Posts on Jan 1970

Dalton Police Kick Off Special Olympics

The Whitfield County Special Olympics began under bright, sunny skies on Friday morning with some help from area law enforcement officers.

Officers from the Dalton Police Department's Honor Guard presented the colors for the singing of "The Star Spangled Banner" to kick things off.  Then, Dalton Police officers joined some of their counterparts from the Whitfield County Sheriff's Office for the Special Olympics Torch Relay with selected athletes.  The athletes made their way around the track at Northwest Whitfield High School accompanied by officers, before handing the torch off to Dalton Police Chief Jason Parker, who lit the torch cauldron. Mayor David Pennington of Dalton gave the official word to begin competition, "let the games begin!"

On May 10th, officers from the DPD and WCSO will participate in the Law Enforcement Torch Run to raise money in support of the Special Olympics.  If you'd like to buy Law Enforcement Torch Run merchandise, click here for more information.  Or, if you'd just like to make a donation to the Dalton Police Department's fundraising effort, click here.

Below: Scenes from the start of the Whitfield County Special Olympics (click images to see a larger version)

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DPD, DFD Help With Ringgold Cleanup (Updated With Pictures)

Officers from the Dalton Police Department and firefighters from the Dalton Fire Department were among the myriad of public safety agents from across Georgia who converged on Ringgold, Georgia to help with security, search and rescue, and cleanup after a devastating tornado hit there Wednesday night.

The DPD coordinated with the Ringgold Police Department and Catoosa County Sheriff's Office to bring thedepartment's command trailer to Ringgold to serve as another command post in addition to the Whitfield County EMA's Mobile Command Unit.  Supervisors from the DPD helped with Incident Command in the first day after the storm, and by mid-afternoon, officers from the DPD were on the ground helping with traffic control and also security patrols of affected neighborhoods.  DPD officers patrolled all night in Ringgold, and they continue to work there today.

Below: Damage in Ringgold, Georgia and law enforcement officers staging at the command post (click images to see a larger version)

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FATS, But Not Domino

The Dalton Police Department's 2011 Citizens' Police Academy wrapped up with a lesson on the Firearms Training Simulator (FATS). 

The simulator projects law enforcement scenarios onto a screen.  The scenario is controlled by an officer at a computer, and the user has a simulated version of a handgun which fires a laser at the screen which can be detected by the simulator.  Each academy participant went through two scenarios each, a burglary in progress call and also a call for a suspicious vehicle.  The scenarios give participants an idea of how quickly the unexpected can happen in the world of police officers.

The Citizens' Police Academy will meet for a graduation banquet next week.

To watch a video from Tuesday night's FATS training, click "Play" in the window below.

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Chaplains, Explorers Honored at PSC Meeting

Chief Jason Parker took time out from his presentation at the monthly meeting of the Dalton Public Safety Commission to honor some of the police department's volunteers, the department chaplains and the DPD Explorers.

The police department's chaplains volunteer their time not just to help members of the agency, but also the community at large.  They ride with officers on a regular basis, as well as serving as staff assistants to the Chief of Police.  The chaplains counsel officers, and they also help with death notifications to members of the community.  They also often speak with people who have been victims of crime. 

Chief Parker presented Chaplains Donald Treick and Ron Guffey to the members of the Public Safety Commission at Tuesday's meeting.  Chaplain Paul Williams and Ray McCrainie were unable to attend the meeting.

Two of the Dalton Police Department's chaplains have recently been recognized with Presidential Volunteer Service Awards.  Chaplain Donald Treick, who has served the Dalton Police Department since 2004, qualified for the Silver President's Volunteer Service Award with 256 hours of volunteer service to the department in the past year.  Chaplain Ray McCrainie has worked with the department since 1997 and qualified for the Bronze President's Volunteer Service Award with 112 hours of volunteer service in the past year.  Both men were presented Volunteer Service Award pins and a letter of congratulations signed by President Barack Obama. 

Below: Chaplains Treick and Guffey stand with Chief Parker at Tuesday's meeting, and Chief Parker presents Chaplain Treick with his Presidential Volunteer Service Award (click images to see a larger version)

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Also at Tuesday's meeting, Chief Parker recognized members of the Dalton Police Department's Explorers.

The Explorers program is open to young men and women ages 14 (who have completed the 8th grade) through 20 years old who have interest in learning more about careers in Law Enforcement.  The DPD started Explorer Post 2333 more than 15 years ago.  Explorers learn about policing, responsibility, and becoming positive role models.  They also provide valuable service to the department by working at special events and details such as the National Night Out Fair and other community events.

In February, the Explorers also piled up some serious hardware, bringing home multiple trophies from two Police Explorers competitions.  At the Winterfest competition in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, the explorers competed against 24 different agencies in three separate law enforcement scenario competitions, winning First Place in Felony Traffic Stops, Third in Domestic Violence, and Fourth in Active Shooter.  At the Alabama State Competition, the Explorers competed against ten other agencies, winning First Place in Hostage Crisis, Third Place in Domestic Crisis, and Fourth Place in Unknown Traffic Stop. 

Below: Police Explorers Eric Rangel, Isabel Mora, Fatima Peinado, and Allexis O'Quinn (front row) are joined by coordinating personnel Officer David Saylors, Lt. Mike Wilson, Detective Brandon Carter and Chief Jason Parker at Tuesday's meeting (click image for a larger version)

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Chief Parker also recognized the department's Employee of the Month for March, Detective Brandon Carter.  Detective Carter was nominated by his peers and selected by the DPD Command Staff for his work in clearing several burglary cases and arresting two suspects in the cases. 

Below: Detective Brandon Carter and Chief Jason Parker (click image to see a larger version)

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DPD to Participate In Drug Take Back Day on Saturday

As part of a national effort to combat the abuse of prescription drugs, the Dalton Police Department will partner with a Dalton-area pharmacy to participate in the US Drug Enforcement Agency’s Drug Take Back Day on April 30th.  The event will give citizens a chance to dispose of any out of date or unused prescription medications in a safe way. 

Valu-Rite Pharmacy at 1006 Professional Boulevard in Dalton will be taking back any expired or unused medications on Saturday, April 30th from 10 am until 2 pm and disposing of them. 

Unused prescription medications often sit in medicine cabinets where they can fall into the hands of kids or other people with access to the home.  Rather than leaving potentially dangerous prescription drugs in a medicine cabinet or throwing them out, this event provides a safe way to get rid of medications that assures they won’t be abused.

Saturday’s event will be the second time that the US Drug Enforcement Administration will host a Drug Take Back Day.  The first was held on September 25, 2010 with nearly 3,000 state and local law enforcement agencies participating.  More than 121 tons of pills were collected and disposed of.

For more information on Drug Take Back Day, visit www.dea.gov

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Crime Scene Investigation in Dalton

The members of the DPD's Citizens' Police Academy got an up-close look at CSI: Dalton on Tuesday night, and it wasn't quite what they've seen on TV.

Detective Mack Flood, the DPD's crime scene investigator, addressed the class at Tuesday night's meeting.  Flood explained the procedures he follows to secure crime scenes and also how evidence is collected at the scene.  Flood explained how everything from DNA to footprints or tire tracks can help crack a case, so everything has to be processed carefully. 

When officers arrive at crime scenes, they secure the scene and leave things as undisturbed as possible, keeping an accurate log of everyone who comes into or goes out of the crime scene.  Detective Flood explained to the group that when he arrives, he starts taking pictures of the entire scene.  Evidence is collected and logged.  Footprints or tire tracks can be casted so they'll be preserved.  Any fingerprints located are also preserved.  The process of working with a crime scene can be long and exhaustive.

Flood also showed participants pictures from various crime scenes from old cases, explaining how he and other investigators examined evidence to determine what happened in each case.  Flood also showed pictures from his training at the University of Tennessee's Forensic Anthropology Center, better known as the "Body Farm", one of the top forensic academies in the country.  At the "Body Farm", people who have donated their bodies are buried in different ways so investigators can study how different conditions affect decomposition.  Investigators are trained how to recover bodies when they're found in the field in order to preserve evidence.

Flood also took the group through the department's Crime Scene Unit vehicle, showing some of the different tools he and the department's other investigators use to collect evidence and process scenes.

Below: DPD Detective Mack Flood takes Citizens' Police Academy participants through the department's Crime Scene Unit (click images to see a larger version)

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Dalton State College Students to Follow Up On Surveys

The 2011 Dalton Police Department Citizen Survey was mailed out to citizens earlier this month.  Two days remain until the deadline to mail the forms back, but the department is already attempting to increase the number of respondents so that the results will be more representative of the community.  In the coming days, research students from Dalton State College will be visiting and following up in person with about 25% of the citizens who were included in the original survey sample but have not yet returned their forms.

The Citizen Survey is one of the exercises the department performs to identify issues within the community and the agency itself which need to be addressed in the upcoming Strategic Plan.  The department also performs an employee survey.  Upon completion of those surveys, the department conducts a review of both the citizen and employee surveys and the previous Strategic Plan by committees of agency employees and Dalton citizens. 

This is the first time the police department has worked with Dalton State College to perform the survey.  In the past, the DPD has performed the Citizen Survey by sending questionnaires to members of different civic organizations or other groups which have had contact with the department.  However, these surveys have not been random or scientifically representative samples of the population.  This year, the department is working with research students in Dalton State’s Criminal Justice program to achieve a more scientific survey of the community.  Students and faculty from Dalton State have helped formulate some of the survey’s questions, and they’ll also work on data analysis when the survey is returned.  The students are also visiting some members of the survey sample to perform the survey in person in order to assure the department will get a large enough sample size to draw scientific results.

To achieve a random and representative sample of the population, the police department has used its new records management software to select a random sample of 1,000 citizens who have had contact with the department in the past year, proportional to the demographic makeup of Dalton.  After eliminating minors, the sample group was set.  Approximately 250 people who have not yet returned their forms have been randomly selected for follow-up visits from Dalton State students.

If you have received a survey form and have not yet returned it, there’s still time to do so.

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First Public Safety Scholarships Awarded

In the culmination of more than three years’ worth of fund raising and planning, the first City of Dalton Public Safety Scholarships were awarded this afternoon by the Dalton State College Foundation.

Hunter Key and Brooke Satterfield, the first two recipients of the scholarship award, were recognized in a ceremony at Dalton State College’s Goodroe Auditorium in Gignilliat Memorial Hall.  Hunter Key is the son of Dalton Police Lieutenant Mike Key.  Brooke Satterfield is the daughter of Dalton Fire Chief Bruce Satterfield.

The City of Dalton Public Safety Scholarship is part of the Dalton State College Foundation’s scholarship program, an annual offering of scholarship awards recognizing academic achievement and financial need for students at Dalton State College.  The scholarship benefits dependents of Dalton Police or Fire employees, or the dependents of retired DPD and DFD employees.  A six-member committee (three each from the Fire Department and the Police Department) determined the selection criteria for the scholarship, but the responsibility of choosing the recipients each year rests solely with the Dalton State College Foundation. The DSC Foundation awards more than $150,000 in scholarships every year.

Fund raising for the City of Dalton Public Safety Scholarship Endowment began in the summer of 2008 with the first of three annual fundraiser dinners at the Dalton Depot Restaurant.  It was Dalton Depot owner TJ Kaikobad who first approached police and fire officials with the idea of creating a scholarship, and his efforts were instrumental in the creation of the endowment. Kaikobad was recognized for his efforts in a ceremony at a meeting of the Dalton Public Safety Commission in February. The police department and fire department also held a fundraiser golf tournament in September 2009.

The Dalton Police Department and Dalton Fire Department sincerely thank everyone who gave their time, their money, or supported the effort to create this scholarship endowment and made today’s awards possible.

Below: Hunter Key (center photo) and Brooke Satterfield (right photo) stand with DPD Chief Jason Parker and DFD Chief Bruce Satterfield and members of the Public Safety Scholarship Committee at a ceremony at Dalton State College Friday (click images to see a larger version)

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DPD Citizens’ Police Academy Participants Go To Jail

The members of the Dalton Police Department's Citizens' Police Academy went to jail on Tuesday night.  Fortunately for them, however, they weren't in handcuffs.

Tuesday night's session focused on what happens to people after they're arrested by the Dalton Police Department or other law enforcement agencies.  First, the class heard from Conasauga Circuit District Attorney Kermit McManus, who explained to the group how his office investigates cases and prosecutes offenders after their arrest.  He explained the process by which offenders reach plea agreements, if such an arrangement is agreeable to both the arrestee and the district attorney's office.  He also explained how he and his assistants prosecute cases at trial.  When it comes to the punishment phase, he explained not just how judges sentence offenders, but also some alternative methods of punishment such as probation or the Drug Court Program, which focuses on rehabilitating drug offenders rather than simply locking them away.

After McManus' presentation, the group traveled to the Whitfield County Jail.  Sheriff's Lieutenant Wayne Saylors gave the group a tour of the Sheriff's Office, as well as the jail itself.  Academy participants got an up-close look at the jail's booking area, holding cells, as well as the cell blocks themselves.  Participants were taken up into one of the control towers overlooking four cell block pods.  Saylors also explained the typical day in the life of a prisoner at the jail.

Below: Distict Attorney Kermit McManus speaks to the Citizens' Academy, WCSO Lt. Wayne Saylors leads the group through the jail's visiting area, the booking area, and a cell block control tower (click image to see a larger version)

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DPD Seeks Drug Court Absconders

The Dalton Police Department is asking for the public’s help in locating three people who have absconded from the Drug Court Program, which is a condition of their probation on drug arrests. 

Amber Lambertus, 21, of 609 Thornton Avenue in Dalton stopped attending required program meetings on March 25, 2010.  Shanda McCartney, 26, of 2966 Davis Drive in Rocky Face stopped attending meetings on September 9, 2010.  Dusty Harrison, 31, of 3515 Indian Drive in Dalton has been absent from the program since February 8, 2011.  Arrest warrants have been issued for all four individuals for absconding from the program. Pictures of all three individuals are included below.

According to the program’s website, the Conasauga Judicial Circuit’s Drug Court Program began in February, 2002 and provides the opportunity for drug treatment under the supervision of the Conasauga Circuit Superior Court. The purpose of the program is to reduce repeat drug-related offenses by creating the opportunity for recovery from chemical addiction. Candidates for the program enter a guilty plea to their current charges and receive a probation sentence, part of which is served in attending and successfully completing the Program. Participants who are eligible for “first offender” status and successfully complete the probated sentence will not have a felony conviction on their record.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Amber Lambertus, Shanda Lee McCartney, or Dusty Harrison is asked to contact Detective Sam Eaton with the Dalton Police Department at 706-278-9085, extension 158.

Below (from left): Amber Lambertus, Shanda McCartney, and Dusty Harrison are all wanted on warrants for absconding from the Drug Court Program (click image to see a larger version)

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