Posts on Jan 1970

Reminder: Move Over, Save a Life!

In July 2003, a Georgia state law took effect designed to protect law enforcement officers, first responders, and also motorists pulled over on the side of the road.  The law, commonly known as the "Move Over Law", requires motorists approaching any law enforcement officers conducting traffic stops to make a lane change at least one lane away from the emergency vehicle when there is more than one lane available and when that change can be made safely.  If they can't make a lane change, the motorist is required to slow down and pass the emergency vehicle at a speed below the posted speed limit.

According to FBI statistics, more officers are killed in traffic crashes (including officers being hit by motor vehicles while working outside their patrol cars) than are killed by gunfire each year.  The "Move Over Law" also applies to other emergency responders such as EMS techicians, firefighters, tow truck operators and maintenance workers.

Officers with the Dalton Police Department are still experiencing a high number of vehicles failing to obey the "Move Over Law" while conducting traffic stops or assisting stranded motorists.  The department remind motorists that under Georgia law the penalty for anyone guilty of violating the Move Over Law includes a fine of up to $500.

Below: Officer Steve Zahn from the DPD Traffic Unit reviews a citation with a motorist

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Investigators Obtain Burglary Warrant for Spence

The Dalton Police Department has obtained a warrant for the arrest of 62-year old Langston Spence of Chattanooga, Tennessee for one count of burglary in connection with the theft of a purse from a hotel room at the Quality Inn in Dalton last week. Now investigators are asking for information from the public about his whereabouts. 

Spence's last known address was 4512 Tricia Drive in Chattanooga.  A photo of Spence is below.  If you have any information about Spence's whereabouts, please contact Detective Chris Tucker at 706-278-9085, extension 165.

Below: Langston Spence

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DPD Seeks Identity of Man in Indecent Exposure Incident

The Dalton Police Department is asking for the public’s help with identifying a man who exposed himself to a female shopper at the Wal-Mart on Shugart Road.  Investigators have a picture of the man entering the store from surveillance video, and that image is included below.

The incident happened January 19th at approximately 5:40 pm.  The female shopper was in the area of the shoe department when the suspect got her attention and exposed himself to her.  The victim told investigators that she was shocked and didn’t know how to react.  The suspect then walked away and met back up with the female with whom he came into the store, and the pair left the store after making a purchase.  The pair then left in a light-colored Ford Focus.

The suspect is a white male with dark hair and a possible slight goatee.  He wore plaid shorts, a gray Georgia Bulldogs T-Shirt, red Georgia Bulldogs hat and sandals.  The woman who came into the store with the suspect wore a blue shirt and blue jeans.  Anyone who knows the identity of the suspect is asked to contact Detective John Helton at 706-278-9085, extension 143.

Below: The suspect is pictured in a red Georgia Bulldog baseball cap entering the store (click image to see a larger version)

Wal Mart Suspect

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DPD Seeks Suspect in Theft From Hotel Room

UPDATE (1/24/12) DPD investigators have identified a suspect in this case and are now asking for information from the public to locate 62-year-old Langston Spence of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The Dalton Police Department is looking for a man who slipped into a Dalton hotel room and stole a woman’s purse with $2,000 cash and credit cards inside.  The suspect was recorded by the hotel’s surveillance system and pictures of him are included with this release.

The incident happened shortly before 7:00 am on Thursday, January 19th at the Quality Inn at 875 College Drive.  The victim stepped out of his room leaving the door cracked while he went out to his car.  When he returned, his wife came out of the bathroom and saw that her purse was missing.  After contacting police, investigators checked surveillance video and saw the suspect walking past the victims’ room as the victim walked outside.  As soon as he was out of sight, the suspect walked back to the door and slipped inside and then walked back out, apparently holding something under one arm.

The suspect is a black male wearing glasses and an Anaheim Angels baseball cap and a Bluetooth headset on one ear.  The suspect wore a navy blue jacket and blue jeans. 

Anyone with information on the identity of this suspect is asked to contact Detective Chris Tucker at the Dalton Police Department at 706-278-9085, extension 165.

Below: The suspect in surveillance images from the hotel

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Thanks for Your Visit!

Cub Scouts from Pack 60 in Dalton visited the Dalton Police Services Center on Tuesday afternoon to learn about the Dalton Police Department and also how to stay safe.  More than a dozen 8-year olds were led on a tour of the facility by Officer Matthew White, who also talked to the kids about safety and answered a lot of questions about being a police officer.

Officer White also showed off his police cruiser to the scouts, and some of the boys got a chance to find out what it's like to be locked in the back of a police car.  At least one parent noted, "that had better be the only time that happens!"

Thanks for the visit!

Below: Officer White meets with kids from Cub Scout Pack 60 and shows them around the Dalton Police Services Center (click thumbnails to enlarge)

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The DPD Is Now Accepting Applications!

Do you think you have what it takes to join one of the Georgia's leading law enforcement agencies?  The Dalton Police Department is currently taking applications from candidates to become new DPD officers. 

To qualify as an applicant, candidates must meet the standards set by the Georgia Peace Officer Training Standards Council (POST), be at least 21 years old, be a citizen of the United States, and have at least a high school diploma or the equivalent, with at least some college education preferred.  Starting pay for new officers is approximately $14.99 per hour.  Further pay adjustments are made during the first year of service as training and probation requirements are met.  Additional education incentives are available for recruits with Baccalaureate Degrees.

Applications can be obtained at the Human Resources Office in City Hall, 300 West Waugh Street, Dalton, GA 30721.  A City of Dalton application must be filled out and received by the job closing date of March 15th, 2012 at 5:00 pm E.S.T.  

Want more information about becoming a Dalton Police Officer?  Click here!

To watch the Dalton Police Department's recruiting video, click "Play" in the window below (to watch in higher video quality, select "480p")

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Chairman, Secretary Re-Elected at Public Safety Commission Meeting

The Dalton Public Safety Commission re-elected Bill Weaver for another year as commission chairman and Terry Mathis as commission secretary at Tuesday’s monthly meeting, the first of 2012.  Weaver and Mathis held the same positions with the commission last year.

The Dalton Public Safety Commission also heard a review of a violation of the city’s alcoholic beverage license ordinance, as the Favorite Market at 1128 Thornton Avenue was fined $1,000 for selling an alcoholic beverage to an underage person.  The fine was paid January 6th

Dalton Police Chief Jason Parker reported to the commissioners that the Dalton Public Schools have asked the department to assign a third School Resource Officer (SRO).  Currently, there are two SROs assigned to the school district, one based at Dalton Middle School and one who splits time between Dalton High School and Morris.  An analysis by the school system and the SROs indicates the need for a full-time officer at both high schools.  The commission approved the request and forwarded the matter to the Dalton Mayor and Council for review and final approval.

Chief Parker also reviewed his December 2011 statistical report for the commission, including some year-end data.  Chief Parker reported that Part 1 crimes (homicide, rape, robbery, burglary, aggravated assault, larceny, motor vehicle theft and arson) were up by 8% in 2011, the first increase in Part 1 crimes since 2005.  A busy December contributed to that increase, as Part 1 crimes were up 37% in December 2011 compared to the same month in 2010. The overall rate for all crimes was up 10% in 2011 over the reported crime rate in 2010.  Burglaries were down 11% in 2011, which exceeded the department’s goal to reduce burglary by 5%.  That success could have been greater still, but burglary was up in December, a 37% increase over the burglary rate in December 2010. 

The good news is that the arrests and clearance rates tripled in December 2011 compared to December 2010.  For the year, both the arrest and clearance rates increased significantly compared to 2010, with 57% of violent crimes cleared compared to 41% in 2010 and 40% of all property crimes cleared compared to 26% in 2010.  The department made 48 arrests for violent crimes in 2011, more than the 29 arrests in 2010.  The department also made 490 arrests for Part 1 property crimes in 2011, a dramatic increase over the 274 arrests made for property crimes in 2010.

Calls for service were up 26% in December 2011 compared to December 2010.  For the year, calls for service increased 4.7% in 2011, the first time that rate has seen an increase since 2006. 

Dalton experienced more traffic crashes in December 2011 than in any month over the past two years.  133 crashes were reported in Dalton, with injuries reported in 23 of those incidents.  Chief Parker told commissioners that the high number of days with inclement weather could have contributed to the increase, as well as busier traffic due to holiday shopping.  Alcohol was a contributing factor in three crashes in December, with two of those incidents involving pedestrians under the influence.  17 crashes in December involved distracted driving as a contributing factor, accounting for 13% of total crashes.  4 injuries were reported in distracted driving crashes, more than were reported in alcohol or speed related crashes.

Dalton Fire Chief Bruce Satterfield also presented his monthly report to the commission, noting that his agency’s 241 calls for service were slightly down from the same period in December 2010.  The department was called to 12 fires, with more than $1 million worth of property exposed to damage or loss, and Dalton firefighters were able to save 88% of that property.  

Below: Dalton Police Chief Jason Parker addresses the Public Safety Commission at Tuesday morning's meeting

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Wallet Recovered on New Year’s Day

The Dalton Police Department is looking for the owner of a ladies’ style wallet that was recovered near the parking lot of the Shugart Road Wal-Mart and Kohl’s stores on the morning of New Year’s Day.

A citizen called police and reported finding a wallet laying in the middle of the side access road between the Wal-Mart and Kohl’s around 8:00 am on January 1st.  Officers found no identifying information inside the wallet, which has been checked into the department’s property and evidence department. 

Anyone missing a wallet that can describe the distinctive features and contents of the wallet is asked to contact Brad Jones at the Dalton Police Department at 706-278-9085, extension 225.  

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