Issues Citations For Service In Deadly Fire
Dalton Fire Chief Bruce Satterfield opened Tuesday morning’s
meeting of the Public Safety Commission with a series of commendations for
outstanding service in a late February fire. Four Dalton firefighters received
commendations and their shift collectively received a unit citation.
The incident occurred just after midnight on February 20th
at 217 Griffin Street. Firefighters responded to a report of a structure fire
and found a fire burning in the front area of the home. Firefighters searched
the home and found Danny Hooper unconscious in the front bedroom and Joy Hooper
on the floor of a back bedroom.
Firefighters were able to get both victims out of the house and resuscitated
both victims before they were transported to Hamilton Medical Center and later
by helicopter to a burn center in Augusta.
Captain Brandon Bray, Lieutenant Alan Ridley, Firefighter
III Bobby Maton and Firefighter Terry Rogers each received commendations in
front of the Public Safety Commission for their rescue efforts in the fire. The rest of their shift also received a unit
citation. In addition to the four
honored individually, also named on the unit citation were Lieutenants Mike
Cady and Mike Sloan, Engineers Brad Chandler, Steven Simpkins, Chris Ault, and
Scott Thomas, Firefighter III Greg Metcalf, Firefighter IIs Josh Peek and
Robbie Townsend, and Firefighters Josh Burns and Katelyn Farmer.
Unfortunately, the Hoopers later died from their injuries
and Chief Satterfield expressed the fire department’s condolences to their
family for their loss.
Police Chief Jason Parker used part of his presentation to update
the Public Safety Commission on the recently completed inspection of the police
department by two assessors from CALEA (the Commission on Accreditation for Law
Enforcement Agencies, Inc).
The assessment team spent four days in Dalton to assess the
agency’s adherence to more than 480 CALEA standards for law enforcement agency
best practices. Chief Parker told the
PSC that the assessors left Dalton impressed with the agency’s performance and
that they would be recommending the DPD for CALEA accreditation. Chief Parker commended the work of Officer
Brian Shirley who has served as the manager for the accreditation process and
Lt. Chris Cooke who has supervised the work.
In August, Chief Parker will travel with other members of the DPD staff to
Columbus, Ohio for a hearing with CALEA which should be the final step in the
two-year process to earn national accreditation.
Slower March, But
Busier First Quarter
Chief Parker also reviewed crime statistics in Dalton for
the commissioners, noting that March 2013 was a much slower month for Part 1
crimes than March 2012, but the reported rate of Part 1 crimes is still up for
the year. Part 1 crime reports were down
22 percent compared to March 2012, but they’re up 7.5 percent through the first
three months of 2013. The biggest
increase is seen in property crimes.
The clearance rate for violent crimes went up by 10 percent to
63 percent in the first quarter of 2013 compared to last year.
In the Uniform Crime Reporting system (UCR), Part I crimes include
homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, motor vehicle
theft, and arson.
Traffic crashes were down 19 percent in March 2013, and
there has also been a decrease in the number of crashes year-to-date. However, March saw the third traffic fatality
of the year in Dalton.
Below: (L to R) Firefighter III Bobby Maton, Lt. Alan Ridley,
Firefighter Terry Rogers, and Captain Brandon Bray stand after receiving
commendations for their roles in a February fire rescue; Dalton firefighters stand for a unit commendation (click images to see a larger version)