Posts on Jan 1970

Arrest Made in Morning Double Homicide

UPDATE (6:30 PM, 4/29/12): Emilio Christopher Canales has been charged with two counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault in connection with this case.  The surviving victim, Deborah Canales, is reportedly in the surgical intensive care unit at Hamilton Medical Center and is expected to recover.

Acting on a lookout issued by Dalton Police investigators, a Whitfield County deputy arrested Emilio Christopher Canales, 27, in relation to a double homicide that occurred after some sort of domestic dispute earlier this morning in Dalton.  A third shooting victim from the incident was transported to Hamilton Medical Center in Dalton and no information about her condition is available.

The incident happened shortly before 9:30 am at 1011 Dude Street.  A neighbor called 911 reporting hearing gunshots coming from the house.  One victim, Deborah J. Canales, 50, ran from the house at 1011 Dude Street to a neighboring home where residents cared for her until responding police officers secured the scene for emergency medical personnel.  Canales told responding officers that her son, Emilio Christopher Canales shot her and fled the scene.  She was later transported by EMS to Hamilton Medical Center.  Once officers secured the scene and made entry into the house at 1011 Dude Street, they found Emilio Canales, Sr., 50, and his son Emilio Francisco Canales, 31, dead at the scene from gunshot wounds. 

DPD investigators were able to determine the type of vehicle in which the suspect was travelling and issued a lookout for the vehicle.  A Whitfield County Sheriff’s deputy found Canales and took him into custody and turned him over to Dalton Police investigators.

Dalton Police Department investigators spent most of the day working on the case, including the department's Crime Scene Investigator.  He was assisted at the scene by a Crime Scene Investigator from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation who used a new piece of equipment to scan the crime scene and produce a 3D map of the scene which can be used later by investigators.

This incident is still being investigated by the Dalton Police Department, however at this time it is not believed that there are any additional suspects at large.


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Congratulations and Good Luck

Members of the Dalton Police Department honored Lt. Mike Key on Friday afternoon as he prepares to retire after 27 years of service with the agency.  Lt. Key, who currently serves at the Division Commander of the Criminal Investigations Division, officially retires on Monday.

Lt. Key joined the Dalton Police Department in 1985 and began his service as a patrol officer, rising through the ranks of sergeant and lieutenant and later managing the Patrol Division as Division Commander.  Lt. Key also served a turn as Division Commander of Support Services, but the majority of his service to the Dalton Police Department came in the Criminal Investigations Division.  In 21 years as a detective, undercover drug investigator and later as Division Commander, Lt. Key was credited with ridding Dalton and other areas of the country of major drug distributors.  He was also instrumental in the condemnation and closing of two major community nuisance locations that were contributing to the drug trade in Dalton.

The Dalton Police Department wishes Lt. Key well in his retirement.

Below: Scenes from Lt. Key's retirement reception at the Dalton Police Services Center (to see more pictures, click here to visit a photo gallery on the DPD Facebook page)

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DPD Seeks Suspects in Check Fraud Cases

The Dalton Police Department is asking for the public’s help with identifying three people who cashed fraudulent payroll checks at an area grocery store using stolen or fake IDs.  The three individuals were each recorded on the store’s surveillance system.

The incidents happened on April 1st and 2nd at the Bi-Lo store on Cleveland Highway in Dalton.  On April 1st, the three suspects each cashed forged payroll checks that appeared to be printed from Global Building and Remodeling on Alliance National Bank checks.  The checks were later confirmed by the owner of that business to be fakes.  The first suspect, a black female, identified herself as Kineshia Murdaugh of 525 S. Tibbs Road in Dalton and presented a driver’s license number that turned not to be registered.  She cashed a check for $553.29.  The second suspect, a black male, identified himself as Michael A. Holland, 134 Roosevelt Boulevard in Jackson, GA.  He presented a driver’s license number that came back registered to another person in Buford.  He cashed a check for $510.38.  The third suspect, another black male, identified himself as Lantavious Sims of 404 Park Street in LaFayette, GA.  He presented a driver’s license that was apparently stolen.  He cashed a check for $579.37.

On April 2nd, the suspect who identified himself as Lantavious Sims returned to the Bi-Lo store and attempted to cash another payroll check.  This time, a store employee noticed that the suspect did not appear to match the picture on his driver’s license.  After calling Global Building and Remodeling to confirm the check, the store called 911.  The suspect fled on foot before officers could respond to the scene.

Investigators believe that all three suspects gave false names.  If anyone recognizes the suspects in these pictures or has any other information on this crime, they are asked to please contact Detective Brandon Carter at 706-278-9085, extension 183.

Below: The three suspects are pictured on the store's surveillance system.

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DPD Seeks Identity of Person of Interest in Cash Theft

The Dalton Police Department is asking for the public’s help with identifying a person of interest in the theft of approximately $400 in cash from a wallet that was dropped in the parking lot of an area grocery store earlier this month. 

The incident happened at approximately 4:30 pm on April 11th at the United Grocery Outlet at 918 N. Glenwood Avenue in Dalton.  After shopping at the store and loading his groceries, the victim accidentally dropped his wallet in the parking lot and didn’t realize it was missing until he arrived back at his home.  When he returned to the store, his wallet had been returned to store management, but the cash that was inside was missing.

DPD investigators retrieved the surveillance video from the parking lot and reviewed the recording of the incident.  As the victim drops his wallet, a woman is seen pushing a shopping cart past his vehicle.  After pausing for a moment beside his vehicle, she appears to put something in her purse and continue to her car.  After sitting for two minutes inside her vehicle, a red minivan, the woman backs out of her parking spot and leaves the lot and the video shows a dark object sitting next to the spot. Shortly after, another car parks in the spot and the driver picks up the object, which turned out to be the victim’s wallet, and hands it to an employee of the store.

The woman in the parking lot was also recorded by surveillance cameras in the store, and a picture from that video is included with this release.  Investigators are hoping someone can identify her so they can make contact and interview her.  Anyone with information on the identity of this woman or this incident is asked to please contact Detective Brandon Carter at 706-278-9085, extension 183.

Below: The woman is pictured on store surveillance.

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DPD Participates In Special Olympics Opening Ceremonies

Excitement filled the air this morning at Coahulla Creek High School as the athletes entered the football stadium.  The Opening Ceremonies of the Dalton/Whitfield County Special Olympics began this morning with the loud drumbeat of the CCHS marching band, followed by a parade of athletes from area schools.

And as is the case each year with the Special Olympics, officers from the Dalton Police Department and Whitfield County Sheriff's Office were proud to participate.

After the parade of athletes from each school, members of the Dalton Police Department Honor Guard took to the track in front of the home stands, presenting the colors during the singing of the national anthem by one of the Special Olympians.  After retiring the colors, WCSO deputies and DPD officers marched with selected athletes in the Torch Relay around the track.  After the final leg of the relay, Lt. Chris Crossen had the honor of climbing up to light the Special Olympic torch.  Lt. Crossen leads the fund raising effort every year for the Dalton Police Department in support of Special Olympics Georgia.

As always, the officers and deputies thank the Special Olympics for the honor of attending and participating in the Opening Ceremonies.

Below: Images from the Dalton/Whitfield County Special Olympics Opening Ceremonies.  To see more pictures from this morning's event, click here to see a full photo gallery on the DPD Facebook page.

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Traffic Unit Visits Dalton High to Talk Texting, DUI

Each year, nearly 5000 teenage drivers lose their lives due to injuries sustained in car crashes across the country.  Car crashes have become the leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 15 and 20, surpassing deaths associated with homicide, suicide and sickness.  Teenage drivers have very little experience behind the wheel.  When alcohol, drugs or distracted driving get added to the equation, the situation becomes even more deadly.

That's why the Dalton Police Department's Traffic Enforcement Unit (TEU) is focused on educating young people about the consequences of driving under the influence and also driving while distracted, either by cell phone use or other distracting factors.  On Monday and Tuesday this week, the TEU visited Dalton High School to conduct its "Fatal Vision" class in DHS' Driver's Ed and Health classes.  After a classroom session Monday focusing on the various dangers of driving distracted or under the influence, on Tuesday the students got a chance to drive the department's "Fatal Vision" golf cart while either wearing "Fatal Vision" goggles which simulate alcohol impairment or while sending text messages while maneuvering through a traffic cone course.

This is the eighth year that the DPD has partnered with Dalton High School to conduct the "Fatal Vision" class and the second year that distracted driving has been covered during the program.  The Dalton Police Department is also ready to conduct "Fatal Vision" or distracted driving classes for community organizations or other groups in town at their request.  Any one interested in learning more about the programs can contact the Dalton Police Department’s Traffic Enforcement Unit at 706-278-9085, ext 124.

Below: Dalton High students attempt to navigate through a cone course while either wearing "Fatal Vision" goggles which simulate alcohol impairment or while sending text messages under the supervision of TEU Officer Woody Cantrell (click images to see a larger version).

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DPD Citizens Academy Puts Knowledge to the Test

There are a lot of things that can go wrong during a felony traffic stop, and one of them did go wrong last night at the Dalton Police Department.  As the driver stepped out of his car, arms in the air, he obeyed commands to back up slowly.  That is, until he stopped and reached for his gun, forcing an officer to make a decision whether to open fire.

Fortunately, this wasn't a real-world situation.  Instead, it was simulated with the department's Firearms Training Simulator (FATS) for members of the Dalton Police Department's Citizens Police Academy. Academy participants met for their final class Tuesday night, dealing with the use of force by law enforcement.  Rather than just learn about the laws and policies that govern the use of force, participants also got a chance to put that knowledge to work on the simulator.

After a brief talk by Lt. Chris Crossen about Georgia law and also Supreme Court case law dealing with the use of force by law enforcement, participants were taken in two groups to the FATS room where they stepped into an officer's shoes and tried to work their way through several different law enforcement scenarios.  Each scenario plays out in video projected onto a screen on one wall of the room.  The "officer" is armed with a simulated handgun, identical to those used by DPD officers, which fires a laser that can be detected by the machine to determine if the "officers" have hit their targets.  The scenario is controlled by a training officer on a computer.  The training officer tells the computer whether to have the characters on screen cooperate with the user's commands, or whether the machine should have the situation take a turn for the worse, as in the case of the felony traffic stop.

While one group of academy participants tried out the FATS machine, the other half of the class learned about the Tasers carried by DPD officers.  Lt. Mike Wilson, one of the DPD's Taser instructors, taught how the devices work to incapacitate offenders through neuromuscular control.  Rather than simply causing an offender pain and hoping it causes them to stop and cooperate with law enforcement, the Taser fires an electrical pulse identical to the impulses in the nervous system and causes all muscles impacted by the device's current to lock up.

Click here to see a photo gallery from Tuesday night's class on the DPD Facebook page. Click "play" in the window below to watch video from last night's class.

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GOHS Project Brings Teens Together Against Texting While Driving

Teenagers from Morgan County High School visited Christian Heritage School in Dalton on Tuesday to share some very personal and painful experiences with the tragic implications of texting while driving.  The visitors all knew someone who had been injured or killed in a crash caused by texting while driving.  The students are touring the state thanks to a grant from the Governor's Office of Highway Safety (GOHS).

Click here to read an article about the visit in the Dalton Daily Citizen.

It's illegal for anyone in Georgia to send or receive text messages, emails, or surf the web while operating a motor vehicle.  It's also illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to talk on a cell phone while driving.  It's also illegal for anyone in Georgia to engage in any activity that distracts them from the safe operation of their motor vehicle.

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Notes From the Public Safety Commission Meeting

Lt. Key Retires

Dalton Police Chief Jason Parker opened Tuesday morning’s meeting of the Public Safety Commission by presenting Lt. Mike Key, who will retire on April 30th after 27 years of service to the Dalton Police Department.  Lt. Key is currently the division commander of the Criminal Investigations Division.  He began his service to the police department as a patrol officer, rising through the ranks of sergeant and lieutenant in that division before moving into investigations.  Lt. Key worked for more than 21 years in that capacity, both as an undercover detective and managing the division.  Lt. Key is credited with ridding Dalton of several major drug distributors and he was also instrumental in the agency’s effort to condemn and close two major community nuisance locations contributing to the drug trade in Dalton.  The Dalton Police Department wishes him well in retirement.

DPD Report

Chief Parker continued his presentation to the Public Safety Commission with his monthly crime report.  The rate of Part I crimes reported in March 2012 was up 27% compared to March 2011, with the largest increases coming in the burglary and larceny categories.  Year to date, Part I crimes are up 5.2% compared to the first quarter of 2011.  Chief Parker reported that while the burglary rate is roughly comparable to the year to date numbers for 2011, the larceny theft rate is up 11%.  Chief Parker reported that violent crime arrests are down from 2011, but that the rate of violent crime in 2012 has also decreased.  Total arrests for the year to date have increased from 125 in 2011 to 131 in 2012. 

Traffic crashes in Dalton increased 31% in March compared to last year. Walnut Avenue, Chattanooga Road, and Glenwood Avenue accounted for the greatest concentration of crashes, with 42% coming in those areas.  14% of crashes in March included distracted driving as a contributing factor. 

The DPD’s calls for service decreased 6% in March 2012 compared to the same month last year.  For the year to date, service calls have decreased 1.2%.

Parade Route Changes

The Dalton Police Department and Dalton Fire Department have worked with the Downtown Dalton Development Authority to revise the official parade route for the City of Dalton.  After many requests from area

Business owners and residents, the parade route will now include Hamilton Street as part of the course through downtown.  After Hamilton Street was redesigned in the early 2000’s with a median, the parade route shifted to other streets due to safety concerns of floats travelling on narrow lanes.  After working with the DDDA, the public safety community approved running the route back down Hamilton Street with restrictions to parking on that street so parade vehicles will have enough room to pass safely.  

Below: DPD Lt. Mike Key stands before the Public Safety Commission Tuesday morning as Chief Jason Parker announced the lieutenant's retirement (click images to see a larger version)

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Join Us For A Community Night Out April 30th!

The Dalton Police Department will host a Community Night Out public safety fair on Monday, April 30th at the new Mack Gaston Community Center at 218 Fredrick Street.  The event will take place from 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm and will feature fun for the whole family.  

This is the fifth 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 has been moved to spring to avoid the late summer heat.  The department also plans to host a second Community Night Out event in the fall. 

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 unit and other public safety equipment 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 and Georgia State Patrol will be on hand 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.  Other agencies may also take part.

So make your plans to join us on Monday, April 30th!  


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