Posts on Jan 1970

Do Not Pass “Go”

Members of the Dalton Police Department's Citizens' Police Academy went directly to jail on Tuesday night, but fortunately were able to get right back out again.  This week's session focused on what happens to the accused after they're arrested by the DPD, and featured a presentation from District Attorney Kermit McManus, followed by a tour of the Whitfield County Jail. 

Mr. McManus explained the various functions of his office, the Conasauga Circuit District Attorney's Office which covers Whitfield and Murray Counties.  He also explained the role of prosecutors in general.

The tour of the Whitfield County Jail was led by Lt. Wes Lynch of the Whitfield County Sheriff's Office.  Lt. Lynch is one of the supervisors of the jail, and before letting academy members tour the various parts of the jail (including one of the housing pods), he also explained the various other functions of the Sheriff's Office.

Below (from left): District Attorney Kermit McManus discusses prosecution with the members of the Citizens' Police Academy, Whitfield County Sheriff's Office Lt. Wes Lynch leads a tour of the Booking section of the Jail, and members of the academy class tour a housing pod (click images for a larger version)

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CSI: Dalton C3 Center

The Dalton Police Department's Crime Scene Unit was on site at the Dalton Public Schools' C3 Gifted Enrichment Center at City Park Elementary School.  But, no crime had been committed.  Instead, detectives were there to teach students, who have been studying about crime scene investigation, about different methods police use to investigate crimes.

Detective Mack Flood, the DPD's lead crime scene investigator, showed off the department's crime scene van, while explaining how he uses some of the different tools on board. Each student also got a chance to walk inside the crime scene vehicle, opening cabinets and drawers and checking out the different tools.  Meanwhile, Detective Mathew Locke spoke to students inside the C3 Center about fingerprints, shoe-prints, tire tracks, and other investigative methods the Dalton Police Department has used to solve crimes. 

The DPD's CSI guys will be back at the C3 Center on Thursday to speak to the other grade levels about crime scene investigation, and also to emphasize that if they want to work in law enforcement one day, it's important to stay in school!

Below (from top left): Detective Mathew Locke shows C3 Center students some of the different fingerprinting tools used by officers in the field, Detective Mack Flood speaks to students outside the department's Crime Scene Unit, and lets kids take a look inside cabinets on board (click images for a larger version).

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Support, Tasers, and Crashes at the Citizens’ Police Academy

The Citizens' Police Academy met on Tuesday night at the Dalton Police Department for a discussion of the department's Support Services Division, the Traffic Enforcement Unit, and the department's use of Tasers.

Sergeant Pat Meyer, the DPD Certification Sergeant, started the night with an overview of Support Services, which is comprised of the department's training division, property and evidence, professional standards, certification, public and media relations, and all civilian employees of the department.

Up next, Officer Ricky Long demonstrated the use of the Taser device, including a discussion of the department's policy on the device's use and also showed some videos of Taser use from agencies across the country.

Officers Steve Zahn and Shaun Scott wrapped up the festivities, discussing the work of the department's traffic unit with both enforcing traffic law and also investigating traffic crashes.  Each member of the Citizens' Academy class also got to take a spin on Fatal Vision, a golf cart which is part of the department's drunk driving awareness program.  Each driver wears a pair of goggles designed to simulate alcohol impairment, trying to navigate a course of traffic cones.  The results were predictably poor.

Below (from top left): Sergeant Pat Meyer discusses the role of the Support Services Division, Officer Ricky Long teaches about Tasers, Officer Steve Zahn shows participants the remains of a vehicle from a recent traffic crash in Dalton, and a participant wearing special goggles to simulate impairment attempts to navigate the Fatal Vision course (click images to see larger versions).

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DPD Investigates Break-In at Mapco Station

The Dalton Police Department is investigating an early morning break-in at the Mapco Service Station at 2210 Chattanooga Road, and is asking for the public’s help in identifying suspects. 

Four males entered the store early on the morning of March 11th, apparently forcing the door with a crow bar. They left with less than $50 in cash, several cartons of cigarettes, lottery tickets, and a laptop computer.  The men wore heavy dark coats with hoods or masks obscuring their faces, apparently aware that the store had surveillance cameras.  They also wore loose fitting jeans or pants, with their underwear showing on the surveillance videos.  Several pictures are included below in hopes that someone may recognize their clothing. 

If you have any information about this crime or the identity of any of these men, please contact Detective Matthew Locke at 706-278-9085, extension 320.

Below: Surveillance images of the break-in (click image for a larger version).

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Drugs, Safety at the Citizens’ Police Academy

The third meeting of the Dalton Police Department's Citizens' Police Academy took place Tuesday night at the Police Services Center, covering the Drug Unit, the Situational Response Unit (SRU) and also Avoiding Victimization.

Detectives from the department's Drug Unit opened the night with a discussion of their duties, and also some of the different illegal drugs being used in Dalton.  Then, Officer Brian Shirley talked to the class about different ways to stay safe and avoid becoming victims of crime, including different methods to safeguard homes and property.  Then, Officers Scott Murray and Tommy Ensley from the SRU closed the class by discussing their duties, which include street-level drug interdiction. 

Below: Officers Murray and Ensley pose before discussing the SRU with the Citizens' Academy class, and Officer Shirley talks to the class about protecting themselves (click images for a larger version)

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DPD Looks for “Hot” Wheels

The Dalton Police Department is asking for the public’s help in locating and identifying a thief who stole a set of Ballistic-brand wheels worth $3,000 from the bed of the owner’s truck on March 3rd.  The wheels are a hard-to-find special order, and the owner believes they are the only ones of their kind in the Dalton area.  They’re also designed to only fit a GMC Sierra truck, with six lug nuts.  The owner also told investigators that the lug nuts for the wheels were left behind, and would have to be specially ordered from Ballistic.   A picture of the wheels is included below.

If you’ve seen these wheels, or you have any information on this crime, please contact Detective Jason Bishop with the Dalton Police Department at 706-278-9085, extension 214.

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Stay Safe on St. Pat’s!

Wednesday, March 17th is St. Patrick’s Day, and for many Americans it's a night to celebrate.  But, it doesn't matter if the drinks are green or not, drinking and driving don't mix. The Dalton Police Department reminds motorists that at least half of all fatal crashes on our nation’s highways involve at least one driver with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that during the past five years, 851 people have lost their lives in vehicle crashes during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday.
 
With those sobering statistics in mind, the Dalton Police Department offers some tips to keep this St. Patrick's Day happy and healthy:

If you plan to host a party:

  • Make sure your guests have Designated Sober Drivers
  • Never serve alcohol to guests under 21 years-of-age.  As a host, you could be prosecuted.
  • Serve plenty of food…and include soft drinks, juice, and water.
  • Stop serving alcohol before the party ends.  Start serving coffee and dessert instead.
  • Take car keys from anyone who thinks about driving impaired.
  • Keep the numbers for local cab companies on hand for impaired guests.

If you plan to attend a St. Patrick’s Day Party:

  • Designate your sober driver before the party begins and give them your car keys.
  • Volunteer to be the Designated Driver or offer to be one next time out.
  • Before you party, program local cab company numbers in your cell phone so a safe ride is just a call away.
  • Pace yourself.  Avoid drinking too much alcohol too fast.  Eat enough food, take breaks, and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Never let a friend out of sight if you think they’re about to drive impaired.

The Dalton Police Department enforces DUI laws for those who drive impaired in attempt to make the city streets safe for all motorists.  The message is simple, if you drive impaired, you will go to jail.

The Dalton Police Department also reminds you to remind motorists to obey all posted speed limits and buckle up!

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DPD Makes Counterfeit Bust, Urges Retailers to Be Wary

The Dalton Police Department arrested 29-year-old Angel Wilfred Leguisamon-Pena on March 5th on charges of forgery after he attempted to pass a counterfeit $100 bill at an area retailer.  If not for an alert cashier, it’s likely that he would have gotten away with the crime, just as he apparently did at least 11 other times at retail stores around the I-75 corridor between Florida and Northwest Georgia.

During the afternoon of March 5th, Mr. Leguisamon-Pena (who investigators believe lives in Orlando, Florida despite listing a Raleigh, North Carolina home address on his ID) attempted to pay for a pair of shoes at Journey’s in Walnut Square Mall with a very convincing fake $100 bill.  However, the clerk didn’t just mark the bill with the special pen which is used to authenticate bills, she also held the bill up to the light to check the watermark and security strip.  She saw that the security strip showed the bill was actually a $5 bill, and the watermark showed Abraham Lincoln’s face.  Leguisamon-Pena then apologized and paid with real $20 bills, but not before officers arrived.

Investigators obtained a search warrant for his car, and discovered $10,100 worth of counterfeit $100 bills, along with bags of merchandise from at least 11 other retailers from other cities like Calhoun and Stockbridge which receipts showed were paid for with $100 bills.  After investigating the receipts, investigators found that he pocketed nearly $1,500 in change from these transactions in addition to the merchandise purchased.

Leguisamon-Pena was charged with one count of first-degree forgery for attempting to pass the fake $100, and also 100 counts of second-degree forgery for possession of counterfeit bills.

While this is the largest bust the DPD has made, more counterfeit bills have been appearing in the area.  Counterfeiters appear to wash the ink off of $5 bills and then re-print them in other denominations.  This way, the bills appear to be genuine because they are printed on legal stock.  However, if retailers check the security strip and watermarks in the light, they can still be spotted as fakes.  The Dalton Police Department urges retailers to train their employees to beware and take the time to check bills.  If you suspect a customer is attempting to pass a counterfeit bill, contact the Dalton Police Department by dialing 911.

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Citizens’ Police Academy Returns for Week Two

After missing class last week due to winter weather, the Dalton Police Department's Citizens' Police Academy resumed class on Tuesday night with a look at the Criminal Investigations Division. 

CID houses the DPD's detectives, both general assignment detectives and the Drug Unit and detectives from the Safe Streets Gang Task Force.  Sergeant Chris Crossen, Operations Sergeant for CID started the evening off with an overview of the CID's functions, and then a detective with the Gang Task Force finished the evening with a discussion of gangs, their members, and what the DPD has done to curb their activity in Dalton and the surrounding area.

CID will be in the spotlight again later in the Academy, as other detectives go in-depth about the Drug Unit, Polygraphing, Crime Scene Investigation, and other functions of the division.

Below: Citizens' Academy coordinator Sergeant Mike Dyer addresses the class, and then Sergeant Chris Crossen discusses the Criminal Investigations Division (click images for larger versions).

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DPD to Conduct “Operation: ID Please”

The Dalton Police Department will be conducting operations at area restaurants and package stores in the coming days and weeks to check compliance with city ordinances prohibiting the sale of alcohol to minors.  The department conducts operations under the nickname “Operation: ID Please” several times throughout the year to make sure that area businesses aren’t selling alcohol to minors.

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