Posts on Jan 1970

Whitfield Promoted to Assistant Police Chief

Sergeant Truman Whitfield was promoted to the rank of Assistant Chief of the Dalton Police Department at Tuesday’s meeting of the Dalton Public Safety Commission.  He was recommended for the position by Chief Jason Parker, who interviewed several candidates from the ranks of the department’s supervisors over the past month.

Assistant Chief Whitfield has been with the department since December 1987, after serving as a deputy with the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office.  In 1997, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant.  Since March of 2008, he’s been the Operations Sergeant in the Criminal Investigations Division. 

“Assistant Chief Whitfield brings a wealth of experience and qualifications to the table,” said Chief Parker after announcing the promotion.  “I look forward to working as a team to lead the department toward the future.”

“I’m excited about the opportunity to represent my fellow employees and help the Dalton Police Department continue building its reputation as one of the best in the state,” said Assistant Chief Whitfield.  “I’m looking forward to getting started and working with Chief Parker.”

Below: Dalton Police Chief Jason Parker shakes hands with new Assistant Police Chief Truman Whitfield (click image for a larger version)

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Dalton Fire Department Names New Deputy Chief

The Dalton Fire Department promoted Gary Baggett to the rank of Deputy Chief at Tuesday’s meeting of the Dalton Public Safety Commission.  Deputy Chief Baggett’s promotion fills a vacant position left open since Bruce Satterfield was promoted to Chief of the Fire Department in February.  Chief Satterfield recommended Baggett for the promotion after a lengthy interview process at the Fire Department. Deputy Chief Baggett was one of six applicants for the position.  That field was narrowed to three who were interviewed.

Deputy Chief Baggett started his career with the Dalton Fire Department on October 10, 1985.  He’s been promoted through the ranks, most recently serving as a Battalion Chief since September of 2007.  Chief Satterfield noted Baggett’s extensive and well-rounded training profile when making his recommendation to the Public Safety Commission.  Baggett has many suppression qualifications, and has successfully completed Supervision Training levels 1-3; Leadership Training levels 1-3; National Fire Academy Managing Company Tactical Operations 1 and 2; and is a Georgia POST (Police Officer Standards and Training Council) and Georgia Fire Academy Certified Arson Investigator Level II including explosive investigations.  He also holds other training qualifications including: Trench Rescue, Rescue Systems, Hazardous Materials, Incident Command and Instructional Techniques.

"I appreciate all applicants who applied and their credentials they carry and  I’m happy to announce that the applicant who best fit the job description of Deputy Chief was Battalion Chief Gary Baggett who is a 24 year veteran with the department," said Fire Department Chief Bruce Satterfield. "I congratulate and welcome Gary Baggett as the Deputy Fire Chief of the department and I look forward to us getting about the business of progressing the department along with the extremely talented and dedicated  staff we have."

Four other firefighters were also promoted at Tuesday's meeting:

  • Todd Pangle was promoted from Lieutenant to Captain.  Captain Pangle has been with the Dalton Fire Department since July 1997. He's served as a lieutenant with Battalion 1 since April 2006.  Captain Pangle was honored with a departmental commendation for his life-saving efforts during a fire at Park Canyon Apartments in 2002.  Captain Pangle's training background is varied and extensive.
  • Nathan Saylors was promoted from Firefighter III to Lieutenant.  Lt. Saylors has been with the Fire Department since October 2001.  He's been a Firefighter Level III with Battalion 1 since April 2006.  He was recognized by the Rotary Club as the 2008 Vocational Excellence Award Recipient, and was also recognized by the Whitfield Emergency Medical Service as "First Responder of the Year" in 2006.  Lt. Saylors has an array of certifications and a well-rounded training background.
  • Gary Stanley was promoted from Engineer to the rank of Firefighter III.  Firefighter Stanley started his career with the Dalton Fire Department in April 1999, and has served as an Engineer with Battalion 1 since January 2004. He received a departmental commendation for his life-saving efforts during a fire at Park Canyon Apartments in 2002.  He also completed the intense 48-hour F.L.A.M.E.S. (Firefighters Laboring and Mastering Essential Skills) class earlier this month in addition to an already extensive training background.
  • Greg Metcalf was also promoted from the rank of Engineer to Firefighter III.  With the Dalton Fire Department since November 2001, Firefighter Metcalf served as an Engineer with Battalion 3 since April 2006.  He graduated from the F.L.A.M.E.S. class in 2008, and also has an extensive training background.

Below: (first photo) Deputy Fire Chief Gary Baggett shakes hands with Chief Bruce Satterfield; (second photo) Chief Satterfield stands with Firefighter III Greg Metcalf, Captain Todd Pangle, Firefighter III Gary Stanley, and Lt. Nathan Saylors (click images for a larger version)

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Dalton Police Seek Information on Lottery Fraud Suspects

The Dalton Police Department is asking for the public’s help in identifying individuals who stole more than $9,000 from a woman in a lottery scam. 

On October 16, the female victim was approached by a man who claimed he had a winning lottery ticket, but couldn’t claim the money because of his citizenship status.  While talking to the man, a female accomplice joined the discussion and offered to help.  The man offered to split the winnings with the women if they gave him a ride to the bank and helped cash in the check.  But, he said he wanted them to prove they had money, because he didn’t want to be ripped off by anybody who was broke.  So, the victim drove the two suspects to the bank, where she withdrew $9,500 as proof that she wouldn’t rip them off.  When she got back to the car, the suspect started to complain he was feeling ill, and asked the victim to drive him to the Walgreen’s to get medicine.  He stayed in the car while the two women went inside.  While they were inside, a white van pulled up to pick up the suspect, with the money.  The female accomplice then sent the victim to the back of the store to get the medicine, and left the store with the suspect in the white van.

This is not the first time this type of scam has been attempted in the Dalton area, but these appear to be different suspects than past cases.  The Dalton Police Department reminds the public to beware of situations that seem to good to be true, because they usually are.  Never give strangers access to your bank account information or money.  Anyone with a winning lottery ticket won’t need money to claim the prize. 

The female suspect in this case is described as being about 50 years old, approximately 6’0 and weighing around 150 pounds.  She was wearing a dark sweater and black sunglasses.  The victim said she spoke Spanish with a European accent, possibly from Spain.  She was photographed by the surveillance cameras at Walgreen’s, and those pictures are included below.  The male suspect is described as being shorter than the woman, around 5’6 and 175 pounds.  He has dark skin and a mole on his forehead.  He tried to speak Spanish, but the victim said she didn’t understand him.  He is possibly of Middle Eastern descent.  If you have any information about these suspects or this scam, please contact Detective Greg Bates with the Dalton Police Department at 706-278-9085, extension 137.

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Halloween Safety

Halloween is next Saturday, October 31, and to get ready the Dalton Police Department is reminding citizens of some important ways to stay safe when Trick-or-Treating:

  • Make sure that children, especially young children, don’t Trick-or-Treat alone.  Have a parent or trusted adult should always go along.
  • Make sure that your child’s costume can easily be seen by passing drivers.  If it’s a dark-colored costume, use reflective tape to make sure that it shows up in a car’s headlights.
  • When dropping off Trick-or-Treaters by car, make sure not to block traffic lanes.
  • Keep in mind that masks can restrict your vision, so consider using make-up effects instead.  If wearing a mask, take it off when crossing the street.
  • Always use sidewalks and cross the street only at crosswalks
  • Have identification like home address and phone number inside a child’s costume, in case they become separated from their escort.
  • Make sure children know their home phone number.
  • Make sure to have a flash light if you’ll be out after dark.
  • Only Trick-or-Treat at homes with front porch lights on.
  • Don’t cut through yards or alleyways.
  • Never go into a stranger’s house for treats.
  • Make sure to check children’s treats before they eat them.

It’s also important for drivers to keep in mind that there will be more pedestrians near roads than normal on Halloween, especially in residential neighborhoods.  Slow down and stay alert. 

If you’re planning to attend a Halloween party where alcohol is involved, make sure to designate a driver or have the number of a cab company before you go.  Do not drink and drive. 

The Dalton Police Department hopes that keeping these tips in mind will help you have a safe and happy Halloween!

For more safety tips for Halloween, including fire safety information, click here.

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DPD Warns of Used Car Scam

The Dalton Police Department is warning both car dealers and members of the general public to use caution when selling or buying used cars, especially if dealing with someone who claims to represent a business called the “Atlanta Auto Group” in Athens, Georgia.

In late August, two men claiming to represent the Atlanta Auto Group purchased four vehicles from a car dealership in Dalton.  The men identified themselves as Kerry Jennings and Tommy Kelley. They paid with checks from an active account, and left behind contact phone numbers for the business which turned out to be stolen cell phones.  Then, later, payment on one of the checks was stopped and another was returned for having insufficient funds.  The address listed for Atlanta Auto Group in Athens turned out to be a vacant car lot.  Men claiming to be from the Atlanta Auto Group have also pulled the same scam in states around the southeast.

An investigation has led to the recovery of two of the vehicles at car dealerships out of state.  This case remains under active investigation.

The Dalton Police Department recommends getting at least two forms of identification from individuals when buying or selling a vehicle.  If buying or selling with an out of town business, take steps to confirm with a Better Business Bureau or Chamber of Commerce that the business is a legitimate business. 

If you have any information about this scam, please contact Detective Chris Johnson with the Dalton Police Department at 706-278-9085, extension 222.

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DPD Seeks Ring Thief

The Dalton Police Department is asking for the public’s help with identifying a man who stole a ring from a jewelry kiosk in Walnut Square Mall on October 17th. 

On October 17th, the man visited the jewelry kiosk and asked to see one of the rings in a display case.  He then left the kiosk, returning approximately 45 minutes later, around 7:15 PM.  He asked to see the ring again.  Again, the employee showed him the ring. Then, with quickness that would have made Gollum proud, he blurted out “thanks!” and grabbed the ring out of the employee’s hand and fled on foot, exiting the mall near the CVS entrance.  The employee gave chase but was unable to catch up.

The suspect is described as a white male, standing approximately 5’8 with a skinny build, dark hair and mustache, in his late 40’s wearing a white polo shirt and a black jacket.  He was captured on the mall surveillance system, and those pictures are included below.   The ring has a small diamond in the middle. Anyone with information on this suspect is asked to please contact Detective Mack Flood with the Dalton Police Department at 706-278-9085, extension 218.

Below: The ring thief is captured by surveillance cameras at Walnut Square Mall, note the detail on his jacket (click images for a larger version).

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DPD Officer Honored for Efforts to Stop Domestic Violence

Dalton Police Officer Ray Figg was honored Friday, October 16th with the Jackie Williams Award for Exemplary Service in the Field of Domestic Violence at the 3rd Annual Domestic Violence Conference at Dalton State College. Officer Figg is the first recipient of the award.

Figg was recognized for the active role he has taken over the years in regards to educating fellow officers on how to handle and respond to domestic violence cases.  In nominating him for the award, Lieutenant Cliff Cason, the DPD's Patrol Division Commander, cited one domestic violence incident that occurred in July 2009.  Officer Figg responded to a domestic disturbance and encountered an intoxicated male, who was naked and acting in a violent manner towards responding officers.  Officer Figg placed the subject under arrest, and after interviewing the victim in the case and discovering that the suspect attempted to cause her great bodily harm, charged him with assault, battery, indecent exposure, false imprisonment, obstruction of an officer and battery under the Family Violence Act.  Lt. Cason cites the swift actions of Officer Figg and other officers on scene with preventing further harm to the victim.  In his nomination letter, Lt. Cason states that this is just one example of Officer Figg's experiences working with victims of domestic violence.

Lynn Cabe, the co-chair of the Conasauga Judicial Circuit's Domestic Violence Task Force, also commended Officer Figg for advocating for the victims of domestic violence and serving as a panelist for previous Domestic Violence Conferences.

The Jackie Williams Award is named for the late Jackie Williams, a Whitfield County Sheriff's Office detective who was a tireless supporter of victims of domestic violence in northwest Georgia.  The award will be presented each year to a law enforcement officer who demonstrates outstanding commitment to the fight against domestic violence.  Friday's conference was co-sponsored by the Conasauga Judicial Circuit's Domestic Violence Task Force, the Northwest Georgia Family Crisis Center, and the Dalton State College School of Social Work.

Below: Officer Ray Figg is presented with the Jackie Williams Award, and poses with Dalton Police Chief Jason Parker

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DPD, DFD Visit Brookwood School

As part of a career day at Brookwood Elementary School, students got an up-close look at a Dalton police cruiser and a fire truck.  They also got to ask questions about what life is like for Dalton police officers and Dalton firefighters.

Officer Steven Collins showed off his cruiser's blue lights, as well as some tools of the trade like his handcuffs and ASP baton.  He also showed students his car's video camera, and the back seat where the "bad guys" ride. 

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Apply to Become a Dalton Police Explorer

The Dalton Police Department is now accepting applications for the department's 2010-2011 Law Enforcement Explorers program. 

The Law Enforcement Explorer Program allows young men and women to gain training and experience in the law enforcement field.  The program also provides opportunities for community involvement and development.  Program activities center around law enforcement training, organized recreational activities and competitive events.  Officers David Saylors and Daniel Jones currently oversee the program.  Last winter, the DPD Explorers enjoyed one of the most successful competitions in the program's history, placing in all three events at the annual Winterfest competition in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

To be eligible for the program, an applicant:

  • Must be between 14 and 20 years old
  • Must maintain at least a "C" average, and must remain enrolled in school until graduation or earn a GED
  • Must attend regularly scheduled meetings, including physical training

To apply to become a Dalton Police Explorer, click here to download a .pdf copy of the application.  Fill out the application and send it to:

        Officer David Saylors
        Dalton Police Department
        301 Jones Street
        Dalton, GA 30720

You can also FAX a copy of the application to the attention of Officer Saylors at 706-217-2075.  Applications will be accepted until February 15, 2010.  The 2010 Dalton Police Explorers will begin meeting in March.

Dalton Police Department Explorers Application: Printer-friendly .pdf file

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Whitfield County Address Project Enters Final Phase

from Mitch Talley, Whitfield County Communications Director

The Whitfield County Address Project is entering its final phase as 2,500 to 3,000 City of Dalton residents will be notified of their new addresses in a mail-out set for Thursday, Oct. 15.

The new addresses will take effect on Nov. 15, and the county-funded project will be almost complete, except for maintenance-type issues.

The project’s goal has been to clear up confusing addresses that might make it difficult for emergency responders to find a location in times of need.

Residents with questions regarding their address change are encouraged to call the toll-free number listed on the address change letter.  GeoComm will receive the calls and verify that the information is correct and answer any questions that they may have. 

If GeoComm cannot satisfy the resident, GeoComm will forward the call information to the local Project Team, which will provide the available assistance.

Whitfield County officials said this week’s mailing will conclude the bulk of the address changes for the entire county.

Approximately 10,000 other addresses in the rural 30720 and 30721, Rocky Face, Ringgold, Resaca, Cohutta, and Tunnel Hill zip code areas have already been changed. 

Officials are also asking that anyone who lives on a private road, knows that the name has changed, and has not received a letter of notification to call 1-888-436-2666 toll-free Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and ask for the Whitfield County Project Team.

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