The Dalton Police Department arrested 45-year old Ernest Perez on Thursday afternoon after responding to a call of a burglary in progress at 303 Tibbs Road. Mr. Perez was charged with four counts of burglary. Investigators believe that Mr. Perez broke into the house at approximately 4:00 PM, but he was interrupted when the residents returned home. He attempted to flee the scene through a window, but was tackled by one of the residents outside and held until police officers arrived. He was not armed.
Mr. Perez is also suspected in burglaries that occurred Wednesday night at two homes on Tibbs Road, and also a burglary off of Crow Valley Road at the Ashton Woods townhomes on the night of December 14th. The only items taken in the Tibbs Road incidents were jewelry and money. Investigators were able to recover the stolen property. These incidents remain under investigation.
The Dalton Police Department will take part in the nationwide Operation: Zero Tolerance beginning December 18, 2009 and running through January 3, 2010. Operation: Zero Tolerance is a nationwide mobilization of law enforcement agencies to combat drivers driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
Dalton Police Department’s Traffic Enforcement Unit and Patrol Division will be concentrating their efforts on fighting drunk driving during the campaign and upcoming holiday season. Concentrated patrols and random road checks will be conducted throughout the city at strategic locations in an effort to crackdown on motorists driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. This is the last nationwide traffic mobilization of the year and is held annually during the Christmas Holiday.
Crash data from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety shows that the deadliest time period on Georgia's highways is between Thanksgiving Day and New Year's. In 2008, Georgia suffered 25 traffic deaths during the Christmas travel period. Overall, Georgia experienced more than 7,800 alcohol-related traffic crashes in 2008. Statistics also show that one-out-of-three of traffic crash fatalities are caused by impaired drivers each year.
The Dalton Police Department reminds motorists that drunk driving is not the only killer on our roadways. The department asks motorists to watch their speed and please obey Georgia’s Safety Belt laws to help prevent injuries and fatalities.
The hiring of new Dalton Police Officer Ashley Payne was confirmed by a unanimous vote of the Dalton Public Safety Commission at its monthly meeting, held Tuesday morning at City Hall. Officer Payne is continuing her field training program, which she started after being hired earlier this month.
Below: Officer Payne is introduced to the Public Safety Commission by Chief Jason Parker (click image for a larger version).
Also at Tuesday morning's meeting, the Dalton Fire Department promoted Mike Russell from the rank of captain to battalion chief. Russell’s promotion was approved by unanimous vote. The promotion fills the vacant battalion chief position left when Assistant Fire Chief Gary Baggett was promoted last month.
Battalion Chief Russell has been with the Dalton Fire Department since September of 1992. He has served as Captain of Battalion 3 since August of 2007. Russell is certified as Georgia Smoke Diver #345, and is also an instructor for the elite group. He’s been an Emergency Medical Technician for more than 20 years. His training background also includes extensive rescue training, including Trench Rescue I and II, Tactical Rope Rescue I and II, Rescue Systems, National Professional Qualifications Instructor I, Certified CPR Instructor, and he also holds an Incident Safety Officer Certification. He also holds numerous Fire Suppression qualifications, as well as Incident Command and Management qualifications.
Below: Fire Chief Bruce Satterfield shakes hands with Battalion Chief Mike Russell after his promotion was approved by the Public Safety Commission (click image for a larger version).
A tip from a concerned citizen has helped lead to the arrest of Khalid Keen, who was charged with theft of mislaid or lost property after taking a wallet from a woman’s purse after she left it behind at the West Walnut Avenue Burger King. Images from the store’s surveillance system were published on the Dalton Police Blog and in a November 24th press release to local media, and one caller recognized Mr. Keen in the pictures and called the Dalton Police Department.
The theft occurred on November 15th around 2:30 in the afternoon at the Burger King at 1512 West Walnut Avenue. After finishing eating, the victim accidentally left her purse behind when she left the restaurant. When she realized her mistake, she called the restaurant to see if her purse was still there. Burger King employees secured it for her, but when she arrived, her wallet was missing. Surveillance video shows Mr. Keen taking the wallet from her purse.
Shortly after receiving the phone tip, an officer spotted Mr. Keen walking on Hamilton Street and recognized him from surveillance video and stopped him. After an investigation, a warrant was secured for Mr. Keen’s arrest on December 7th, and he was arrested on December 8th and charged with theft of mislaid or lost property.
On November 25th, the Dalton Police Department arrested Roderick Cannon, who is currently registered as a sex offender living in Dalton, on charges of indecent exposure, stalking, and making false statements to police after investigating reports of a man exposing himself in hotels along College Drive the previous night.
On the night of November 23rd, at approximately 10:15 PM, a white male later identified by investigators as Mr. Cannon is recorded on video entering the Holiday Inn on College Drive and walking around, eventually exposing himself and performing a lewd act. After being told to leave by the clerk, he drove to the Ramada Inn nearby and encountered a clerk there who reported he was acting suspiciously, and appeared to perform another lewd act on surveillance video. After entering an employee only area, he was asked to leave. He also visited the Courtyard by Marriot, but left after waiting on a clerk who was busy. Then he went to the Jameson Inn, where a clerk reported he was acting suspiciously. Officers told clerks at the hotels to call 911 if the suspect returned, and he returned to the Jameson Inn on November 24th where he was arrested. He is currently in custody at the Whitfield County Jail awaiting a bond hearing.
Mr. Cannon is pictured below at the time of his arrest. The Dalton Police Department is still investigating these incidents and is asking anyone who has had contact with this individual performing lewd acts to please contact Detective Matt Locke at 706-278-9085.
Below: Roderick Cannon is pictured after being arrested (click image for a larger version)
The Dalton Police Department's first Christmas party for area kids was a success on Saturday, with the department handing out presents and smiles to area kids selected by counselors with the Dalton Public School System.
The party, held indoors at the North Georgia Fairgrounds due to frigid winter weather, was more than just a meeting to hand out gifts donated by friends of the department. Kids also got a chance to have lunch, play in the inflatable play areas, meet Santa Claus, and play games.
Many of the toys and gifts were donated by participants in the First Annual Holiday Toy Run, held by the Dalton Police Department in November. Many citizens and businesses in and around Dalton also donated money, gifts, and other support to the party. The Dalton Police Department extends thanks to everyone who helped make the Christmas party a special memory for the kids we were able to help.
Donors to the effort include Wal-Mart ($1,500 donation), the Dalton Hospitality Association ($250 donation), Windstream ($500 donation), the Dalton Police Department's Chaplains, and the Central Church of Christ. Individual donors included Mr. and Mrs. Terry Miller, Mr. Elbert Shaw, Jr., Mrs. Stella McHugh, Mr. and Mrs. Wink Jones, Ms. Terri Vaughn, Mr. Rickey Smith, Mr. Alan Parrish, Mr. and Mrs. Tom Phillips, Ms. Wilma Gibson, Mr. Beau Sims, Mr. Anthony Stephens, Mrs. Stephanie Hughes, and Mr. and Mrs. Paul Winston. The Glenwood Avenue Kroger grocery store which donated all of the food, drinks, and supplies for the party. Ponders Funeral Home donated their popcorn machine, and Gary Kirk of Griffin Auto donated use of a Penske truck to move all materials for the party. Robert Baker served as a clown for the party, while Curtis Adams played the part of Santa Claus. Amanda Lane painted kids' faces, and the Dalton Police Explorers post helped to man the inflatable play areas.
Several area businesses also donated items for the fundraiser raffle held at the Holiday Toy Run. Those businesses include Whitecotton Leather, Indian Trace Golf Course, Nob North Golf Course, Pye Honda, Chili's, O'Charley's, Applebee's, Mary Hawkins, Los Pablo's, Taylor Tire, Suzuki-Yamaha of Dalton, Starbucks, Los Reyes, Gondolier Pizza, Moe's, Mr. T's Pizza, Evergreen, John's BBQ, Garcia's Mexican Restaurant, Tijuana's Mexican Restaurant, Tip to Toe Nail, Inkus Tattoo, Longhorn Steakhouse, Body Art Ink, Carmike Cinemas, Dr. Greg Baker, Kirk Cycle, and VFW/American Legion. The Calhoun Police Department and Whitfield County Sheriff's Office also helped with the effort.
Again, thanks to everyone who donated their money, time, or gifts to the party! Event organizer Sgt. Pat Meyer also extends a special thanks to all DPD officers and staff who helped with the event, and also Jackie Taylor and Nicole Kelley from the Dalton Public School System for assisted with the selection of participants.
Below: Pictures from the Dalton Police Department's Christmas Party for Kids (click images for a larger version)
The Dalton Police Department is asking for the public’s help with identifying two women who may have been involved with the theft of makeup brushes worth approximately $1,200 from the Walnut Square Mall Belk’s store.
On the evening of Thursday, November 12th, the brushes and their container were taken from behind the cosmetics counter at Belk’s. A short time later, the empty container was found near the dressing rooms.
The two women pictured below were recorded on the store’s surveillance system in the area of the store when the brushes went missing. Investigators believe they may have seen what happened, and want to talk to them about the incident. If you have any information about the identity of these women, or the theft itself, please call Detective John Helton at 706-278-9085, extension 143.
Below: Surveillance images from the Belk's store in Walnut Square Mall. Click image for a larger version.
The Dalton Police Department officially welcomed a new officer this afternoon as Officer Ashley Payne received her badge during a ceremony at the Police Services Center. Officer Payne was hired after graduating from the Dalton Regional Police Academy in September as a pre-service candidate. Four other members of her graduating class at the academy joined the Dalton Police Department in September.
A native of Rome, Georgia, Officer Payne graduated in 2004 from Pepperell High School. She’s also completed some of her coursework towards a degree in Criminal Justice from Northwestern Technical College.
Below: Officer Ashley Payne (click image for a larger version)
Click "Play" in the window below to watch video from Friday's ceremony (video may take a moment to load)
Officers and support staff from the Dalton Police Department took time out of their schedule Friday afternoon to celebrate the holidays with the department's annual Christmas Lunch. The main hall of the Police Services Center was turned into a makeshift dining room for the lunch, catered by the Filling Station restaurant.
Before lunch was served, officers gathered in the department's Training Room for the badge pinning ceremony for new officer Ashley Payne. During lunch, officers watched a slide show presentation of pictures from throughout 2009.
Below: DPD officers and staff share a holiday lunch at the Police Services Center (click image for a larger version)