hour.  In addition, the department has also increased the number of bike patrol officers from four to seven officers, and also purchasing two patrol bikes.  Four additional officers have been certified to operate on the patrol bikes.

Of course, the department can’t stop using squad cars completely, but there are also new methods in place to increase efficiency when it comes to fuel usage.  At different times during the day, officers are "doubling up" in patrol cars.  That means that two officers are sharing a squad car, while the unused vehicle is parked in a visible location.  Also, whenever possible, engines are shut off instead of idling while the vehicle isn’t moving.  And, just like many people in the community, investigators and command staff are trying to carpool and plan trips more wisely to conserve fuel for their activities.

So far, the new measures are paying off.  On Tuesday, July 22nd, Chief Jason Parker reported to Dalton’s Public Safety Commission that the department’s fuel consumption was down nearly 1,100 gallons in June 2008 when compared to June of 2007.  Of course, more time is needed to fully measure the impact that the department’s new fuel conservation measures will have.  There will be times when fuel usage goes back up depending on the demands of policing the City of Dalton.  But, the department is continuing to look at more ways to make vehicle operations more cost effective and energy efficient.

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Safe Kids Dalton Receives Donation

The Dalton, GA chapter of Safe Kids received a donation of $3,500 on Friday, July 18th from Windstream Communications.  The donation will help fund the purchase of more car seats for the program.  As the organization's treasurer was on hand at the Dalton American Red Cross for a media event for the donation.

Safe Kids is a partnership of the Dalton Police Department, the American Red Cross, and other Public Safety agencies in Dalton and Whitfield County, as well as area businesses. Safe Kids provides information and inspection of car safety seats for families in the Dalton/Whitfield County area.  For more information on the program, click here.

Later in the afternoon, Safe Kids and officers from the Dalton Police Department and Whitfield County Sherriff's office checked car seats and distributed new ones in the parking lot of the Shugart Road Wal-Mart.

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Dalton Police Hire New Public Relations Specialist

The Dalton Police Department has named Bruce Frazier as the new Public Relations Specialist, pending approval by the city’s Public Safety Commission.

Department Chief Jason Parker says, "the addition of Mr. Frazier is a continuation of our strategy to keep residents informed of the department’s current and future operations.  He is very well qualified, and an excellent fit for public safety."

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Frazier graduated in 2002 from the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication with a degree in Broadcast News.  He’s served as a sports anchor and reporter at three television stations in Georgia, including WDNN-TV in Dalton from May of 2002 until March of 2004.  He also covered sports at WNEG-TV in Toccoa and WRBL-TV in Columbus.  He says that he’s excited to be back in northwest Georgia and is looking forward to meeting and working with local media and the public.

Frazier started his duties with the Police Department on Monday, and will be submitted to the Public Safety Commission for approval at their next meeting on July 22nd.

Frazier’s duties will include maintaining the Dalton Police Department’s Blog.  He wants to encourage more interaction with the community on the blog, so feel free to post comments on articles or suggest any ideas for topics you’d like to see covered on this website.

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