Posts on Jan 1970

DPD To Participate in 2011 Torch Run; Merchandise On Sale!

For the fourth year in a row, the Dalton Police Department will be part of a statewide law enforcement effort to raise money for Special Olympics Georgia in 2011.  The annual Law Enforcement Torch Run is the largest fundraiser for Special Olympics Georgia each year.  Last year, law enforcement agencies across Georgia combined to raise more than $650,000 for SOGA through various law enforcement fundraisers.  This year, the DPD will once again run a nine-mile torch relay on May 10th, and the department hopes to raise $3,500 through runner sponsorships and merchandise sales.

T-Shirts, hats, and logo poker chips for the 2011 Law Enforcement Torch Run are now on sale at the Police Services Center at 301 Jones Street.  The T-shirts cost $12 each, while the hats cost $10 each.  The logo poker chips cost $5.00, and each has the logo for the 2011 Torch Run and also the Special Olympics.  The T-Shirts are available in Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, 2X-Large, and 3X-Large.

The Dalton Police Department is also accepting donations for the Special Olympics.  They can be sent to the Police Services Center, 301 Jones Street, Dalton, GA 30720 to the attention of Lieutenant Chris Crossen.  Checks should be made out to Special Olympics Georgia.  Donations can also be made online at http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/chris-crossen/dalton-pd-law-enforcement-torch-run-2011?fge=ask.

Below: Merchandise on sale at the Police Services Center at 301 Jones Street includes a T-Shirt ($12), Hats ($10), and Poker Chips ($5)

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DPD Arrests Man for Impersonating Public Officer

The Dalton Police Department arrested 53 year old Jackie Samuel Plemons of 2840 Five Springs Road early Saturday morning on charges of impersonating a public officer and also violation of GA Code 40-8-92 regarding the designation of emergency vehicles.

Shortly before midnight, Plemons was driving a red Mustang on the Dalton bypass when he approached another car, driven by the complainant in this case.  The complainant later told officers that Plemons appeared to be trying to get him to race, while Plemons stated that it was the complainant who started trying to race.  Telling officers that he wanted to just pass the Mustang by and get away from him, the complainant accelerated.  When the complainant accelerated, Plemons activated a strobe light system in the grill of his car and also a blue LED light bar across his bumper, and also flashed his fog lights. At this point, the complainant called 911 to report it.  The complainant slowed down and followed the Mustang to Plemons’ workplace, the Mohawk facility at 2100 South Hamilton Street and waited for officers. 

According to an incident report, Plemons told officers that he only turned the lights on to “say hi”, but denied using the lights to “spook” the complainant.  An inspection of the lights by officers showed when the clear strobe lights in the grill are activated, the blue LED light also turns on automatically.  For this reason, Plemons was charged with impersonating an officer and having unauthorized lights reserved for the designation of emergency vehicles under GA Code 40-8-92 (the charge listed in the arrest records at the jail is for “unauthorized vehicle with red/amber lights”, but the code section governs red, blue, and green lights). 

Investigators do not believe there is any connection between this incident and the arrest earlier in the month of another individual for impersonating an officer.

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Thieves Break Glass to Steal iPhones

The Dalton Police Department is asking for the public’s help with identifying two suspects who stole four iPhones from the Shugart Road Wal-Mart.

The incident happened shortly after 3:30 am on the morning of March 19th.  The two suspects, a man and woman, entered the store and were recorded walking back to the electronics department.  The black male used some sort of spring-loaded punch device to shatter the glass of the phone display.  Once the glass was broken, the pair took four iPhones, valued at $599 each.  They then left the store and drove off in a small blue compact car, possibly a Dodge Neon.  Because the vehicle had front and back license plates, investigators believe that the pair may be from the New England area. 

The first suspect is a black male with facial hair, who wore a black jacket and a black baseball cap that didn’t appear to have a logo.  He also had an earring in his left ear.  The second suspect is a black female, with short dark hair and possible blond highlights.  She wore dark rimmed eyeglasses, a black leather jacket, and a t-shirt that appeared to say “Patriots”.  Pictures of the two suspects and their vehicle are included with this release.

Anyone with information on the identity of these two suspects or this incident is asked to please contact Detective Jason Bishop at 706-278-9085, extension 214.

Below: Surveillance images of the two suspects, the female's shirt, and the car they drove away from the store (click images to see a larger version).

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Shutterbugs Rip Off Cameras From Wal-Mart

The Dalton Police Department is asking for the public’s help with identifying two men who stole more than $3,000 worth of digital camera equipment from the Shugart Road Wal-Mart.  Both suspects were captured by the store’s surveillance system, including two close-up shots in the camera department.

The incident happened after 1:30 am on March 15th.  The two men were recorded walking into the store and picking up a blue plastic tote box before heading to the camera display in the electronics department.  They then broke into the glass display, apparently by forcing it open.  They took out two different cameras, a Canon Rebel TZI valued at $799 and a Canon T3I Kit valued at $2,697.  They also took a Canon 55-250 lens valued at $299.  The suspects then put the camera equipment into a blue plastic tote and took it into the garden department.  One in the outdoor section of the garden department, the suspects pushed the tote box over the fence and onto a rack set up outside of the store.  They then went back into the store and walked out the front door.  They got into a dark-colored Jeep Cherokee and drove around the back of the store, picked up the tote and drove away.

The first suspect is a white male, with a slender build, receding hairline and a dark beard. He wore a dark sweatshirt and jeans with white sneakers.  The second suspect is also a white male, very heavyset build with dark hair and facial hair.  He wore a coat, dark shirt, jeans or slacks, and white sneakers. He also wore a wedding ring.  Pictures of both suspects are included below.

Anyone with information on the identity of these two suspects is asked to please contact Detective Jason Bishop with the Dalton Police Department at 706-278-9085, extension 214.

Below: Surveillance pictures of the two suspects and the vehicle they drove in the incident (click images to see a larger version)

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DPD Explorer Cards Now On Sale

New Dalton Police Explorers Discount Cards are on sale now at the Dalton Police Services Center at 301 Jones Street.  The cards, which cost $5 each, can also be purchased at Los Reyes on South Hamilton Street, In Heaven's Name Bookstore, John’s Barbeque, or from any Dalton Police Explorer.

This year, the cards can be redeemed for discounts at Panda Express, Applebee's, Zaxby's, Dalton Depot, Chili's, CiCi's, Los Reyes, Willie's Burger Shack, The Stuckey Clinic of Chiropractic, Five Guys, Johns Barbeque, Tony's Italian Resturant (Market Street Shops), Lifetouch Chiropractic, Las Palmas, Domino's Pizza, Taylor's Tire, The Oil Well, In Heaven's Name, Schlotzsky's Deli, Dalton Falls & Golf, Cornerstone Grill, Subway, Fashion Cleaners, Fuji Japanese, Stroll-N-Shine, and Retro Bowl.  Cards are good until April 1st, 2012.

Proceeds from the sales of the Explorers cards will go to fund the Dalton Police Explorers program, which 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 Ashley Payne currently oversee the program.  Explorers must be between 14 to 20 years old, maintain a "C" average while remaining in school until graduation or obtain a GED, and must attend regularly scheduled meetings, including physical training.

The Dalton Police Department thanks all of the sponsors of this year's Police Explorers Card for their generous support of the Explorers program.

Below: The 2011 Dalton Police Explorer Discount Card

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Tasers, Chaplains, and Hard Targets at the Citizens’ Police Academy

The Dalton Police Department's Citizens' Police Academy got a crash course Tuesday night in what they could do to make themselves harder targets for criminals. 

Officer Brian Shirley gave a presentation to the group laying out ways to avoid becoming victims of crime, ranging from reporting suspicious activities in their neighborhood to simple ways they could improve the security of their homes.  Officer Shirley's presentation was just one part of a wide-ranging session on Tuesday night, which also featured a discussion and demonstration of the department's Taser use, the Support Services Division, and a presentation on the role of the department's chaplains.

While you can't make it impossible for a determined criminal to break into your home or vehicle, Officer Shirley on Tuesday pointed out that criminals are much more likely to look for easy targets.  In 2010, approximately 40% of all residential burglaries in Dalton took place without any "breaking in".  The offenders simply found an unlocked door or window and made entry into the residence.  So, while it may seem like common sense to lock your doors and windows when you leave home, many Dalton residents fail to do so, and many lost property because of it.  Beyond just locking up, Officer Shirley also discussed the different kinds of locks you can use.  He also suggested eliminating glass doors or glass windows near doors where a potential burglar can just reach around and unlock a door from the inside.  If those types of windows are present, he suggested that a double-barrel or double-keyed Deadbolt lock could be a viable alternative.  He also suggested landscaping options such as trimming back and tall bushes or trees that could give a burglar a place to hide from view.  Letting your neighbors know to watch your home while you're away is always a wise option.  And above all, he said that reporting suspicious activity in your neighborhood is a good way to avoid becoming a victim.  Anytime you see something that doesn't feel right, chances are, it's probably not right.  If it's not an emergency, the 911 center's non-emergency phone number is 706-370-4900 and you can use it to have an officer dispatched to your location.

Captain William Cason spoke to the class about the role of the Support Services Division, which is home to both sworn officers and non-sworn civilian employees of the department.  Support Services is home to the department's records, information technology, training, volunteer, and public relations functions. 

Lt. Mike Wilson also demonstrated the use of a Taser, explaining how the device works and how it's used by Dalton officers in the field.  Since he couldn't find a volunteer in the group willing to be tased, he demonstrated the firing of the Taser on a paper target. 

The evening wrapped up with a presentation from the department's chaplains about their role with the agency.  Chaplain Don Treick led the session, describing how he and his fellow chaplains help not just when an officer has something to talk about, but also assisting with victims of crime or helping officers notify members of the public when there's a death in the family.  The chaplains also assist out of town travelers who may become stranded in town.  The chaplains have also traveled to scenes of disasters such as 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina to help supplement local chaplains who may be overwhelmed. 

Below: Lt. Mike Wilson fires a Taser at a paper target and discusses the device with the class; Officer Brian Shirley discusses how to avoid becoming a victim, and Chaplains Don Treick (left) and Paul Williams (right) speak to the group about their role in the department (click images to see a larger version)

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DPD Makes Arrests In Armed Robbery, One Suspect At Large

The Dalton Police Department on Monday arrested Casey Renee Cantrell, 24, of 139 Diamond Lane in Tunnel Hill and Tiffany Michelle Whitton of 231 River Oaks Drive in Dalton on warrants related to an armed robbery that occurred March 7th at a Dalton residence.  Investigators also arrested 43 year old Tracy Chambers of 3335 Chatsworth Road in Dalton last week on charges related to the case.  The Dalton Police Department also has a warrant for the arrest of 23 year old Matthew Wesley Stone of 153 Diamond Lane in Tunnel Hill in connection to this case.

On March 7th, officers were dispatched to 939 Avenue F in response to a burglary and armed robbery call.  When officers arrived, the suspects had already left.  Victims at the scene told police that they were sitting at home when there was a knock at the door.  Two female voices, one of which the victim recognized as Tiffany Whitton, told them to open the door.  When the victim refused, someone started to kick the door.  The victim ran to hide in the bathroom as the suspects broke in and called 911.  The victim’s husband reported that he saw his wife run into the bathroom, and that he saw a male suspect, identified as Matthew Stone, knocking on the bathroom door with a tire iron.  When police were called, the suspects left, taking the victim’s purse from the couch.  The victims knew the suspects who forced their way into the house.

While investigating this incident, a detective spoke with Tiffany Whitton who alleged that the victim in this case stole $60 from her earlier in the evening and that she’d gone to the victim’s house with the other suspects in order to get her money back.  Whitton said they encountered the victim at Wal-Mart on Shugart Road and sat in the car to talk after it started it raining.  Sometime during this conversation, Whitton says her money was taken.  Investigators believe that this money may not have been stolen, but could have been part of a drug deal for pills which weren’t delivered. 

Tracy Chambers was charged with armed robbery (residence, other weapon), burglary (forced entry, residence), and making false statements.  Tiffany Whitton was charged with robbery, burglary (forced entry, residence), possession and use of drug-related objects, and giving false name/address/DOB to a law enforcement officer.  Casey Cantrell was charged with robbery, burglary (forced entry, residence), theft by taking, larceny, pick-pocketing, and misdemeanor possession of a schedule-4 barbituate.  The outstanding warrant for Matthew Stone is for charges of burglary and armed robbery.  Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Stone is asked to please contact Detective Ricky Long with the Dalton Police Department at 706-278-9085, extension 168.

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DFD Battalion Chief Retires

At Tuesday morning’s meeting of the Dalton Public Safety Commission, the Dalton Fire Department announced the upcoming retirement of Battalion Chief Max Starr. 

Starr has served with the Dalton Fire Department since September 11, 1980, rising from the rank of Firefighter 1 all the way up to Battalion Chief in 2006.  His 31 years of service to the Fire Department have included earning a vast array of training certifications, including becoming the 111th Smoke Diver in Georgia. 

Over 31 years, Starr has excelled at many different fire scenes, but DFD Chief Bruce Satterfield singled one out on Tuesday.  On June 9, 2005, there was a structure fire with a report of an elderly man who was trapped inside. Starr, who held the rank of Captain at the time, led a team consisting of Lt. Hammontree and Donnie Blankenship on a search of the structure and found the victim and rescued him from the building.  After a stay in the hospital, the victim returned safely to his family. 

Starr’s last day on duty will be Wednesday, March 30th.  The Dalton Public Safety community wishes him well in retirement. 

Also at Tuesday's meeting, Chief Satterfield presented an award of recognition to DPD and DFD Public Relations Specialist Bruce Frazier, for helping the Fire Department with media relations efforts.

Below: Chief Satterfield introduces Battalion Chief Max Starr (standing, right) to the Public Safety Commission; Public Safety Commission Chairman Bill Weaver presents a plaque to Max Starr in recognition of his 31 years’ service to the Dalton Fire Department, Chief Satterfield presents an award to Bruce Frazier (left)

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DPD Seeks Peddler of Fake Gold

The Dalton Police Department is asking for the public’s help with identifying a man who swindled a Chattanooga jewelry business owner out of more than $6,000 by selling him fake gold jewelry.

The incident happened in February after the suspect met with the victim at the victim’s business in Hamilton County, Tennessee.  The suspect asked the victim, who has asked not to be identified in the media, if his business bought gold jewelry.  The victim said yes, but that he had no way to test the authenticity of the gold.  The victim, who lives in Dalton, told investigators that the two agreed to set up a meeting in Dalton to test the authenticity of the gold.  The suspect showed the victim a New Jersey driver’s license with the name “Dennis Black”, which investigators say could be a fake name.

The victim told DPD investigators that they later met in Dalton at the Wal-Mart on Shugart Road.  The victim told investigators that he took the bag of gold jewelry to Southern Bullion in Bryman’s Plaza for testing.  The jewelry tested as 22K and 24K gold.  When he met the suspect outside Southern Bullion, they agreed on a price and the victim told investigators he left to go to his bank to get cash.  When he returned, he told investigators that he paid the suspect $6,900 for the gold and the two parted ways.  The victim told investigators that he then went back inside Southern Bullion to sell the gold, and at that time the jewelry was re-tested and he was told that the gold was fake.  At that point, the victim called police.

Investigators did find a surveillance image of the suspect that was taken by the security cameras at Wal-Mart.  The suspect is a tall African-American male, who wore a red shirt with black pants and a black zipper front jacket.  He has close-cropped black hair.  If anyone has any information on this incident or the identity of the suspect, they’re asked to please contact Detective Ricky Long at 706-278-9085, extension 168.

Below: The suspect enters the Wal-Mart on Shugart Road (click image to see a larger version)

Walmart Suspect 

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DPD Arrests Security Guard for Impersonating an Officer

The Dalton Police Department on Wednesday arrested 58 year old James Dale Smith of 546 Patton Street in Dalton after Smith used a strobe light system in his car to attempt to pull over an undercover detective from the Dalton Police Department who was driving an unmarked department vehicle. 

The incident happened shortly before 10:00 pm on Tuesday night.  An undercover detective from the Dalton Police Department passed a car driven by Smith, who is employed as a security officer with J.J.K. Security in Chattanooga, on Shugart Road.  Smith told investigators he felt the detective was driving faster than he should, so he pulled in behind him and turned on a strobe light in his car.  The detective continued on and called the 911 center to request a marked DPD unit.  When the detective slowed down, Smith pulled up beside the driver’s side of the detective’s car and started to nudge closer to the detective’s vehicle in an apparent attempt to force him to pull over.  At this point, Smith apparently recognized the detective who was known to him, and turned off his strobe light.  The detective pulled in behind Smith at the RaceTrac gas station and turned on his own blue lights and waited for the marked unit to arrive.  Smith told an officer that he was not trying to pull over the detective.

Smith was wearing clothing similar to what police officers wear as their training uniform, a dark polo shirt with 511-style cargo khaki pants and black boots.  On his belt he wore a Glock pistol in a holster on his belt, along with a spare ammunition magazine and handcuffs in a holster.  He also had his security badge on his belt.  Smith was driving a white Crown Victoria with a “Police Interceptor” icon on the back and white strobe lights mounted along with police-style radio antennas. 

On Wednesday, officers with the Dalton Police Department obtained warrants for Smith’s arrest on charges of Impersonating a Law Enforcement Officer and also Impersonating a Public Officer or Employee.  Smith was arrested on these warrants without incident.

Anyone who believes they were pulled over by Smith is asked to please contact Sergeant Daniel Nicholson at 706-278-9085 extension 159.

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