Posts on Jan 1970

Happy New Year!

Saturday is New Year’s Eve, which means celebrations and parties around the Dalton area.  The Dalton Police Department reminds everyone to use caution to have a safe and happy celebration.

The state of Georgia saw an 11% decrease in impaired driving related fatalities during 2010, but that is not slowing down law enforcement agencies across the state in targeting drivers that drive impaired.  The Dalton Police Department will be doing our part as well by using tools such as road checks and saturated patrols on New Year’s Eve to target impaired drivers. 

This year’s slogan is “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” during Operation Zero Tolerance which will end January 1, 2012.

Here are some tips to keep your New Year's celebration safe:

If you plan to host a New Year’s Eve party:

  • Make sure your guests have designated sober drivers.
  • Never serve alcohol to guests under 21-years-of-age.
  • Serve plenty of food…And include soft drinks, juice, and water.
  • 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 New Year’s Eve party, here are some tips to ensure that you arrive home safely:

  • 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 would like to remind motorists of its Zero-Tolerance policy on impaired driving, and ask the help of all motorists to make this a safe New Year on the roadways by, Buckling Up, Slowing Down and Driving Sober.  

The Dalton Police Department gets complaints every year of fireworks and celebratory gunfire as the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve.  It’s illegal to use most fireworks in Georgia, and it’s illegal to discharge a firearm within the city limits of Dalton.  These laws will be enforced.  Remember, even if you’re firing a gun into the air in celebration, those bullets will come down somewhere.

The Dalton Police Department reminds you to stay alert and stay safe as you celebrate this weekend.  And, we wish everyone a Happy New Year!


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DPD Makes Arrest in String of Commercial Burglaries

A tip from an alert citizen Monday night led to an arrest for prowling, an arrest that in turn has led to charges in connection with at least nine commercial burglaries in Dalton and the recovery of thousands of dollars’ worth of stolen property.  DPD investigators have charged Loyal Franklin Elam III, 47, of 807 West Crawford Street with eight counts of burglary, six counts of theft by taking, and one count of loitering/prowling in relation to at least nine incidents dating back to November 2010.  Further charges are possible.  Some recovered property has been returned to owners, but investigators are asking for help identifying the owners of still more recovered items. 

Elam was arrested on Monday night, December 26th when an employee of Polystar at 408 Brook Hollow Drive spotted his gray flat bed Ford truck pulling behind an abandoned residence on Callahan Road.  The employee recognized the vehicle from surveillance video of two burglaries that occurred at Polystar in the past month, including one in the early morning hours of December 26th.  A Whitfield County Sheriff’s Deputy stopped Elam as he was trying to pull out from behind the residence.  Dalton officers heard the call from dispatch and recognized the vehicle description from reports of the burglaries and went to the scene.  Elam was arrested for prowling.

Dalton investigators interviewed Elam and obtained search warrants for his residence.  During that search, numerous power tools, computers, and pieces of computing equipment were identified as stolen in recent commercial burglaries and were seized.  Investigators have been able to return many items to their rightful owners, with at least $10,000 worth of returned property.

Elam is charged in connection with nine burglaries which have occurred mostly in the past month and mostly in the area of Callahan Road.  Thermal Systems at 464 Callahan Road was burglarized three times, once in November 2010, once in November 2011, and again December 15th.  In those incidents, computer equipment, thermal imaging tools and other items were taken, totaling more than $20,000 worth of stolen property.  Polystar at 408 Brook Hollow Drive was burglarized twice, December 10th and December 26th with various tools worth more than $2,000 stolen.  Fiber Tech at 432 Callahan Road was burglarized Sunday morning, December 25th, with more than $4,500 worth of computer equipment and tools stolen.   Whitfield Memorial Gardens at 710 West Cuyler Street was burglarized December 1st, with more than $1,000 worth of lawn equipment taken.  Barrett Carpet Mills at 2216 Abutment Road was burglarized December 5th with computer equipment worth more than $5,000 taken.  Custom Textile at 213 Boring Drive was burglarized August 7th with tools and equipment worth more than $2,000 taken.

Dalton Police investigators are still trying to return recovered items to their rightful owners.  Investigators ask anyone that has had a commercial burglary in the past two years or anyone with further information on Loyal Franklin Elam, III to please contact either Detective Ricky Long at 706-278-9085, extension 168 or Detective John Helton at 706-278-9085, extension 143.  

Below: Loyal Franklin Elam, III

Elam Mug

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Applications Being Accepted for Citizens’ Police Academy

The Dalton Police Department’s 20th Citizens’ Police Academy starts on February 28th, 2012, and applications are now being accepted.

The Citizens’ Academy will meet on Tuesdays from 6:00 to 9:00 for 10 weeks at the Dalton Police Services Center.  Participants get more than just classroom instruction.  The academy also provides each participant a chance to ride along with a patrol officer on his or her shift, and gives participants the chance to see and use some of the equipment used by officers on a daily basis, including firearms.

Applicants must be at least 21 years old and a U.S. citizen.  Background checks will be performed on all applicants.  Please note that completion of the course does not certify a participant as a police officer.  To apply, simply pick up an application form at the Police Services Center at 301 Jones Street.  You can also apply online by clicking here. You can also call Sergeant Barry Batchelor at 706-278-9085, extension 113 to have an application mailed to you, or to find the answers to any other questions.  


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Annual Awards Handed Out at Department Dinner

The Dalton Police Department recently held its annual Holiday Dinner for employees and their families and started a new tradition with the presentation of the department’s annual awards.  In all, twelve employees of the agency were honored on December 9th.

In the past, awards for the employees of the year have been handed out at a ceremony in the summer, but that practice has now been moved to the end of the year banquet.  In addition to the traditional awards, several new awards were added. 

“We know that department members are very creative and resourceful,” said Chief Parker of the new awards created this year.  “This is a way to recognize that and to encourage those traits even more.  Police officers enter this profession because of what’s in their heart, and I am always amazed at what our employees can achieve just knowing that their efforts are supported and appreciated.”

Candidates for the Non-Sworn Employee of the Year Award are nominated and voted on by the agency’s members, and this year the voting ended in a tie.  Records technician Stephany Cress was honored as the runner-up after a runoff election, while Patrol Division Secretary Alethea Brown was named the 2011 Non-Sworn Employee of the Year. 

The Sworn Officer of the Year Award is also selected by nomination and voting by the agency’s members. This year, the award went to Sergeant Barry Batchelor, in part for his efforts to improve his level of physical fitness in line with the department’s fitness standard.  Batchelor completed his first-ever 5K race a week before the award was handed out.

The new awards created this year include the Commander’s Awards, the Innovation in Police Service Awards, and the Leadership Excellence Award.

The four Commander’s Awards are given by the commanding officers of each of the department’s three divisions.  The Patrol Division’s award went to Officer Matthew White.  The Criminal Investigations Division award went to Detective Brandon Carter.  The Support Services Division’s award went to Larry McAtee.  And a Commander’s Award for Administration went to Administration Secretary Faye Pennington.

The Leadership Excellence Award is presented to a supervisor in the agency who displays the ability to manage people and resources towards achieving agency goals.  The supervisor must display technical proficiency and the highest quality of human relations skills in working with fellow officers and the public.  Sergeant Chip Whitfield, operations supervisor for the Criminal Investigations Divison, was honored with the award for his role in increasing case clearances and managing increased case loads for his detectives.

Three honorees were named for the Innovation in Police Service Award.  Craig Engleman, the department’s crime analyst, was honored for his role in filtering crime information and trends into intelligence that can be used by patrol officers and investigators. Detectives Jason Bishop and Ricky Long were also honored for their role in change the way the city works with “cash for gold” businesses, bringing them into a similar reporting system as that used by pawn brokers to report pawned property.  Through their efforts, cases have been solved, arrests have been made, and property has been recovered, and it is now tougher for criminals to sell stolen jewelry in Dalton. 

Assistant Chief Truman Whitfield was presented a special recognition award in recognition for his tireless efforts in the department’s administration.  When presenting the award, Chief Parker said, “the department could not be successful without his tireless efforts.”

Below: Some DPD honorees pose with their awards (front row from L to R: Detective Brandon Carter, Officer Matthew White; back row from L to R: Larry McAtee, Jason Bishop, Sgt. Chip Whitfield, Stephany Cress, Sgt. Barry Batchelor, Faye Pennington)

Awards Dinner

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Crime Clearances Up in November

At Tuesday morning’s meeting of the Dalton Public Safety Commission, Dalton Police Chief Jason Parker provided the monthly statistics report for November 2011. Chief Parker reported a reduction of some crime types during the month, and a higher clearance rate for both violent crimes and property crimes for the 2011 calendar year. 

Unlike the past few years, “Part I” crimes have climbed 5% higher year-to-date in 2011 when compared to the first eleven months of 2010, but the rate of “Part I” crimes in November 2011 was 7% lower compared to November 2010.  “Part I” crimes include homicide, rape, robbery, burglary, larceny, aggravated assault, motor vehicle theft, and arson. Chief Parker credited the agency’s increased emphasis on home and business security for the decreases, as November and December typically see the highest burglary rates of the year.

Additionally, the clearance rates for both violent crimes and property crimes have increased dramatically in 2011 compared to 2010.  The year-to-date clearance rate for violent crimes is up to 69%, an increase from 41% over the first eleven months of 2010.  The clearance rate for property crimes year-to-date is at 40%, up from 26% in 2010.

Traffic statistics presented by Chief Parker indicated that November 2011 saw the highest incidence of alcohol-related crashes, with five DUI-related crashes resulting in one injury.  There were 14 DUI arrests in November 2011, two more than the same month in 2010.  There were 107 total crashes in November, with 28 injuries.  None of the injuries were considered serious.  Walnut Avenue remained the most dangerous road in town, with 23 crashes accounting for 21% of crashes in the city.  Glenwood Avenue had 13 crashes, while Chattanooga Road had 10 crashes.  13 crashes (12% of total crashes) in the city involved distracted or inattentive driving as a contributing factor, a three percent decrease from October 2011.

The police department experienced a 15% increase in the number of calls for service in November compared to the same month in 2010.  For the year, the department is experiencing a 3% increase in service calls compared to last year.

Chief Parker also discussed several recent cases with the Public Safety Commission.  In addition to several cases from November, Chief Parker also updated the commission on the unfounded report of an abducted child from December 8th.  On that day, a juvenile girl reported seeing a young boy taken by a man or men in a gold or brown in color car or SUV.  Responding officers from the Dalton Police, Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office, Whitfield County Emergency Management Agency, GBI, Georgia State Patrol, and State Probation canvassed the neighborhood and worked with the local school system to try to confirm the report.  After confirming the whereabouts of all children with the school system, officers spent the rest of the day trying to find a report of a missing child.  The investigation found that the initial report was unfounded, but investigators are still asking anyone who may have picked up a friend or family member that morning in the area of Matilda Street to contact the department.  Chief Parker told commissioners that he was pleased with the way all agencies involved, including the Dalton Public Schools, were able to work together in a coordinated effort to ensure that children were safe.

Discussing the Dalton Fire Department’s monthly report to the commission, Chief Bruce Satterfield reported that the department completed its 5 month recruit training school with five new Dalton firefighters graduating from an original class of six candidates.  The class wrapped up in November and a graduation ceremony was held on December 8th at City Hall.  Chief Satterfield reported a steep drop in monetary losses due to fire in November 2011 compared to November 2010.  The department answered 226 calls for service in November.  Only one civilian injury resulted from fires in November, with a citizen suffering a burn on an arm during a kitchen fire.  The department completed 2,477 training hours during November and hosted 30 students and 60 instructors during Georgia Smoke Diver Class #44 at the department’s training ground.

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Suspect in Custody After Morning Shooting

The Dalton Police Department arrested 24 year old Andrew Paul Desimone of 1033 Holly Grove Drive on a charge of aggravated assault with a firearm after a shooting early Sunday morning on the top floor of the parking deck at Hamilton Medical Center.  The victim, 27 year old Kevin Laray Brafford, is in stable condition in intensive care at the hospital. 

The incident happened at approximately 5:00 am when Desimone, who had been a patient at the hospital, left his hospital room without being released.  Hamilton Medical Center Public Safety began looking for him.  Brafford, who was visiting a relative who was a patient at the hospital, went out to the parking deck, apparently to smoke a cigarette.  Apparently, Bradford asked Desimone if he had a lighter, and Desimone pulled out a gun from his car and shot him in the abdomen.  Desimone then got in his car and drove home.  Brafford managed to make it to a stairwell before collapsing, where he was found shortly thereafter by hospital public safety officers looking for Desimone.  He was immediately taken into the emergency room. 

Once he arrived home, Desimone went inside and left the gun on a counter in the kitchen.  911 dispatchers got a call from a citizen with information about his whereabouts, and officers from the Dalton Police Department went to the home and were able to take him into custody without incident.

This incident remains under investigation, and further charges against Desimone are possible.  At this time, investigators believe this was a random incident and that there was no previous connection between Desimone and Brafford.

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DPD Investigates Theft of Truck

The Dalton Police Department is asking for the public’s help with identifying a man who was recorded on surveillance cameras stealing a truck from the contractor’s pickup area of Home Depot on Shugart Road.  The truck was later recovered with tools and other items missing from the vehicle.

The incident happened on December 5th at approximately 12:30 in the afternoon when the victim left his truck parked in the loading area with his keys inside to pick up materials from the Home Depot store.  When he came back outside, his truck was gone.  Surveillance video shows a white male wearing khaki slacks, a dark jacket and a tan or khaki colored baseball cap get into the truck and drive away.  Two pictures from this video are included below.

The stolen truck, a 2006 extended cab GMC Sierra pickup, was recovered on December 13th after a friend of the victim spotted it parked in the lot at the Office Depot at Bry-Man’s Plaza.  The truck was in good condition, but all tools and other items in the truck had apparently been stolen.  The truck also had several beer cans left inside. 

Anyone with information on this incident or the identity of the man in the pictures is asked to contact Detective Jason Bishop at 706-278-9085, extension 214.  

Below: The suspect, pictures just before stealing the truck.

Truck Theft Suspect 2 Truck Theft Suspect 1

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DPD Seeks Kenneth Lee Bradley on Multiple Warrants

The Dalton Police Department is asking for information from the public to help find 55 year old Kenneth Lee Bradley who is wanted on warrants for burglary, theft, and forgery.  Bradley has a listed address of 1103 Dressage Drive in Cohutta, however investigators say that he is no longer living at that location.

On September 19th, officials at City of Refuge on 201 Bryant Avenue reported that a check for $750 donated by Rock Bridge Church had been stolen.  The church makes a monthly donation to the charity by mail, and officials began to worry when the donation from July did not arrive.  After contacting the church to confirm that the donation was made, City of Refuge officials thought that the check may have been lost.  Then they were informed by their bank that the check had been cashed at Jax Liquor Store on Morris Street, endorsed by Kenneth Bradley.  Bradley presented a Georgia ID at the time he cashed the check, and the address information was written on the back of the check but investigators were unable to locate Bradley at that location or at an address that state probation officers had for him.

Bradley is also suspected in a November incident in which multiple checks from North Georgia Boat Repair on 1203 South Thornton Avenue were stolen and written to Kenneth Bradley.  Those checks were cashed at various locations around Dalton.  Owners of the business were contacted by their bank when a check for $575 overdrew their account.  When they checked their books, they discovered that nine checks had been stolen from their bank book, along with a signature stamp.  The book is kept in the front office, and apparently someone stole the checks while the owners were in the back shop area of the business.  $41 in cash was also missing.  Four checks had cleared the bank from the account, all written to and endorsed by Bradley.

Bradley is also suspected in other similar check fraud cases.  A previous booking photo of Bradley is included below.  Anyone with information on Bradley’s whereabouts is asked to please contact Detective Jason Bishop at 706-278-9085, extension 214.  

Below: Kenneth Lee Bradley

Suspect 1

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DPD Makes Arrest in Theft of Rifle From Wal-Mart

On Sunday, December 11th, deputies from the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office served an arrest warrant from the Dalton Police Department on Tim Allen, 40, of 158 Worth Way in Resaca.  Allen is charged with one count of theft by taking related to the November 17th theft of a muzzle loader rifle from the Shugart Road Wal-Mart.  Investigators from the Dalton Police Department were aided by a tip from the public after media reports circulated a surveillance picture of the suspect on November 28th

The incident occurred just before 7 pm on November 17th when a man, identified as Tim Allen, walked into the sporting goods section and apparently pried one of the muzzle loader rifles out of a display case.  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.

After getting a tip from an anonymous citizen, a Dalton Police officer interviewed witnesses and obtained a warrant for Allen’s arrest on December 1st.  Allen was arrested on December 11th.

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DPD Investigates Report of Possible Missing Child

UPDATE: 4:20 PM: Investigators are leaving the scene at Matilda Street.  Investigators spoke to children getting off of the school bus on Matilda Street at approximately 3:45 this afternoon, and nobody reported seeing anything unusual this morning or knowing of any children who may be unaccounted for. Investigators are still asking anyone who may have picked up a friend or family member this morning near Matilda Street driving a gold or brown colored car to contact the dispatch center at 706-370-4900, or by simply dialing 911.

The Dalton Police Department and multiple other agencies investigated an unconfirmed report of a child abduction this morning near Matilda Street in Dalton.  Investigators were unable to confirm the report, and no child has been reported missing in Dalton.

This morning, a juvenile girl reported that she saw a young boy, between the ages of 5 and 7 taken by a man or men in a gold or brown in color car or SUV at approximately 7:30 am.  Responding officers from the Dalton Police Department, Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office, GBI, Georgia State Patrol, and State Probation canvassed the neighborhood and could find nobody missing a child.  Further, officials from the Dalton Public Schools accounted for the whereabouts of all students with at school or out of school with none missing.  Officers and investigators contacted all residents in the area to confirm that no children were missing from the neighborhood.

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