Posts on Jan 1970

New Child Restraint Law Goes Into Effect July 1st

Recently, Governor Nathan Deal signed into law Senate Bill 88 requiring children to be properly restrained in a child safety restraint device until they are 8 years of age.  The new law which goes into effect July 1, 2011 will bring Georgia’s law into line with the age recommendations of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

According to a recent press release from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta reported that during the last four years 95 percent of the children that they treated between the ages 6 and 8 injured in motor vehicle crashes were not properly restrained. In 2008, over 14,000 children in Georgia between the ages of 6 and 8 were passengers of a motor vehicle which was involved in a crash. Of those children, more than 1,700 were injured.  Statistics show proper use of child restraint systems will reduce the number of children injured in a motor vehicle crashes by as much as 59 percent.

The signing of the new law comes right before the beginning of the first national mobilization of law enforcement agencies across the country for 2011.  "Click it or Ticket" begins May 23rd and runs through June 5th.  Dalton Police Department will be joining other agencies around the nation in stepping up their efforts in enforcing safety belt laws and child restraint laws in order to save lives.  The department’s Traffic Enforcement Unit and patrol division will be conducting saturated patrols and road checks during the mobilization to ensure that all passengers are properly restrained.   

As always, if anyone has any questions about Georgia’s safety belt laws or needs further information about the new child restraint law that goes into effect July 1, 2011 they can reach the department’s Traffic Enforcement Unit at 706-278-9085, ext 124.  

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National Police Week

It's National Police Week, and the City of Dalton marked the occasion with a mayoral proclamation honoring law enforcement officers everywhere at Monday night's meeting of the Dalton City Council.

National Police Week began in 1962 when President John F. Kennedy declared May 15th to be National Peace Officers' Memorial Day, and the week in which the 15th falls to be a week honoring police officers.  This year, National Police Week is Sunday, May 15th through Saturday, May 21st. 

At Monday night's City Council meeting, DPD Public Relations Specialist Bruce Frazier read the "Spartan Oath" to open the ceremony marking Police Week.  The oath, which first appeared in Richard Lee's book "Gates of Fire", references an actual shield, but it is also reflective of a modern police officer's attitude towards his or her own oath of service, and his or her own shield, the badge.  It reads:

"This is my Shield. I bear it before me in battle, but it is not my own.  It protects my brother on my left, it protects my city.  I will never let my brother out of its shadow, nor my city from its shelter.  I will die with my shield before me, facing the enemy."

Then, Frazier read the names of the ten law enforcement officers from Georgia or the Dalton area who died in the line of duty since last May.  Those honored are: Deputy Sheriff Brian Lamar Mahaffey, Rockdale County Sheriff's Office, May 8, 2010; Police Officer James M. Johnson, Jr., Carrollton Police Department, May 26, 2010; Deputy Sheriff Richard Lyn Daniels, Twiggs County Sheriff's Office, June 22, 2010, Chief Deputy Kevin Kell Roberts, Greene County Sheriff's Office, November 14, 2010; Deputy Sheriff Rayford Alexander Roberts, Haralson County Sheriff's Office, December 8, 2010; Lieutenant Thomas Clifford Rouse, Dougherty County Police Department, December 23, 2010; Corporal Chadwick Thomas LeCroy, Georgia State Patrol, December 27, 2010; Deputy Sheriff Willie Amos Cammon, Heard County Sheriff's Office, March 3rd 2011; Senior Police Officer Elmer "Buddy" Christian, Athens-Clarke County Police Department, March 22, 2011; and Sergeant James Timothy Chapin, Chattanooga (TN) Police Department, April 2nd, 2011.

Officers from the Dalton Police Department, including members of the DPD Honor Guard, then joined Mayor David Pennington and Chief Jason Parker at the front of the Council Chamber for the reading of a proclamation marking National Police Week in Dalton.  The proclamation reads:

Whereas, the President of the United States has designated May 15th as Peace Officers' Memorial Day, and the week in which May 15th falls as National Police Week; and

Whereas, the members of the law enforcement agency of Dalton play an essential role in safeguarding the rights and freedoms of our community; and

Whereas, it is important that all citizens know and understand the duties, responsibilities, hazards, and sacrifices of their law enforcement agency, and that members of our law enforcement agency recognize their duty to serve the people by safeguarding life and property, by protecting them against violence and disorder, and by protecting the innocent against deception and the weak against oppression; and

Whereas, the men and women of the law enforcement agency of the Dalton Police Department unceasingly provide a vital public service.

Now, Therefore Be It Resolved, I, David Pennington, Mayor of the City of Dalton, Georgia hereby call upon all citizens of our community and upon all patriotic, civic, and educational organizations to observe the week of May 15-21, 2011 as "Police Week" and to join in commemorating law enforcement officers, past and present, who, by their faithful and loyal devotion to their responsibilities, have rendered a dedicated service to their communities and, in so doing, have established for themselves an enviable and enduring reputation for preserving the rights and security of all citizens.

Below: Dalton Police officers join Mayor David Pennington and Chief Jason Parker for the reading of a proclamation at Monday's meeting of the Dalton City Council (click images to see a larger version)

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Congratulations, Steve!

The Dalton Police Department said goodbye to a good friend on Thursday afternoon as longtime employee Steve Peden hung up his duty belt for the last time.  Officer Peden retired Thursday after more than 26 years of service to the Dalton Police Department.

Assistant Chief Truman Whitfield remembered Officer Peden as a comrade that he could "always depend on", no matter what was required.  Peden, who had already traded in his uniform for a pair of coveralls and plaid button down shirt, was honored in a brief ceremony Thursday afternoon at the Dalton Police Services Center. In addition to his friends and fellow police officers, several other DPD retirees attended to honor Officer Peden.   

In addition to some parting gifts in honor of his retirement, Officer Peden was also honored for having the cleanest work area after the department's annual Spring Cleaning.  Of course, he might have had a bit of an unfair advantage, considering that he'd already cleaned out his desk.

The Dalton Police Department wishes you well in retirement, Steve.  Good luck, and come back to see us!

Below: Officer Steve Peden (click image to see a larger version), and images from the retirement ceremony Thursday at the Police Service Center

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DPD Investigates Vehicle Theft

The Dalton Police Department is investigating the theft of a car last week which was later found wrecked in Walker County. 

The incident happened after 2:00 pm on May 3rd at the Favorite Market at 2000 Chattanooga Road.  The victim told officers that he parked his car and went inside to buy a drink, and when he came back out, his car was gone.  He told officers that he had a bad habit of leaving his keys inside the car when he was only going to be gone for a short period of time. 

The victim’s car, a white four door 2009 Nissan Sentra, was found wrecked the next day just across the Walker County line by the Georgia State Patrol.  The car was about 100-150 feet down an embankment, and the car’s radiator was missing.  There was also damage from being rolled off the embankment, but there was no indication anyone was inside the car when it went down the hill. 

Anyone with any information on this incident is asked to please contact Detective Ricky Long with the Dalton Police Department at 706-278-9085, extension 168. 

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DPD Seeks Information on Vehicle Arson

The Dalton Police Department is asking for help from the public with identifying two men who reportedly set a car on fire in the early morning hours of April 10th.  The fire severely damaged the 1997 silver Ford Taurus, and also caused some damage to the corner of the victim’s residence. 

The incident happened at approximately 3:30 am at 1218 Riverbend Road.  A witness who was inside the residence at the time of the incident reported seeing two males wearing all black and also possibly masks pouring something onto the car and then running away.  The witness reported seeing the suspects running away to the north, towards Lavert Drive in front of a neighboring Shaw plant.  When they saw the car on fire, the victims ran outside, and then across the street for safety.  A search of the Lavert Drive area by responding DPD officers provided no clues. 

Investigators are hoping that someone from the community can help identify suspects in this case.  Anyone with information on this incident is asked to please contact Detective Ricky Long with the Dalton Police Department at 706-278-9085, extension 168.

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DPD, WCSO Participate in Law Enforcement Torch Run

Officers from the Dalton Police Department and deputies from the Whitfield County Sheriff's Office ran nearly nine miles together today to raise money for Special Olympics Georgia.  The annual Law Enforcement Torch Run took place in hot, humid conditions under a sunny sky.

The route took officers from the old jail on Waugh Street through a group of cheering students at City Park Elementary School and down Thornton Avenue to Bryman's Plaza.  From there, the officers boarded a bus to ride down to the South Bypass where they ran down Highway 41 to greet the kids at Valley Point Elementary School.  After taking a break to greet the students, the run continued down to the Gordon County line on Highway 41.  All told, the run covered a distance just shy of nine miles.

To run in the race, the officers had to raise money to support Special Olympics Georgia.  This year, the Dalton Police Department raised nearly $1,500 in support of the effort.  The statewide Law Enforcement Torch Run, comprised of runs across Georgia just like the Whitfield County event, is the largest annual fundraiser for Special Olympics Georgia, accounting for more than a third of the organization's budget.

"The Law Enforcement Torch Run for the Special Olympics is one of the best ways that police officers and the community can show our support for these brave athletes," said Dalton Police Chief Jason Parker, who took part in the opening ceremonies of Whitfield County's Special Olympics two weeks ago. "It's a great opportunity to join with our colleagues at the Sheriff's Office for a good cause. When we see the joy and competitive spirit in the athletes' faces, it really feels like we are making a difference."

To learn more about Special Olympics Georgia and also to find out how you can make a donation, click here.

Below: Sheriff Scott Chitwood and Chief Jason Parker lead law enforcement personnel from the Dalton Police Department and the Whitfield County Sheriff's Office on the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run.

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19th Citizens’ Academy Class Graduates

 
The Dalton Police Department's 19th Citizens' Police Academy wrapped up Tuesday night with a graduation banquet at Ryman Hall in Dalton.

The graduates of the 10-week, 30-hour class enjoyed a meal catered by The Filling Station restaurant.  After dinner, they were greeted with a short speech by Chief Jason Parker, who noted that as graduates of the program, they joined a group that includes many of Dalton's civic and business leaders.  After Chief Parker's presentation, each participant was called by Lt. Mike Wilson, program coordinator, to walk across the stage and receive their diplomas.

Below: Scenes from Tuesday night's graduation banquet (click image to see a larger version)

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