Posts on Jan 1970

DA’s Office Honors Chaplains

As part of the observance of National Crime Victims' Rights Week, the District Attorney's Office Victim/Witness Assistance Program took time out on Wednesday to honor some people who work behind the scenes to help crime victims: clergy and public safety chaplains. 

At a ceremony outside the Whitfield County Courthouse on Wednesday afternoon, the Victim/Witness program recognized the efforts of Dalton Police Department Chaplains Ray Camp, Ray McCrainie, and Don Treick.  They also recognized Whitfield County Sheriff's Office Chaplain Wayne Saylors, Chaplain Nancy Garrison from Hamilton Medical Center, and Pastor Emeritus Dr. Billy Nimmons from First Baptist Church in Dalton, a founding member of the GreenHouse Child Advocacy Center's board of directors.

The Dalton Police Department's chaplains were recognized for their efforts to raise funds and toys for the annual Christmas party at the GreenHouse Child Advocacy Center, as well as providing counsel and assistance to crime victims as well as the officers of the Dalton Police Department and their families.  Chaplain Saylors from the Sheriff's Office was honored for the assistance he gives to crime victims, and also for his work with the county's DARE program, and a "Shoes for Orphans" drive he conducts every year.  "Chaplain Nancy" has been with the Hamilton Medical Center since March of 2008, and serves the GreenHouse's board of directors and also was instrumental in starting the Medical Center's SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) nurse program.  Dr. Nimmons was recognized as an indispensable member of the GreenHouse board, one of the leaders of the effort to help young victims of crime.

At the ceremony, Whitfield County Commissioner Mike Cowan read a proclamation recognizing everyone who works on behalf of crime victims, not just the chaplains honored on Wednesday.

To watch video from Wednesday's ceremony, click "Play" in the window below (video may take a few moments to load, click the "HQ" icon to watch in higher quality).

To read more:

Dalton Daily Citizen: Honoring Chaplains

Chattanooga Times-Free Press: Conasauga Chaplains Honored for Service 

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Dalton Police Seek ID Theft Suspect

The Dalton Police Department is asking for information on a woman using a stolen identity to cash stolen checks.  The checks and other ID information were stolen from the victim’s car in Dalton on April 17th.

On April 17th, between noon and 1 PM, somebody broke into the victim’s car parked at the Domino’s Pizza at 222 West Cuyler Street.  Among the items taken from the car were a purse and several credit cards, the vicitm’s driver’s license and social security card, and approximately $75.00 in cash.  Later that afternoon, a female subject was photographed by surveillance cameras at the FSG Bank in East Ridge, Tennessee using the victim’s identity and bank account to cash a counter check.  The suspect is female, with shoulder-length dark hair.  Her picture is below.

Anyone with any information on this person or this incident is asked to please contact Detective Matt Locke with the Dalton Police Department at 706-278-9085, extension 320.

The images below were captured by surveillance cameras (Click for a larger version of the image).

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17th Citizens’ Police Academy Wraps Up Classes

The 17th Citizens' Police Academy wrapped up a 10-week schedule of classes on Tuesday night with a look at the Dalton Police Department's School Resource Officer program, the Whitfield County Emergency Services division, and a lecture on criminal procedures.  The class will attend a graduation banquet next week.

Tuesday's class opened up with the department's two School Resource Officers (SRO) discussing their duties with the Dalton City Schools.  Officers Terry Smith and Brandon Carter do much more than just watch the halls during classes.  They have a wide variety of duties that range from working with troubled kids to protecting the school from unauthorized visitors.  They also do some teaching, covering topics like safety and law classes.

Below: Officers Terry Smith (left) and Brandon Carter (right) address the Citizens' Police Academy class (click for a larger version of the image).


The class continued with a discussion of Whitfield County's 911 system.  Representatives from Whitfield County Emergency Services discussed the system with the class, including its history and the different uses of E-911 and the Reverse 911 systems.  They also discussed the operation of the 911 center itself, where operators go through a six-month training course before they become full-fledged telecommunicators.  Operators work on 12-hour shifts from 6 AM to 6 PM, rotating between the night shift and the day shift.

Below: Whitfield County Emergency Services spokesperson Ashlee Swilling discusses the 911 system (click for a larger version of the image).


The night wrapped up with a discussion of criminal procedure from Detective John Helton.  Helton discussed different ways the Constitution, state and local laws, and case law govern the ways that police officers can conduct searches, seizures, and also discussed what makes up probable cause for officers to carry out arrests.

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New Officer Confirmed at PSC Meeting

New Dalton Police Officer Jason Kellett was confirmed this morning at the monthly meeting of the Dalton Public Safety Commission.  Kellett was hired by the Dalton Police Department after graduating from the Police Academy as a pre-service candidate.  Kellett is now completing his field training with the department.

Below: New Dalton Police Officer Jason Kellett is confirmed by the Public Safety Commission (click for a larger version of the image)


Also at Tuesday’s meeting, Dalton Firefighter Douglas Kerns was recognized by the Commission for placing 2nd in the recent Climb Atlanta 2009 race.  The annual event, which has raised more than $137,000 for the American Lung Association, is a race up one of Atlanta’s Peachtree Tower skyscraper which is 50 stories tall.  Kerns, running in his fourth Climb Atlanta, was one of only two firefighters to make the climb in less than ten minutes wearing full turnout gear, minus his hood and respirator mask.  This is Kerns’ second time finishing second in the event, he has also finished first and sixth in previous attempts.

Below: Dalton Firefighter Douglas Kerns stands before the Public Safety Commission (click for a larger version of the image).

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The Dalton Fire Department also recognized two citizens for their response to a fire last month at 800 West Walnut Avenue.  Jeremy and Jennifer Behling stopped and called 911 when they saw the house on fire, and stopped to make sure nobody was inside the building. 

Below (from left): Dalton Fire Chief Bruce Satterfield reads a certificate for Jeremy and Jennifer Behling (click for a larger version of the image).


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Driver Safety Program at Dalton High School

Next week, the Dalton Police Department’s Traffic Unit and School Resource Officers will join with students and faculty at Dalton High School to promote driver safety and awareness of the dangers of driving under the influence in advance of prom, which takes place May 9th. 

In 2007, motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of death among American teenagers, with nearly 5,200 teens losing their lives in crashes.  That’s more teenage deaths than caused by homicide (2,100), suicide (1,500), and cancer (950).  69% of all teens killed in car crashes were not wearing seat belts, well above the national average of 55% of those killed of all ages.  61% of teens killed were passengers of another driver.  34% of all teenage fatalities from car crashes occurred between the hours of 6 pm and midnight.

On Monday, May 4th, juniors and seniors will be placing 3,490 cat paws on the grounds of Dalton High School during lunch periods.  The cat paws represent the number of teens aged 15-20 who dies in car crashes in 2006.

On Tuesday, May 5th, during lunch periods (11:15-12:15), juniors and seniors will spray paint safety-themed messages along DHS property on the Waugh Street side of campus.  Messages will include “Don’t Drink and Drive”, “Buckle Up”, etc.

On Wednesday, May 6th, during afternoon release from 2:30 until 3:30, Chick-fil-A will be on hand to hand out coupons for sandwiches to students who are wearing their seat belts. 

On Thursday, May 7th, the Dalton Police Department’s Traffic Unit will be on campus all day long, conducting Fatal Vision classes.  Students will wear goggles that simulate intoxication while attempting to drive a golf cart through a cone course to demonstrate the dangers of driving under the influence.

On Friday, May 8th, Juniors and Seniors will watch an educational video called “Sudden Impact: After the Crash” to show the effects of a drunk driving crash on victims. 

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DPD Conducts “Fatal Vision” Course at Dalton High School

The Dalton Police Department’s Traffic Enforcement Unit recently conducted Fatal Vision classes at Dalton High School, in conjunction with the Driver's Ed Program.  The two day program was held on April 22nd and 24th.  Students were in the classroom the first day and on the second day drove a golf cart, wearing Fatal Vision Goggles, which simulate the perception of a person under the influence of alcohol.

During the classroom portion of the program, officers from the Traffic Enforcement Unit spoke to the students about the dangers of operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  The officers also spoke to the students about traffic law pertaining to teenage drivers, including the restrictions on class CP and class D driving licenses.  On the second day, a cone course was set up and students, wearing Fatal Vision Goggles, attempted to drive a golf cart through the course.  The golf cart exercise is used to illustrate how a driver’s vision is impaired while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  Students were also put through Standardized Field Sobriety Testing, to show the effects of alcohol and drugs on a driver’s motor skills.

The purpose of the class is to get students to understand the consequences of drinking alcohol or using drugs and then getting behind the wheel of an automobile, or being a passenger of a friend or family member that is operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The Fatal Vision Program is offered to any organization in the Dalton area.  For more information about the program, please contact the Dalton Police Department’s Traffic Enforcement Unit at 706-278-9085, ext. 124. 

As always, the Dalton Police Department would also like to remind all motorists to Buckle up, Slow Down and Drive Sober.

Below: Officer Steve Zahn addresses the Driver's Ed Class at Dalton State College, and Officer Shaun Scott rides along with DHS students on the Fatal Vision golf cart (click images for a larger version).

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Seat Belt Use in Dalton Declines – – Buckle Up, Dalton!

The most recent survey conducted by the Dalton Police Department’s Traffic Unit shows that there has been a decrease in the percentage of motorists buckling up.  Surveys conducted in various locations throughout the city in preparation for the upcoming “Click it or Ticket” campaign showed that the usage rate in Dalton has fallen from 88 percent in November of 2008 to 86 percent.  For the state of Georgia, the usage rate is about 90 percent. 

According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 55% of all occupants killed in car crashes were not wearing a safety belt.  Statistics also show that inappropriately restrained children are nearly three and half times more likely to be injured then children properly restrained in car crashes.

Georgia State law requires that any occupant of the front seat of a passenger vehicle that is being operated on any public road, street, or highway of this state shall be restrained by a safety belt.  The law further requires that any passengers between the ages of 6 and 17 shall be restrained by a safety belt in any vehicle being operated on any public road, street or highway of this state no matter where they are seated in the vehicle.  In Georgia, passengers under the age of 6 must be restrained by an approved Child Safety Restraint System (car seat).

The department would like to remind all motorists to Buckle Up and obey all posted speed limits to prevent serious injury accidents.  The Traffic Enforcement Unit is also available at (706) 278-9085, Ext. 124 if anyone has any questions in reference to Safety Belt Laws or Child Car Safety Seats.  The department also has Child Car Safety Seat Technicians to help with the proper installation of Child Car Safety Seats.

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Citizens’ Police Academy Meets FATS

The next-to-last classroom meeting of the Citizens' Police Academy let participants check out the Dalton Police Department's Firearms Training Simulator (FATS).  The FATS machine projects a first-person view of a law enforcement scenario onto a screen in front of the user, who is armed with a simulated firearm.  While the user interacts with the simulation, an instructor controls how events unfold from a computer.  If the user needs to fire, the machine detects where their simulated shots "hit".

Next week, the classroom portion of the Citizens' Academy wraps up with a look at the department's School Resource Officer (SRO) program, as well as a look at criminal procedure.  Then, the next week, the class will have a graduation banquet.

Click "Play" in the window below to watch a video from Tuesday night's FATS training (video may take a few moments to load.  Click the "HQ" icon to watch in higher quality).

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Whitfield County Emergency Fair

Representatives from public safety agencies across Whitfield County, including the Dalton Police Department, took advantage of bright sunshine and warm temperatures on Saturday for the annual Emergency Fair held at the K-Mart on Walnut Avenue.

In addition to officers from the DPD, the Whitfield County Sheriff's Office, Whitfield County Emergency Services, Whitfield County EMS, Dalton Fire Department, Whitfield County Fire Department and the Dalton/Whitfield Red Cross were on hand to meet with citizens to discuss public safety, and also just have some fun. Car seat technicians from Safe Kids Dalton were also on hand to inspect car seats.

Below: Members of Dalton/Whitfield County public safety agencies meet with citizens at the Whitfield County Emergency Fair (click thumbnails for larger images) Photos courtest John Heard, Whitfield County Juvenile Court.

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Safe Kids Dalton Crushes Car Seats

Nearly 1,500 pounds of unsafe car seats will never be used again thanks to Safe Kids Dalton.  The organization held its third "car seat crush" on Friday, disposing of faulty or expired car seats collected over the past two years. 

The event was held not just to get rid of the faulty seats, though.  It was also staged to call attention to the high rate of misuse of car safety seats in the Dalton metro area.  Safe Kids estimates a 95% misuse rate.  Misuse can be anything from not using a child restraint system at all, using a restraint system that's expired or out of date, using the wrong system for the child (based on age and weight, different types of seats must be used), one that is missing parts, or one that is not installed properly.  Car seats have expiration dates.  They're made of plastic and webbing that can become damaged with use and washing.  They're a one time, one child use item.

Georgia state law requires children under the age of 6 be restrained in some sort of child safety seat.  Tennessee law requires children use such a seat until age 9.  Safe Kids recommends that, regardless of age, children use a restraint system until they are at least 80 pounds.

If you want to make sure that your car seat is in good working order, or want to make sure it's the right one for your child, come by the Safe Kids Dalton office, located at the Dalton/Whitfield Red Cross at 1101 South Thornton Avenue in Dalton.  You can also call 706-278-5144.  Business hours are 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday.  Certified Child Restraint Technicians are on staff to answer questions or check to make sure your seat is installed properly.  For more information, click here.

Safe Kids Dalton is a not-for-profit organization made up of police officers, sheriff’s deputies, city & county firefighters, healthcare providers, social workers, business people, and concerned individuals with the sole mission to prevent unintentional injury and death to children in car accidents.  We provide safety equipment – helmets, smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, home safety kits, child safety seats, "premie" car seats, etc. to our community.  To help us provide this service we are always in need of volunteers, money, and in-kind donations of goods and services.  To volunteer, call 706-278-5144 or to donate, mail to Safe Kids Dalton, P.O. Box 357, Dalton, GA 30722 or drop by our office located at 1101 South Thornton Avenue.  If your business would like to donate goods, services, or money we are a 501©3 organization and all items are tax deductible.  Contact us for more information.

For video from Friday's "car seat crush", click "play" in the window below (video may take a few moments to load.  To watch in higher quality, click the "HQ" icon).

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