Posts on Jan 1970

Join Us For the Community Night Out on Monday!

The Dalton Police Department will host a Community Night Out public safety fair on Monday, December 5th at the North Georgia Fair Grounds at 500 Legion Drive.  The event will take place from 5:30 pm until 8:00 pm and will feature fun for the whole family. 

This is the fourth year that the department has hosted a community night out fair.  In previous years, the event coincided with the National Night Out in August, but this year the event was moved later in the year. 

The event is free to the public and will feature inflatable play sets and lots of free goodies for the kids.  Kids will also get a chance to get up close looks at police cars, fire trucks, ambulances, the 911 mobile command and a lot of other public safety equipement used by participating agencies.  There will also be plenty of crime prevention, traffic safety and fire safety information on hand for your family’s information.  There will also be free home fingerprint kits for kids sponsored by Allstate and free gun locks. 

This is a great opportunity to meet some of the law enforcement, fire, and emergency services personnel who serve your community.  Officers from the Dalton Police Department, Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office, Tunnel Hill Police Department and Georgia State Patrol along with firefighters from the Dalton and Whitfield County Fire Departments, and personnel from Whitfield County Emergency Services, EMS, and the CERT team will be on hand to meet and greet members of the community.  Representatives from Safe Kids Dalton will be there with information on car seat safety.

If it is raining Monday afternoon, the event will not be held and will be rescheduled for a later date. 

So make your plans to join us on Monday, December 5th


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Winter Weather Driving Tips

Cold weather is returning to northwest Georgia, and this morning snow is even falling across other areas of the state.  With the advent of winter weather comes the possibility that motorists will encounter inclement weather.  With that in mind, the Dalton Police Department reminds you to take care while driving in wintery weather conditions.  Drive with caution to maintain your safety and also the safety of other drivers and pedestrians around you.  Here are some tips:

  • Remove all snow and ice from your entire vehicle prior to starting out, checking lights and mirrors as well.
  • Drive with your headlights on low beam to make yourself more visible to other motorists.
  • When roads are wet or icy, slow down.
  • Leave earlier to allot extra time to reach your destination. Even better, delay your travel altogether if possible.
  • If you encounter snow removal equipment, allow plenty of room for it to operate. 
  • Remember, bridges and overpasses freeze quickly and before any other surfaces.
  • If your tires lose traction, look and steer into the direction you want to go. 
  • Look further ahead in traffic to allow for more reaction time. Actions by drivers ahead of you will alert you of problems you are about to encounter.
  • When braking, apply steady firm pressure. Don’t apply the brakes quickly or accelerate suddenly.
  • Remember, four wheel drive vehicles give you extra traction to get going, but DO NOT help you stop any quicker.

Motorists should keep the following items in their vehicles when traveling in inclement weather, no matter how short a distance they may be traveling.

  • Flashlight/extra batteries
  • Blanket
  • Extra cap and gloves/mittens
  • Rain Gear
  • Small tool kit and booster cables
  • Small bag of kitty litter
  • Bottled water and snack foods/power bars
  • Brightly colored cloth

As always, the Dalton Police Department also reminds all motorists to obey posted speed limits and to buckle up to prevent serious injury accidents.

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DPD Officers Make Arrest in Weekend A/C Theft

Officers from the Dalton Police Department arrested Lisa Renee Skinner, 43, of 1766 Spring Place Smyrna Road in Chatsworth on Saturday afternoon on charges stemming from the theft of an A/C unit from a local business earlier Saturday morning.  Skinner was charged with felony theft by taking and also possession of drug paraphernalia and crossing the guard line with a controlled substance after a crack pipe was discovered on her person at the jail.

The incident happened on Saturday morning just before 8:30 am when officers were dispatched to investigate a call of someone cutting wires outside out of the Tienda Ruiz at 238 Springdale Road.  When officers arrived, they found the business deserted.  When the owner of the business arrived, he reported that one of his outside air conditioner units was missing.  As officers investigated, the Whitfield County 911 center received a call from a woman who identified herself as Lisa Skinner saying that she was worried about getting in trouble for picking up cans.  When dispatchers asked if she knew who had been out at the Tienda Ruiz, the caller said that she had been, but was only picking up cans.  The caller was uncooperative as dispatchers tried to investigate further.

After getting this report, officers met with a witness who drove up to speak with them at the scene.  The witness said that his wife was the first person to see the suspect cutting wires outside of the business, and told him about it.  The witness drove to the scene and saw a white female cutting wires by an outside A/C unit.  The witness reported that when the suspect saw him, she got into a white Ford Ranger pickup truck and fled towards Hamilton Street.  The suspect followed her until she reached Glenwood Avenue and was able to get a partial tag number (BTB 695) which he gave to officers.  Officers ran a check on Lisa Skinner in the department’s records system and found a prior arrest from a traffic stop in which she was driving a white Ford Ranger.  The tag number on that vehicle (BTB 6951) matched the partial tag number provided by the witness. 

Officers put out a BOLO (Be On Lookout) for the suspect’s truck.  Whitfield County deputies reported sighting the truck parked at Salem Baptist Church at 1448 Pleasant Grove Drive.  An A/C unit was in the bed of the truck.  Dalton officers met with the deputies at the church, and had the owner of Tienda Ruiz meet with them to identify the A/C unit.  He was able to confirm that the unit in the truck was the unit missing from his business.  Officers had the truck towed.

After towing the truck, officers met with the witness in the case and showed a photo lineup which included a booking photo of Lisa Skinner.  The witness identified her as the person he saw at the Tienda Ruiz. 

Later, Skinner again called the 911 dispatch center, but disconnected each time that dispatchers attempted to connect her with an officer.  They called back and connected her with an officer who spoke with Skinner.  He arranged to meet with Skinner at a service station.  Skinner agreed to be interviewed by officers at the Police Services Center.  After the interview, Skinner was arrested and taken to the Whitfield County Jail.  At the jail, female booking deputies found a glass pipe concealed on her person which was burned at both ends in a manner consistent with pipes used to smoke crack.  


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DPD Seeks Information in Rifle Theft

UPDATE (12/13/11) An arrest has been in this case with the help of a tip from the public. 

The Dalton Police Department is asking for the public’s help with identifying a suspect who stole a .50 caliber muzzle loader rifle from the Wal-Mart on Shugart Road on November 17th.  The suspect was recorded by the store’s surveillance system and a picture is included below.

The incident occurred just before 7 pm on November 17th.  The suspect walked into the sporting goods section and apparently pried one of the muzzle loader rifles out of a display case.  It wasn’t clear how the suspect managed to get the rifle out of its display.  Store employees discovered the theft a few hours later when they noticed the rifle was missing from its case, and reviewed surveillance footage to find the suspect leaving with the gun.

The stolen rifle is a 41” SS Optima rifle manufactured by Connecticut Valley Arms.  The stock and middle of the rifle is camouflaged and the 26” barrel is stainless steel.  The suspect is a white male who wore a two tone baseball cap with a dark bill.  The suspect wore sunglasses, a dark colored sweater or jacket and lighter colored pants, possibly jeans, with dark shoes.  The suspect had dark hair and wore it in a short pony tail or “rat tail.” 

Below: A surveillance image of the suspect (click image to see a larger version)

Muzzle Loader Suspect

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DPD Makes Arrests After Morning Burglary Call

After getting some valuable assistance from two alert citizens, Dalton Police Department officers and investigators were able to track down and arrest two suspects after a Friday morning burglary.  Michael Rodriguez, 20, of 604 Frazier Drive and Martin Ortega, 23, of 805 Stillwater Drive are both charged with one count each of burglary.

The incident happened this morning shortly after 8 am when two witnesses reported seeing a green Jeep Cherokee drive up to the Abundant Life Baptist Church at 811 J&J Drive.  One of the suspects, later identified as Michael Rodriguez, got out of the car and walked through the woods behind the church into the back yard of a house at 900 Frazier Drive.  Witnesses called 911 as the suspect began to kick the back door in and entered the residence.  As officers responded to the scene, one of the witnesses apparently spooked the suspect who was in the Jeep as they got the vehicle’s tag number, who moved into the driver’s seat and fled the scene.  Officers tracked Rodriguez through the woods, finding where he dumped his gray sweatshirt and burgundy sweat pants.  An officer nearby spotted him walking on a sidewalk wearing shorts and stopped him.  Both witnesses were able to positively identify him as the suspect who kicked in the door.

Investigators then began to search for the Jeep Cherokee.  It was found parked at a nearby apartment complex, but investigators couldn’t find Ortega.  After running the vehicle’s tag, officers were able to get into contact with Ortega by phone.  He agreed to surrender to authorities. 

Officers were able to recover a leaf blower, DVD player, more than 30 DVDs, binoculars, and a speaker which had been taken from the residence.  One of the witnesses saw Rodriguez dump it near the woods as officers arrived.  

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Click It or Ticket Returns on November 14th

Statics show that 55% of all traffic fatalities could be avoided if motorists would just simply buckle up.  In an effort to curb serious injury crashes, the Dalton Police Department will join law enforcement agencies across the country by mobilizing for the Click It or Ticket campaign which begins November 14th and runs through November 27th.  The fourteen day national mobilization of law enforcement includes the Thanksgiving holiday travel period which is traditionally one of the heaviest travel weekends of the year. Click It or Ticket is geared to educate motorists that the proper use of seatbelts saves lives.

The Dalton Police Department's Traffic Enforcement Unit and Patrol Division will be conducting special operations to enforce Georgia’s occupant safety laws during the Thanksgiving Holiday period.  Officers will be using road checks and concentrated patrols as tools to spot motorists violating the safety belt and child restraint laws in an effort to limit the number of serious injury or fatality car crashes. 

This year, extra attention will be given to nighttime seatbelt use.  A recent survey by the department’s Traffic Enforcement Unit showed that seatbelt usage fell from 92% during daylight hours to 80% usage at night.   In 2009, 11,593 passenger vehicle occupants died in motor vehicle crashes nationwide between the nighttime hours of 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nearly two-thirds (62%) of those who died were not wearing their seatbelts at the time of the crashes.

Motorists are reminded that any front seat passenger of any passenger vehicle, including pickup trucks, in operation on highways of Georgia must wear a seatbelt.  Any passenger of a vehicle under 18 years of age must wear a seatbelt no matter where they are seated in the vehicle, and all children under the age of 8 years must be placed in an approved Child Safety Restraint.  Motorists should also be aware that not wearing a seatbelt correctly with the shoulder belt across the chest will not give the passenger any protection if the vehicle that they are an occupant of is involved in a crash.

As always, the Dalton Police Department is asking all motorists to, Slow Down, Buckle Up, and Drive Sober to make this a safe Thanksgiving Holiday.



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DPD Seeks Suspect in Theft of Framed Money

Thieves will sometimes claim that they’ve been framed.  In this case, though, it’s not the crook, it’s the stolen money that was framed.  The Dalton Police Department is looking for help from the public with identifying a suspect who stole a framed display with $200 in cash off of the wall of a local restaurant.

The incident happened shortly before 11 am at Las Palmas Mexican Restaurant at 1331 West Walnut Avenue.  As employees were getting ready to open the restaurant for business, a white male came into the building and took a framed display off of the wall behind the cash register and fled the scene.  The framed display contained two $100 bills, each signed with notes wishing the owners of the restaurant good luck.  One bill was inscribed with a note reading, “From your friend, Gus….good luck.” The other bill was inscribed, “Good luck – Edward Santos.”

The suspect is described as a white male in his mid-30’s, with a goatee. The suspect is approximately 6’01” tall, with a slim build.  He wore glasses, a brown ball cap, khaki pants, and a gray hoodie sweatshirt. The suspect was recorded on the restaurant’s surveillance system, but technical difficulties with the system are preventing the retrieval of his picture.  Investigators hope to have a picture of the suspect to send to post to the DPD Blog in the next few days.

Anyone with information on this crime or anyone who may have seen these two $100 bills is asked to please contact Officer John Edwards with the Dalton Police Department at 706-278-9085, extension 152.


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Hamilton Street Section Closing Next Week

The northbound lanes of Hamilton Street immediately in front of Peacock Alley will be closed during the week of November 14th from approximately 8 am until approximately 5 pm.  The closure is to accomodate an environmental company which will be clearing debris from the site of the October 9th fire.  The southbound lanes will remain open.

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DPD Traffic Unit Earns National Recognition

The Dalton Police Department was recognized last week by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) for outstanding effort towards traffic enforcement and education.  The department finished third nationally in the IACP’s annual National Law Enforcement Challenge which is “designed to strengthen and support traffic enforcement nationwide.”

The IACP National Challenge judges traffic enforcement and education efforts of police agencies in three different categories: occupant protection, impaired driving, and speed enforcement.  Agencies submit documentation of their efforts towards education and public information, officer training, and enforcement efforts in these areas for judging. 

The award winners were announced at last week’s annual IACP conference in Chicago.  The DPD finished third in its classification (municipal agency, 71-100 officers).  The Gainesville (GA) Police Department finished first and the Harrisburg (VA) Police Department finished second.

“The IACP’s National Challenge program is about the total efforts of the agency, including education and safety campaigns,” said Chief Jason Parker after accepting the award on behalf of the department. “We believe that Dalton’s citizens value safe, free-flowing traffic, and our officers work hard toward that—they deserve the credit for this award.”

Below: Officers from the Dalton Police Department's Traffic Unit pose with the IACP National Challenge Award (from left: Sergeant Shaun Scott, Officer Woody Cantrell, and Officer Steve Zahn)


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Officers Visit Westwood to Teach Drug Awareness

Officers from the Dalton Police Department visited fifth graders at Westwood Elementary to discuss the dangers of drug use on Wednesday morning.

Officer Brian Shirley and Officer John Edwards talked to the kids about different types of drugs and why they're dangerous.  The officers didn't just talk about so-called "street drugs", but also prescription drugs.  It's important to never take a prescription pill that wasn't prescribed for you.  The officers also talked about peer pressure and the different ways to get out of different situations where drugs may be used.

Below: Officers Brian Shirley and John Edwards meet with kids at Westwood Elementary (click images to see a larger version)

Drug Awareness 1 Drug Awareness 2

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