Posts on Jan 1970

DPD, DFD Take Part In Disaster Drill

The North Georgia Fair Grounds at Legion Drive in Dalton were abuzz with police and fire activity on Thursday morning. Fortunately, there was no emergency.  Instead, the Fair Grounds were the site of Whitfield County's annual full-scare Hazardous Materials Disaster Drill.  

The Dalton Police Department and Dalton Fire Department participated in the exercise, along with the Whitfield County Sheriff's Office, Whitfield County Fire Department, Public Health, Whitfield County Emergency Management, Whitfield County EMS, local governments and school systems.  

In the exercise, responders were dispatched to the Fair Grounds to respond to a chemical spill with injuries. Dalton Police officers were first on scene and set up a perimeter.  Dalton Fire then responded and evacuated "victims" – JROTC students from Dalton – and set up a decontamination station to simulate decontaminating them.  Then, the "victims" were evaluated and evacutated by Whitfield EMS. 

Drills like Thursday morning's exercise are useful because they have members of different emergency agencies work together so they'll be ready to coordinate with each other in the event of an actual emergency.

“Our community partners have been working together for
years to prepare for disaster, whether it be natural or man-made,” Whitfield County EMA director Claude Craig
said. “These exercises provide us opportunities to test areas of our plans
that haven't already been addressed. We can then see where the weaknesses are
and begin resolving them.”

Below: Images from Thursday morning's exercise (to see more pictures from the drill, click here to view a gallery on the DPD Facebook page)

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Prepare For Wintery Driving Conditions

A frosty windshield before your commute this morning serves as a reminder: winter is just around the corner, and with winter comes the possibility of facing inclement weather conditions on the roadways of northwest Georgia.  The Dalton Police Department reminds you that when you hit the road
during inclement weather, remember to drive with caution to help maintain your
safety as well as motorists and pedestrians around you. Here are some more winter weather driving tips from the DPD:

  • Remove all snow
    and ice from your entire vehicle before you get started. Make sure to check lights and
    mirrors as well.
  • Drive with your
    headlights on low beam to make yourself more visible to other motorists.
  • When roads are
    wet or icy, slow down.
  • Leave earlier,
    giving yourself extra time to reach your destination. Even better, delay your
    travel altogether if possible.
  • If you encounter
    snow removal equipment, allow plenty of room for it to operate. 
  • Remember, bridges
    and overpasses freeze quickly and they freeze before any other surfaces.
  • If your tires
    lose traction, look and steer into the direction you want to go. 
  • Look further
    ahead in traffic to allow for more reaction time. Actions by drivers ahead of
    you will alert you of problems you are about to encounter.
  • When braking,
    apply steady firm pressure. Do not apply the brakes quickly or accelerate
    suddenly.
  • Remember, four wheel drive vehicles give you
    extra traction to get going, but they do not help you stop any quicker

Motorists should also keep
the following items in their vehicles when traveling in inclement weather, not
matter how short a distance they may be traveling.

  • Flashlight/extra batteries
  • Blanket
  • Extra cap and gloves/mittens
  • Rain Gear
  • Small tool kit and booster cables
  • Small bag of kitty litter (to spread for traction
    if a motorist becomes stuck)
  • Bottled water and snack foods/power bars
  • Brightly colored cloth

The Dalton Police Department
would also like to remind all motorists to obey all posted speed limits and to
buckle up to prevent serious injury accidents.

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Off-Duty DPD Chief Stops Burglary on Thanksgiving

Dalton Police Chief Jason Parker got
a little more of a workout than he was planning on Thursday morning while
enjoying his Thanksgiving holiday.  Instead
of his planned morning jog through the Murray Hill neighborhood near downtown
Dalton, he ended up observing a burglary and arresting the suspect after a foot
chase.

The incident happened around 7:30 am
on November 22nd as Chief Parker jogged south down Valley Drive.  Parker saw a man, later identified as 48 year
old Thomas Daniel Green of 924 Avenue C, carrying a large bin full of items
across Valley Drive in the direction of Thornton Avenue.  As Chief Parker approached, Green spotted him
and sped up, cutting through a yard near the intersection with Franklin Street
and staying near the bushes.  Thinking
this behavior was suspicious, Chief Parker followed on Franklin to watch Green
as he entered the backyard of a house at 622 Thornton Avenue.  As Chief Parker watched from a hidden spot,
Green entered an outbuilding on the property. 
Parker didn’t have a cell phone with him, so he asked a couple walking
on Franklin Street to call police.  They
went back to their house to make the call. 

Chief Parker watched as Green carried
several items out of the outbuilding and set them with his bin.  Chief Parker then walked towards Green to
confront him.  After Chief Parker called
out to him, Green fled, running west. 
Parker identified himself as a police officer and ordered Green to stop
several times.  As Chief Parker, an avid
runner in his spare time, gave chase the suspect dropped several items and kept
running.  After running through several
properties down Valley Drive, Chief Parker finally caught up to Green and managed
to trip him up and get him into custody. 

Chief Parker walked Green, who continued to struggle, back
towards the intersection of Thornton and Franklin, where he met officers as
they arrived.  After officers placed
Green in handcuffs, Chief Parker helped them retrace Green’s steps where they
recovered a stolen hammock and throw pillows which were later found to have
been stolen from a home on Valley Drive as well as a bin of brooms and cleaning
supplies which were stolen from the shed at 622 Thornton Avenue.

“I just reacted the way any of our officers would,” Chief
Parker said of the incident.  “Thanks to
the citizens who relayed my request for assistance to 911 and the quick arrival
of patrol officers, we were able to take this guy off the streets and return
the stolen property to the rightful owners. 
What started out as a chance encounter resulted in a great team effort.”

Green was charged with obstruction of an officer, burglary,
and theft by taking.

Below: Chief Jason Parker (left) and Thomas Daniel Green (right)

Chief Parker Photo
Green, Thomas Daniel

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Happy Thanksgiving!

The Dalton Police Department wishes all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving holiday.  

As this is one of the busiest travel weekends of the year, we also wish you safe travels if you're hitting the road to spend the holiday with family.  Please be mindful that there will be a lot of extra traffic on the highways.  You can expect delays, so please plan accordingly to allow plenty of time to reach your destination.  Don't get into a rush!

Also, remember that Operation Click It Or Ticket is underway nationwide, so buckle up for safety of you can expect a ticket.  And if your celebration involves alcohol, plan accordingly! Designate a driver or call a cab, but never drink and drive.  

Have a safe and happy holiday!

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DPD Honors Veterans

On Monday, the Dalton Police Department observed Veterans' Day with a luncheon for the agency's employees who either served or are still serving in the military.  The Veterans Lunch was held in the main hall of the Police Services Center on Monday afternoon.

Chief Jason Parker led the DPD's vets in the Pledge of Allegiance before the lunch, which was catered by the Filling Station restaurant in downtown Dalton.  Then after the meal, Commander Dewey Moss from the American Legion Post 112 addressed the assembled veterans about their role in the community. Commander Moss saluted the agency's veterans for continuing their service to the community as police officers.

Each of the DPD's veterans was also presented a small flag representing their branch of service.

Below: The assembled DPD military veterans eat lunch together, listen to Commander Dewey Moss from the American Legion Post, and pose for a group picture together (click to see a larger version of each picture)

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Operation Click It Or Ticket Is Underway. Buckle Up!

It's easy and takes less than a second to do, and it can save your life.  Buckling a seat belt is second nature to many drivers, but the decision to buckle or not buckle their seat belt is a choice that can dramatically increase a person's chances of surviving a vehicle crash.  

According to the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 12,546 lives were saved
nationwide in 2010 just by passengers buckling up. Unfortunately, not everyone is getting the
message.  Data from the NHTSA also shows that
51% of all passengers involved in crashes who lost their lives were not buckled up.  When comparing
the number of fatalities from traffic crashes during the day versus night, the
numbers are staggering.  NHSTA data shows that 61% of passengers killed during the hours of 6PM and 6AM were not
wearing their seatbelt compared to 42% during the day.

A
recent daytime survey conducted by the Dalton Police Department’s Traffic
Enforcement Unit (TEU) found the percentage of seatbelt use in the city of Dalton was at 86%.  This is well below the state average of
90%.  In October of 2011, a survey was
conducted at night which showed that only 80% of motorists were wearing their
seatbelt.

In an
effort to curb serious injury crashes, the Dalton Police Department is joining law
enforcement agencies across the country in the Click
it or Ticket
 mobilization which starts today (November 12th) and runs through November 25th.  This national mobilization of law enforcement
agencies is geared to educate motorists that proper use of seatbelts saves
lives.  The DPD’s
Traffic Enforcement Unit and Patrol Division will be conducting special
operations to enforce Georgia’s
occupant safety laws both day and night during the mobilization.  Officers will be using road checks and
concentrated patrols as tools to spot motorists violating seatbelt and child
restraint laws in an effort to limit the number of serious injury or fatality
car crashes. 

Motorists
are reminded that any front seat passenger of a passenger vehicle, including
pickup trucks, in operation on Georgia's roads must wear a seatbelt.  Any passenger of a vehicle under 18 years of
age must wear a seatbelt no matter where they are seated in the vehicle, and
all children under the age of 8 years must be placed in an approved Child Safety
Restraint.  Motorists should also be
aware that not wearing a seatbelt correctly with the shoulder belt across the
chest will not give the passenger any protection if the vehicle that they are
an occupant of is involved in a crash.

Click it or Ticket is also a great time for parents who have children
under the age of 8 to stop by the Dalton
Police Service
Center to have that child safety restraint checked for
proper instillation and to make sure it is the correct child safety restraint for their young ones. 

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DPD Investigates Gunshot Death

At approximately 1:00 pm Sunday
afternoon, officers from the Dalton Police Department responded to a report of
an accidental shooting at 1807 Shadow Lane Apartment 2.  When they arrived, officers found 47 year old
Tammie Elizabeth Hammock with a gunshot wound to her head.  She was transported by EMS to Hamilton
Medical Center but later died of her injuries.

Hammock’s husband 47 year old Otis
Hammock told officers that the gunshot was an accidental discharge that
happened as she was handing his handgun to him in their apartment.  DPD detectives are still investigating this
incident.  Investigators are conducting
interviews and are working with an agent from the Georgia Bureau of
Investigation to process the scene of the shooting.  No arrest has been made and no charges have
been filed at this time.

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DPD Arrests Three In Purse Snatching Robberies

The Dalton Police Department arrested
26 year old Robert Michael Deel and 17 year old Troy Allen Petruzzi Tuesday
night on charges related to a pair of purse snatching robberies that occurred
earlier in the day.  Deel, of 901 Dunn
Road in Crandall, and Petruzzi, of 1805 Wendell Street in Dalton, are both
charged with robbery by forcible purse snatching and criminal attempt to commit
a misdemeanor.  22 year old Justin
Michael Officer turned himself in Friday morning on a warrant for the same
charges.

After receiving a report of a purse
snatching robbery at the Wal-Mart on East Walnut Avenue which was being
investigated by the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday, Dalton
officers responded to a report of a purse snatching at the Kroger on West
Walnut Avenue.  That incident happened at
approximately 1:15 pm.  A store employee
on break was sitting on a bench in the breezeway near the shopping carts in
front of the store when she saw two males approach through the breezeway.  After the two men talked with each other,
they split up and one suspect, described as a Hispanic male wearing a dark
jacket and lighter colored hoodie, approached the victim and asked for a cigarette.  When the victim reached out to hand him one,
he grabbed her purse instead and ran around to the back of the store.  Investigators were later able to retrieve
surveillance video from a neighboring store which showed a small, silver two
door car leaving the parking lot at the time of the incident. 

Several hours later, a DPD detective
on his way home from his shift spotted a vehicle matching the description and
followed it into the Wal-Mart parking lot on Shugart Road.  Officers met with the men in the vehicle,
Deel and Petruzzi, and determined that they were involved in the
incidents.  After conducting more
interviews back at the Police Services Center, Deel and Petruzzi were arrested
and a warrant was issued for Officer’s arrest.

Below: Robert Deel, Troy Petruzzi, and Justin Officer (click images to see a larger version)

Deel, Robert
Petruzzi, Troy
Officer, Justin Michael

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