Posts on Jan 1970

February Public Safety Commission Meeting

At the monthly meeting of the Public Safety Commission on Tuesday, Dalton Police Chief Jason Parker reported some gains in the fight against violent crime while also acknowledging a continuing increase in property crimes in Dalton.  Presenting the department's statistical report for January 2012, Chief Parker reported that among Part I Crimes reported in January, violent crimes were down compared to the same month in 2011, with reductions in both robbery and aggravated assault.  Property crimes showed an increase, mostly in shoplifting cases and theft from vehicle cases

Chief Parker also reported the clearance of eleven burglaries that occurred at various locations in the city and involved two groups of individuals.  The Chief noted a continued improvement in crime clearance rates over the same period last year, with a 50% increase in violent crime clearances, and an 8% increase in property crime clearances.

In January, the police department’s calls for service increased by 4.6% over the same period last year.

Chief Parker also briefed the commission on the status of the investigation of the traffic crash fatality that occurred on Sunday, February 26, telling commissioners that if not for cars traveling behind the victim, the crash might not have been discovered for a few days, due to the fact that the wrecked vehicle couldn’t be seen from the roadway.  Chief Parker told commissioners that the department was waiting for an autopsy report from the crime lab as part of the investigation.

Also at Tuesday's meeting, the Public Safety Commission voted unanimously to confirm firefighter Todd Pangle’s promotion from the rank of captain to battalion chief. 

Battalion Chief Pangle joined the Dalton Fire Department in July 1997.  

Chief Bruce Satterfield presented the Dalton Fire Department’s monthly report for January as well as a year-end review for 2011 to the Public Safety Commission.  January was another busy month for the DFD, as calls for service (250) were up slightly compared to the same month in 2011 (228).  The breakdown for those service calls is as follows:

  • 8 fires
  • 169 emergency medical and rescue
  • 11 hazardous conditions
  • 13 service calls
  • 18 good intent
  • 30 false alarms (only 1 malicious false alarm)
  • 1 “special type” incident

In January 2012, more than $41 million worth of property was exposed to loss in fires.  The total value lost in January was $130,214.

Chief Satterfield also reported to the commission on the final disposition of the October 2011 arson case at the apartments at 1915 Heathcliff Drive.  After a joint DFD/DPD investigation, 22 year old Cesar Fraire Carrillo plead guilty to the arson and was sentenced to one year in prison followed by seven years’ probation.  Carrillo also agreed to pay court charges, serve 50 hours of community service, and pay restitution of $1,500 or apartment tenants and $13,696 to owners of the complex.  Carrillo was also sentenced on 12 months prison each for two cruelty to animals charges for 2 dogs that died in the fire, to be served concurrently with the arson sentence. 

The Dalton Public Safety Commission is comprised of Chairman William B. Weaver, Carlos Calderin, Terry Mathis, Keith Whitworth, and Kenneth E. Willis.

Below: Chief Bruce Satterfield presents Battalion Chief Todd Pangle for promotion, and then congratulates him after the commission's unanimous confirmation vote (click images to see a larger version)

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Good Crowd Meets Officers at Community Meeting

The Dalton Police Department's first community meeting at the new Mack Gaston Community Center on Fredrick Street was a big success, with several dozen people attending to hear from officers and department leaders about crime trends in town.  Attendance at the event easily eclipsed that of a similar event last year held at Dalton City Hall.

Chief Jason Parker opened the meeting with a presentation detailing some crime trends in Dalton, noting that "Part One" crimes (the most serious offenses such as homicide, rape, robbery, burglary, aggravated assault, larceny, motor vehicle theft and arson) increased in 2011 for the first time in six years.  Chief Parker told the assembled group that while crime in Dalton is still low compared to surrounding areas and also compared to Dalton's own crime rate in 2006, the department isn't sitting back and waiting to attack the problem.  He noted that the clearance and arrest rates for property and violent crimes were up in 2011, and that the burglary rate was reduced by 11%.  The chief also told the group about the Dalton Police Department itself, describing the organization and different functions of the agency. 

Chief Parker also described several services offered by the Dalton Police Department that many citizens may not be aware of, such as the vacation checks for homes in town.  Residents who are leaving town for extended periods can call the department and request extra patrols to check their homes several times a day to watch for burglars.  The department also offers a security audit service, where residents can contact the department and request an officer to visit and examine the security of the home and suggest different changes to make the home more secure.

Detectives Chris Tucker and Ron Kilgore also spoke to those in attendance about gangs in Dalton.  Tucker and Kilgore are the DPD's representatives assigned to the FBI Conasauga Safe Streets Task Force, a group of detectives from Dalton, Whitfield County, and Gordon County working to address criminal street gangs in the area.  The detectives talked about different gangs that are active in Dalton, describing their characteristics such as colors, gang signs, symbols, and tattoos.  Family involvement is the key to keeping kids out of gangs, Detective Tucker noted, and urged families to be vigilant as they watch for signs that kids may be getting involved with gangs.  He also encouraged business owners to cover up any "tagging" the might find.  Gangs "tag" buildings with graffiti for a variety of purposes, including communication and bragging. 

Officers Steve Zahn and Woody Cantrell from the DPD Traffic Unit also spoke at the meeting, describing various traffic trouble spots in the city and also detailing the department's efforts to curb distracted driving in Dalton.  Distracted driving isn't just texting or using electronic devices.  Any activity that distracts a driver from safe operation of their vehicle is against Georgia law, whether it's eating or talking or adjusting the radio.  The Traffic Unit is working to spot drivers who are distracted to the point of being unsafe drivers so they can get them to change their driving habits before they cause an accident.

The residents who attended the meeting were engaged in the discussion, asking questions about gangs and also different problems they've noticed in their own neighborhoods.  Several people stayed after the meeting to talk further with officers and the lieutenants who are in charge of enforcement in each of the city's three districts. 

Future meetings are being planned for later in the year.  Stay tuned to the DPD Blog for announcements of times and dates so you can make plans to attend.

Below: Chief Jason Parker talks to residents at Monday night's community meeting (click images to see a larger version. To see more photos, click here to view a gallery on the Dalton Police Department's Facebook page)

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Click here to read coverage of the meeting in the Dalton Daily Citizen.  Click here to read coverage of the meeting in the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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DPD Investigates Fatal Single Vehicle Crash

UPDATE (3/1/12): The Traffic Unit's investigation has determinded that alcohol and speed were contributing factors to this crash.

The Dalton Police Department’s Traffic Unit is investigating a one vehicle crash that claimed the life of 26 year old Ashleigh Nicole Sims of Dalton. 

The crash took place at around 2:30 am on Sunday, February 26th, just north of the intersection of Chattanooga Road (US 41) and Shugart Road.  Witnesses told investigators that the vehicle driven by Sims was traveling south on Chattanooga Road when it veered left, crossed the northbound lanes of traffic, and ran off the roadway and overturned in a ditch.  Officer Aaron Simpson was the first officer on the scene and found that the top of the vehicle was submerged in water and that Sims was unresponsive.  Officer Simpson was able to cut Sims’ seatbelt and pull her out of the vehicle.  Simpson and other officers performed CPR until paramedics arrived.  Sims was transported to Hamilton Medical Center and later transported by Life Force to Erlanger.  Sims was pronounced dead at 9:30 am Sunday morning.   

The exact cause of death is unknown at this time, but alcohol may have been involved in the deadly crash.  The DPD Traffic Unit is continuing the investigation and will have more information as the investigation is completed.

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DPD Explorers to Host Pancake Breakfast

The Dalton Police Department Explorers will hold a pancake breakfast at Longhorn Steakhouse on March 24th from 7 am to 10 am. Funds raised at the event will support the members of the DPD Explorers when they travel to Fort Collins, Colorado to compete at the National Law Enforcement Exploring Conference in July. 

The Law Enforcement Explorer Program allows young men and women to gain training and experience in the law enforcement field.  The program also provides opportunities for community involvement and development.  Program activities center around law enforcement training, organized recreational activities and competitive events. 

To be eligible for the program, members must:

  • Must be between 14 and 20 years old
  • Must maintain at least a "C" average, and must remain enrolled in school until graduation or earn a GED
  • Must attend regularly scheduled meetings, including physical training

The Dalton Police Explorers traveled to Alabama on February 18th to take part in the state law enforcement competition there, placing 1st in the “Unknown Traffic Stop” and “Search and Arrest Techniques” competitions.  The Explorers also placed 4th in Bomb Threat and 5th in Hostage Negotiations.  Earlier in February, the Explorers competed at the Winterfest competition in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  They placed 3rd out of 14 teams in “Bomb Threat”, 6th out of 22 teams in “DUI Traffic Stops” and 7th out of 23 teams in “Felony Traffic Stops”. 

Tickets to the March 24th pancake breakfast cost $5 each and can be purchased in advance at the Dalton Police Services Center at 301 Jones Street or at the door.

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20th Citizens Police Academy Kicks Off

The Dalton Police Department's 20th Citizens Police Academy kicked off on Tuesday night with the first of ten three-hour meetings.  The first class included a tour of the Dalton Police Services Center and also an overview of the history of policing, the history of the Dalton Police Department, and a discussion of the structure of the agency.  

The Citizens Police Academy is a ten week program designed to give interested citizens a behind the scenes look at every aspect of the Dalton Police Department's operation.  Participants take part in lectures by officers from all three of the department's divisions (Patrol, Criminal Investigations, and Support Services) and also get a chance for "hands on" experiences like testing weapons at the firing range, officer ridealongs, and tours of various law enforcement facilities.

In Tuesday night's first session, DPD Chief Jason Parker Chief Parker discussed some of the different theories of policing, and explained why the DPD engages in a "proactive" style of policework which is focused on attempting to address issues before they become serious problems.  That means that instead of riding around in patrol cars waiting for calls in a "reactive" mode, Dalton officers are encouraged not just to respond to calls, but to try to find ways to address larger neighborhood issues which could be causing the problems which lead to calls for police service.

Chief Parker and Lieutenant Chris Crossen then led the 17 participants in the academy on a tour of the Police Services Building.

Below: Chief Jason Parker addresses members of the Citizens Academy and also shows them around the Police Services Center (to see more pictures from Tuesday night, click here to visit a photo gallery on the DPD Facebook page)

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Community Meeting Set for February 27th

Make your plans now to join us February 27th for a meeting to discuss issues in your neighborhood and in your community.  The Dalton Police Department will host a community meeting on February 27th from 6 pm until 8 pm at the new Mack Gaston Community Center at 218 Fredrick Street.

This meeting is a chance for members of the community to meet and ask questions of the Dalton Police officers and staff.  DPD leaders hope to discuss different ways to help make homes and businesses in Dalton safer, as well as learning what challenges are being faced by different neighborhoods in Dalton.  Members of the department’s command staff as well as officers and investigators will be on hand to discuss any questions or concerns of Dalton residents.

“Dalton is a safe place to live and work and we want to do our best to keep it that way,” said Dalton Police Chief Jason Parker. “But we do our best work when we have the eyes and ears of the community”.

In recent years, the Dalton Police Department has solicited more communication with the community through citizen surveys and also increasing the agency’s online presence through social networks like Twitter and Facebook and also this blog site.  Community meetings such as this one are a part of that effort.

 

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The DPD is Now on Facebook!

The Dalton Police Department is expanding its social media outreach to Facebook. For the past several years, the agency has maintained an online presence on Twitter and also here on this website and is hoping the Facebook page will open up new lines of communication with the community.

You can “like” the Dalton Police Department’s Facebook page at facebook.com/DaltonPolice to see updates on investigations, community events, and other news from the department. There are also photo albums from various community events in which the DPD has taken part.

“We’ve been using social media like blog and Twitter for a few years now to open up new lines of communication with the people we serve,” Dalton Police Chief Jason Parker said Tuesday. “Now by adding Facebook to our online presence we’re hoping to reach even more people and further improve our communication with the citizens of Dalton.”

For the past several years, the DPD has sought out feedback from the community in different ways, including performing citizen surveys. The goal is to better focus the department’s efforts towards addressing the concerns of the community and also to form partnerships between the agency and the community.

In addition to the department’s Facebook page, the department maintains a Twitter account (twitter.com/DaltonPD) and the Dalton Police Blog (daltonpdblog.org) which is home to articles, videos, arrest reports, and much more information about the department. The DPD also has a crime mapping website at dpdonline.org.

 

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Report Crime Tips Anonymously

The Dalton Police Department understands that people might not always be comfortable coming forward with tips about crimes happening close to home out of fear of retaliation.  But there are also two easy ways to report a crime anonymously.  You can either call the department's anonymous tip hotline, or fill out a tip form here on the blog.

To call a tip in, just call 706-278-9085, extension 221.  To do it online, click here.

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DPD Still Accepting Applications for Citizens’ Police Academy

The Dalton Police Department’s 20th Citizens’ Police Academy starts on February 21st, 2012, and applications are still being accepted for slots in the class.

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 byclicking 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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DPD Seeks Pair in Jewelry Store Rip Off

The Dalton Police Department is asking for the public’s help with identifying two men who ripped off an area jewelry store, getting away with $7,500.

The incident happened on February 4th at approximately 3:30 pm.  Two men entered Casa Blanca’s Jewelry at 1100 East Walnut Avenue and told an employee that they wanted to sell a bag of gold jewelry.  After negotiating a price of $7,500 for the bags and testing the authenticity of the gold, the employee gave the men their money.  When her back was turned, one of the suspects pulled out another bag and switched the bags.  The suspects then left with both the cash and the original bag of gold jewelry.  The store employees then discovered that the bag was a different weight, and while it was filled with similar items, they were fake.

The two suspects were described as Hispanic males with slightly heavyset stocky builds.  Both wore jeans, with one man wearing a dark blue polo shirt with white stripes and the other wearing a lighter blue or white shirt.  One suspect had a pony tail and facial hair.  One of the men presented a Nevada driver’s license during the transaction with the name Luis Solis, but this license came back as not registered when investigators ran a check.  The two suspects were recorded by the store’s surveillance system, and a picture is included with this release.  The suspect who identified himself as Luis Solis also posed for a picture as part of the store's compliance with the local pawnbroker ordinance, and that picture is also included below.

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

Below: The two suspects are pictured.

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