Posts on Jan 1970

Halloween Traffic Safety

The Dalton Police Department
would like to remind motorists that this afternoon and evening (Wednesday, October 31st),
the streets will be full of Trick or Treaters celebrating Halloween. Motorists should be extra careful during the
hours between 4:00 PM and 9:00 PM. 
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 4,000
young children are injured during those hours on Halloween, mostly as pedestrians hit by cars.  This is four times greater then
the national average for the same time period during any other night during
the year.

The department would like to
give the following tips to motorist in the area to avoid being involved in a
pedestrian crash:

  • Costumes may restrict the visibility of small
    children.
  • Do not count on small children being aware of
    your approach.  Drive slowly when approaching kids.
  • Please keep vehicle speeds well below the posted
    speed limit, especially in neighborhoods.
  • Watch for vehicles dropping off or picking up
    children.
  • Avoid using other devices in the car that you are
    operating, such as cell phones or navigation devices.
  • Be patient when traffic becomes congested in
    areas where there are trick or treaters.

Parents can also help avoid
pedestrian crashes by talking to their young ones before the night’s
adventure.  Here are some tips:

  • Warn children about the dangers of crossing the
    street without first looking for oncoming traffic. 
  • Avoid Trick or Treating on very busy streets.
  • Always have your children use a sidewalk when
    there is one.
  • To increase visibility, have your children carry
    a flashlight or glow sticks.
  • Apply reflect tape or stickers to costumes.
  • Make sure the costume fits your child properly
    before they venture out, making sure they can see out of their mask.
  • Always chaperone in groups.

The
department would like motorists and parents alike to make this a safe and
accident free Halloween night for our local children.  Happy Halloween!

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“Operation Blue Christmas” Info

The DPD's Christmas Toy Drive is underway from November 1st to December 5th, 2012!  Click here for more information on how you can help some kids in need this holiday season.

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DPD Seeks Suspect in Counterfeit Check Case

The Dalton Police Department is
asking for the public’s help with identifying a man who used a counterfeit
check to purchase more than $3,300 worth of merchandise from Lowe’s on Cleveland
Highway in Dalton and then had the merchandise refunded for gift cards.  Surveillance pictures of the suspect are included below.

The incident happened on September 4th
and was reported to police later in the month after the victim discovered a bad
check had been written on his account for $3,360.  Upon investigating with his bank, the victim
discovered that a check had been counterfeited with his account number and made
to appear to be a business check for a business called “Gilbert and Gincy Cody,
Agency Services.”  The address on the
check was the same street as the victim’s, but the wrong number. 

A DPD investigator followed up with
management at the store and found records of the transactions and also
surveillance footage of the transaction. 
The video shows a dark skinned male wearing jeans and a polo shirt and
what appears to be a camouflage baseball cap making a purchase with a
check.  The suspect appeared to be with a
juvenile in the store.  The suspect later
made a second purchase and was recorded leaving with residential windows on a
cart.  A store employee who remembered
the transaction told investigators that the suspect was a dark skinned Hispanic
male who spoke a mixture of English and Spanish.  The suspect later returned the items and
received gift cards in the amount of the full purchase price. 

Anyone with information on the
identity of this suspect or the crime is asked to please contact Officer Charles
Williams at 706-278-9085, extension 280.  

Below: The suspect is pictured in surveillance footage from the store

Lowes 1
Lowes 3

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“Operation Blue Christmas” Starts November 1st

A “Blue” Christmas was a sad affair
for Elvis Pressley, but with help from the public it’ll be a reason to smile
for children around the Dalton area.  Operation
Blue Christmas is the Dalton Police Department’s holiday toy drive for kids and
it starts on November 1st at various locations around Dalton.  The drive benefits “Sharing Is Caring”, a
collective effort by the United Way, Salvation Army, and Dalton Public Schools
to benefit children in need in our community.

Operation Blue Christmas kicks off
November 1st and runs until December 5th.  Monetary donations can be made during normal
business hours at the Dalton Police Services Center at 301 Jones Street.  Toys can also be dropped off at the Police
Services Center or at any of the following locations:

  • Dollar General (511 N. Glenwood Ave.)
  • Mountain Creek Harley Davidson
  • The Filling Station Restaurant
  • The Engine Room Restaurant
  • The Dalton Depot and Trackside Café
  • Mack Gaston Community Center

Donations of toys can also be made to
DPD officers on duty in the community. 
Toys should be new and unwrapped, appropriate for male and female
children from ages 0 to 18. 

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Man Turns Self In On Assault Charge After Media Reports

Larry Bruce Mitchell, 66, of 1701
Willow Oak Lane turned himself in Tuesday morning on a charge related to an
assault that happened last month at the Steak ‘N Shake on Walnut Avenue.  Mitchell turned himself in after seeing a
report and surveillance picture of the incident
in area media reports.

The incident happened on September 29th
shortly after 1:00 am at the Steak n’ Shake on West Walnut Avenue.  Mitchell walked up to the front counter
asking to speak to a manager and then walked around to the entrance to the
grill area speaking loudly about the lack of service he’d received.  When the manager asked him to step out of the
employee-only area of the restaurant to make his complaint, Mitchell hit her in
the face with a stack of papers, believed to be restaurant coupons, before
walking out.  The suspect then left the
parking lot driving backwards onto Tibbs Road in a gray four-door sign,
possibly an Oldsmobile.

On October 17th, the
Dalton Police Department sent a picture from surveillance video of the incident
to local media and it was run by multiple outlets.  By the next day, the DPD received several
anonymous tips identifying Mitchell as the man in the video.  After seeing an article in the Dalton Daily
Citizen about the incident, Mitchell arranged to turn himself in on one charge
of simple assault and bonded out shortly thereafter.  

Below: Larry Bruce Mitchell

Larry Bruce Mitchell

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DPD Charges Floyd Earnest Youngblood In 2011 Rape Case

The Dalton Police Department arrested
Floyd Earnest Youngblood, 45, of 3762 Chattanooga Rd, Tunnel Hill on Tuesday on
charges of rape, sodomy, and making false statements to law enforcement
officers in connection with a rape that occurred in December 2011 after DNA
testing connected him to the case.

The incident happened on December 16th,
2011 shortly after 6:30 pm. 
Investigators say that Youngblood met the victim, a homeless woman, near
Providence Ministries where she’d been camping. 
The victim told investigators that Youngblood offered to let her stay at
his apartment for the night so she could be warm and dry.  When she agreed, Youngblood walked with the victim
to a storage building behind Bryman’s Plaza near downtown Dalton.  The victim told investigators that Youngblood
pushed her into the building and told her that she was going to have sex with
him. She said that she didn’t want to, and when Youngblood forced himself on
her she tried to get out a cell phone to call 911.  The victim told investigators that Youngblood
took her phone and then forced her to have sex with him.  Afterwards, he left with her phone.

Based on the description given by the
victim and other witnesses who had confirmed Youngblood had been at Providence
Ministries, DPD officers went to Youngblood’s apartment and brought him in for
an interview.  During the interview,
Youngblood agreed to give a sample of his DNA. 
Investigators also determined that he had the victim’s cell phone in his
possession. 

DNA testing was completed in
September 2012 and investigators obtained a warrant for Youngblood’s arrest,
which was served on Tuesday. 

Below: Floyd Earnest Youngblood

Youngblood, Floyd Earnest

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Notes From The October Public Safety Commission Meeting

Crime
Up Overall, Violent Crime Down

Chief Jason Parker opened his presentation to the Dalton
Public Safety Commission Tuesday morning with an overview of the crime
statistics from September, noting that the reported Part 1 crime rate was up
about 3% compared to 2011.  The overall
Part 1 crime rate for 2012 year-to-date is within 1% of the 2011
statistics.  Violent crime rates continue
to be reported at a lower rate than 2011, but property crime rates are
relatively static. 

The clearance rate for both violent crimes and property crimes is up over 2011,
with a 67% clearance rate for violent crimes (a 6% increase) and a 41%
clearance rate for property crimes (a 3% increase).

There was a 23% spike in the number of traffic crashes in
September 2012 compared to the same period last year.  14% of crashes in Dalton involved distracted
driving as a contributing factor.  For
the year, there has been a 12% increase in the number of crashes in Dalton.

New Officers
Confirmed

Four DPD officers had their hiring officially confirmed by
unanimous vote of the Public Safety Commission. 
Officers John Gurrieri, Jacob Allen, and Serena Martin all graduated
from the Georgia Public Safety Training Police Academy in Forsyth last month
and have been taking part in the DPD’s field training program since October 1st.  Officer Jacob Burger also had his re-hiring
with the Dalton Police Department approved by unanimous vote.  Officer Burger left the agency earlier this
year for a stint with the Georgia State Patrol, but opted to return.  The commissioners voted 3-0 in favor of
confirming the four officers (commission members Carlos Calderin and Kenneth
Willis were not in attendance at this morning’s meeting). 

Below: (from L to R) New
Officers Serena Martin, John Guerreri, Jacob Allen, and Jacob Burger are
presented to the Public Safety Commission Tuesday morning by Chief Jason Parker
(right).

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New Parade Route To
Get First Test

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, Chief Parker reminded the
commissioners that Dalton’s new parade route will be used for the first time
for Friday afternoon’s Dalton High Homecoming Parade.  Earlier this year, the Dalton Police Department
and Dalton Fire Department worked with the Downtown Dalton Development
Authority worked together to develop the new standard route for parades through
downtown.  The new route will take
parades down Waugh Street starting at First Baptist Church and then onto
Hamilton Street.  Parades will turn right
onto West Morris Street, and then right on Thornton Avenue before turning onto
Crawford Street and finishing at Harmon Field. 
Organizers stress that all parked cars on the east side of Hamilton
Street between the Waugh Street overpass and the Morris Street intersection
must be moved before the parade starts at 4:00 pm.  Organizers will work with downtown businesses
to make sure those spaces are clear to allow enough room for parade floats to
pass safely.  Several downtown streets
will be closed for the parade between 3:45 pm and approximately 5:30 pm.

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

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After Assault At Steak N Shake, DPD Seeks Suspect

UPDATE (10/24/12) An arrest has been made in this case.

The Dalton Police Department is
asking for help from the public with identifying a man who became irate at an
area restaurant over the service he received and struck a manager in the
face.  After the disturbance, he drove
out of the parking lot backwards, in an apparent attempt to keep witnesses or
cameras from seeing his license plate.

The incident happened on September 29th
shortly after 1:00 am at the Steak n’ Shake on West Walnut Avenue.  The suspect, described by witnesses as a
heavyset older white male with thinning brown hair wearing sweatpants and a
gray t-shirt with sandals, walked up to the front counter asking to speak to a
manager.  The suspect then walked around
to the entrance to the grill area speaking loudly about the lack of service he’d
received.  When the manager asked him to
step out of the employee-only area of the restaurant to make his complaint, the
suspect hit her in the face with a stack of papers, believed to be restaurant
coupons, before walking out.  The suspect
then left the parking lot driving backwards onto Tibbs Road in a gray four-door
sedan, possibly an Oldsmobile. 

Below: The suspect is pictured walking out of the Steak N Shake after striking a manager in the face.

Steak n Shake 1
Steak n Shake 2

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Congratulations, Mack!

The Dalton Police Department said
goodbye to an old friend on Friday afternoon with a ceremony marking the retirement
of longtime DPD detective Mack Flood. 
Detective Flood has served the department for 30 years across two tours
of duty with the agency, the first of which began in 1979.

After leaving the law enforcement
profession in 1984, Detective Flood worked for several other area business
before returning to law enforcement as a deputy with the Whitfield County
Sheriff’s Office.  In 1987, he rejoined
the Dalton Police Department.  He has
served in a variety of capacities during his years as a DPD officer, including
patrol officer, K9 handler, and detective. 
He made perhaps his biggest impact on criminal investigations though
during his time as the department’s crime scene analyst, a role he held up
until this afternoon.  As a graduate of
the FBI’s prestigious National Forensic Academy in Knoxville, Tennessee (better
known as “the body farm”) Detective Flood has helped solve countless cases with
his skills as a crime scene investigator. 
We never did convince CBS to start a “CSI: Dalton” spinoff, though.

The Dalton Police Department wishes Mack all the best in his retirement.  Congratulations!

Below: Mack Flood's cake; Chief Jason Parker (left) congratulates Detective Flood after presenting him with his badge at Friday's ceremony; Chief Parker addresses a gathering of officers as Detective Flood (right) looks on; Detective Flood poses before the cutting of his cake; Detective Flood gets the first piece of his cake before mingling with coworkers past and present (click images to see a larger version)

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Whitfield County Looks For CERT Volunteers

Whitfield County Emergency Services is looking for volunteers to join its Community Emergency Response Team (C.E.R.T.).  The next round of training for the CERT team will take place over three daysin December.

C.E.R.T. training is a free training in risk and hazard awareness available to the public in Dalton and Whitfield County through the county's Emergency Services.  The course is designed to help citizens protect themselves, their families, and their immediate community in the event of a major situation in their neighborhood. 

A release from Whitfield County Emergency Services says that C.E.R.T. is a "positive and realistic approach to emergency and disaster situations where citizens may initially be on their own and their actions can and do make a difference".  Obviously, citizens will respond to emergency situations even without training, but the goal of the C.E.R.T. program is to "help them do so effectively and efficiently without placing themselves in unnecessary danger, therefore minimizing ones risk of bodily injury and simply becoming another victim."

C.E.R.T. training will cover disaster preparedness, fire safety, medical operations and first aid, as well as search & rescue.

The schedule for the December 2012 classes is:

  • Saturday, December 1 –  8:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Sunday, December 2 – 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Saturday, December 8 – 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Classes will be held at the Whitfield County Emergency Services Headquarters located at 804 Professional Boulevard. in Dalton.  For more information on this program, contact Jeff Ownby or Carla Kelley with Whitfield County Emergency Services at 706-370-4911.

To learn more about the National C.E.R.T. program, click here to visit the national website

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