Posts on Jan 1970

Watch For Motorcycles

As summer heats up, more motorcycles will be hitting the road.  The Dalton Police Department urges all drivers to use extra caution and keep an eye out for motorcycle riders.  Extra attentiveness can make this summer riding season safer for everyone.  

Statistics from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety show that crashes involving motorcycles resulted in 177 deaths on Georgia's roads in 2008. Six of those fatalities came in the Dalton/Whitfield County area. Unfortunately, these statistics have been on a steady rise since 2002 as more motorcycles are hitting Georgia roadways.

Obviously, motorcycle riders face unique challenges and
hazards which drivers of other vehicles do not. Motorcycles
provide little or no protection in a motor vehicle crash.

Drivers should be aware that motorcycles are more likely to be on the road in warmer weather to help prevent unnecessary accidents. The bumper sticker slogan "Look Twice, Save A Life, Motorcycles Are Everywhere" rings true.  To avoid hitting a motorcyclist, drivers should keep up a constant scan of the surrounding road. By far, the most common thing a driver says after being involved in a crash with a motorcycle is that they just didn't see it.

The Motorcycle
Safety Foundation offers these tips for motorists to stay safe and avoid unexpected tragedy.

Car and truck drivers:

  • Be vigilant and watch for motorcycles.  They can easily be hidden in heavy traffic.
  • Be aware of hazards which motorcyclists may face and try to anticipate how they will react.
  • When following a motorcyclist, remain at least two seconds behind them.
  • Watch out when turning left. Most crashes between motorcycles and other vehicles involve turning left at an intersection. 

Motorcycle riders:

  • Remain two to four seconds behind a vehicle in front of you.
  • Always check your rear view mirror before slowing down.
  • Always wear a helmet and protective clothing. Helmet use is required by Georgia law.
  • Obey all traffic laws, signs, and signals.
  • Practice.

The Dalton Police Department wishes you safe travels!

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New DPD Officers Introduced

The two newest Dalton Police Department officers got their badges in a ceremony Monday at the Police Services Center.  Officers Blake Edwards and Osvaldo Sicairos both graduated June 21st from the Georgia Public Safety Training Center Police Academy in Forsyth, Georgia.

Officer Edwards is a Rome, Georgia native and a 2007 graduate of Armuchee High School.  He attended Mississippi State University for three years where he was a wide receiver and special teams player for the football team and is continuing his studies at Georgia State University where he expects to graduate this fall.

Officer Sicairos was born in Los Angeles, California but has lived in northwest Georgia almost all of his life. He graduated from Gordon Central High School in 2008 and received his degree in criminal justice from Dalton State College in December 2012.

Both officers are now taking part in the DPD's "mini-Academy" training program before they begin field training with other Dalton officers.

Officer Matthew Ray was also presented with a DPD badge on Monday.  Officer Ray is returning to the Dalton Police after leaving to live in Virginia and also working for the Fort Oglethorpe Police Department.

Below: New DPD officers Blake Edwards (left) and Osvaldo Sicairos (right).

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Public Safety Commission Meeting Notes

DPD Crime Stats

Deputy Chief Truman Whitfield gave the Dalton Police Department's presentation to the Dalton Public Safety Commission during its June meeting Tuesday morning.

Covering statistics from May, Chief Whitfield noted that the reported rate of Part 1 crimes were up 31.7% when compared to the same month in 2012.  Rises in the rates of aggravated assaults and theft accounted for that increase.  

For the year to date, property crimes continue to rise in Dalton while violent crimes appear to be trending lower.  There was one robbery case in May, and it was cleared after a 10-day search for the suspect.  So far in 2013 the DPD has cleared 65% of the violent crimes reported in Dalton and 42% of property crimes.  Year to date there have been 227 arrests for Part 1 crimes which is a slight increase over the 2012 total through May.

Calls for service were up more than 6% in May 2013, but for the year they are down by nearly 12% when compared to 2012.  

Alcoholic Beverage License Change

There was one alcoholic beverage license change approved at Tuesday's meeting of the PSC.  The Stop N' Go at 2201 Chattanooga Road had its package beer license changed to its new ownership group, Shiv Diya, Inc.  The change was approved by a unanimous vote of the PSC members.

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Public Safety Note: DFD Dedicates New Truck

The Dalton Fire Department dedicated a new fire truck on Monday with a ceremony at Station #1.  The Community Investment Celebration officially put the new Tower 1 aerial ladder truck into service.  With a price tag of $1.1 million, the truck represents a significant investment into safety and growth for the city of Dalton.  

To see video of Monday's ceremony, click "Play" in the window below.

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Georgia Police and Fire Games, Day Five

The next-to-last day of competition at the 2013 Georgia Police and Fire Games includes more action for bicycling enthusiasts as well as bowling, Cross Fit competition, and the start of the softball tournament.

Check back for more results which will be posted throughout the day as they become available.

Mountain Biking: The mountain biking competition took place at the Raisin Woods Bike Trail in Dalton.  For the most part, home course advantage was apparent among the medalists.

In the Beginner category, Whitfield County Sheriff's Deputy Jason Cooley finished first in 46:40, ahead of the Chamblee Police Department's James Pearson (52:23) and the Dalton PD's Chris Zimmerman (56:32). The Dalton Fire Department picked up a win in the Single Speed category as firefighter Matt Vess won with a time of 1:53.27 ahead of Hall County firefighter Jeffery Bowens (2:01:58).  Firefighter Matt Akins of the Bartow County Fire Department finished tops in the Expert category with a time of 1:43:58, ahead of Dalton firefighter Douglas Kerns (2:14:30).  

Bowling: Some competitors managed to beat the heat and humidity by taking the games indoors to the Retro Bowling Alley.  

Pat McGarragher of the Fairburn Fire Department took home the gold in singles bowling with a series score of 669 (high game of 256).  In second was Lee Still from Monroe County with a series score of 562.  Dalton firefigther Josh Peek was third with a score of 500.  

Perhaps not surprisingly, when it came time for the doubles competition the team comprised of the two top medalists from the singles competition ended up winning there too.  McGarragher and Stiller combined for a 1284 which was enough to beat the silver medal pairing of Dalton firefighters Josh Peek and Hector Chiesa (1119).  Dalton Police Officer David Saylors and Dalton Firefighter Katelyn Farmer were third with a score of 743.

Below: Mountain bike competitors and the medalists at the Saul Raisin Woods Bike Trail

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Public Safety Note: DFD Launching New Truck Monday

The Dalton Fire Department will host
a ceremony Monday morning at 10:00 am to launch a new fire truck into
service.  The ceremony at Station #1 at
404 School Street will be called the Community Investment Celebration and will
include presentations from the Dalton Chamber of Commerce, Shaw Industries, and
Dalton leaders.

Monday morning’s celebration will
include a retirement ceremony for Tower 1, the fire department’s aerial
apparatus truck which has been in service since 1987.  The new Tower 1 will also be officially put
into service.  The new tower is a 2013
model 100-foot aerial apparatus manufactured by the Sutpen Corporation in
Amlin, Ohio.  The truck costs $1,188,602
and is being financed interest free over the next five years. 

The ceremony will feature several
traditional touches, such as pumping water from the old Tower 1 into the new
Tower 1 and the ringing of the fire bell to start the new truck’s service.  The celebration will also feature remarks on
community investment from Mayor David Pennington, Chamber of Commerce CEO Brian
Anderson, Shaw Industries Risk Management Director Bill Whitmire, and Steve
Williams from the McCamy Law Firm.  The new
truck represents a significant investment by the city for Dalton’s economic
development and growth.  The Dalton Fire
Department’s designation as an ISO 2 firefighting agency and the department’s
aerial apparatuses are both important parts of attracting new industry to
Dalton and keeping existing industry in town.    

The old Tower 1 will be retired from
service but is being kept by the DFD as a reserve apparatus.  It will be given a new designation after
being retired.

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Georgia Police and Fire Games, Day Four

The ladies (and gentlemen) of the Dalton Police Department showed their toughness on Day Four of the Georgia Police and Fire Games and firefighters squared off to see who is the best.  Here are some results from the games:

Toughest Cop: Two of Dalton's female officers took to the obstacle course Thursday morning and came away with second and third place finishes in the Toughest Female Cop competition while the Chamblee Police swept the top three spots for the men.

Officer Serena Martin, who ran a different version of the obstacle course during Monday's Toughest Overall competition, made her way through the obstacle course, 1.7 mile run, and shooting course with a time of 26:05 which was good enough for second place.  Fellow Dalton officer Ashley Payne was hot on her heels with a time of 26:12.  Kim Brown from the Cherokee Sheriff's Office took the Toughest Female Cop title with a time of 24:45.  

Officer Valerian Khoshtariya finished a dominant week at the Georgia Police and Fire Games by winning Toughest Male Cop with a time of 17:34.  Earlier this week, he won the Toughest Overall Competitor title and also medaled in the Pistol Match and Combat Shooting events.  Fellow Chamblee Police Department officers Mike Beller (2nd, 18:30) and Zain Gunsby (3rd, 18:34) made it a clean sweep of the Toughest Male Cop winners.

Breaking down the finishers by age group, Khoshtariya and Gunsby were also 1st and 2nd in the 25-29 age group with Officer Charles Williams from the Dalton Police Department coming in 3rd with a time of 19:33. DeAnna Jarrett-Gramlina from the Cherokee County District Attorney's Office was the only competitor to place in the 30-34 group at 31:12.  In the 35-39 class, Trey Taylor from ICE finished in 23:18 ahead of Cherokee County's Kim Brown.  In the 40-45 division, Chamblee's Mike Beller was 1st and Dalton's Serena Martin was second.  In the 45-49 group Paul Klerlein of the Chamblee Police finished in 22:42.  And in the 50-54 division, Chamblee's Ernesto Ford finished in 24:30 to edge out Mike Pearson, also of Chamblee, who finished in 26:11.

Toughest Firefighter: Firefighter Rick Ehlke from the Cherokee County Fire Department torched the Toughest Firefighter course on Thursday, finishing with a blistering time of 2:31.44 to take the title.  In second place was Quincy Miller from the Columbus Fire Department, one second ahead of third place finisher Jason Sisson (2:43.72).

Medals were also awarded to the best finishers in each age group.  Dalton's Jake Warnix took top honors in the 18-24 age division, finishing at 3:24.38 ahead of Cartersville's Scotty Fillers (3:41.00).  In the 25-29 age group, Dalton's Jared Burns finished in 3:14.22 which was good enough to edge out fellow Dalton firefighter Andy Brock (3:27.06).  Kevin Bilbrey from the Rome Fire Department was the bronze medalist in the age group with a time of 3:30.03.  In the 30-34 group, Jason Sisson was first followed by a pair of Dalton firefighters.  Josh Shoemaker was second (2:53.69) and Josh Peek was the silver medalist (3:30.09).  Among the 35-39 year olds, Columbus' Quincy Miller was king, followed by Dalton's Matthew Vess who locked up the silver medal with a time of 2:54.53 and Kyle Westhoven of Paulding County who finished in 2:54.82.  Three Dalton firefighters medaled in the 40-44 age group.  Steve Bennett led the way with a 3:29.32 finish.  Daryl Mathis was second at 4:14.53 and Dale Stratton was third at 5:25.19. Toughest Firefighter Richard Ehlke was also tops in the 45-49 age group ahead of Clayton County's John Keyros who finished in 3:03.28 and Thomas Pelletier of Cherokee County (3:09.84).  

Golf (Four Man Scramble): One of the "home teams" got back onto the golf podium on Thursday, as a foursome from the Dalton Fire Department took silver medal honors in the Four Man Scramble Tournament.  Jason Suddeth, Dale Reed, Chris Corbin, and Mack Campbell combined to shoot a 59 which was four strokes behind the gold medal foursome from the Alpharetta Police Department.  A three-man team from the Milledgeville Fire Department was third with a score of 60.

Below: The DPD's Serena Martin and Chamblee's Valerian Khoshtariya make their way through the Toughest Cop course, and pose with the other medalists (click images to see a larger version.  To see more pictures from Toughest Cop, click here.  To see pictures from Toughest Firefighter, click here.

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Georgia Police and Fire Games, Day Three

The Georgia Police and Fire Games continued in Dalton and Whitfield County with a full slate of competition at various sites including some shooting competitions for police officers, more golf, basketball, and Texas Hold 'Em poker scheduled later in the evening.

Dalton was well represented with medals in hoops, golf, and a medal finish for the Whitfield County Sheriff's Office in the pistol competition.

Check back here for more results as they become available.

Pistol Match/Combat Shooting – Deputies from the Gordon County Sheriff's Office did some impressive work with their handguns on Wednesday, taking top honors for both the Pistol Match and Combat Shooting competitions.  

The Pistol Match is a traditional target shooting competition with officers firing at target silhouettes from increasing distances up to 50 yards away.  The Combat Shooting competition is an obstacle course-style event with officers firing at targets from inside and under a patrol car, attacking targets with a shotgun, and then running down a course to attack targets from behind different cover stations before finally ending with clay targets hanging from a wire. Each missed target results in a time penalty.

Gordon County's Wesley Hall took the win in both events, scoring a 100 (40 bulls-eyes) in the Pistol Match and finishing the Combat Shooting course in 1:12:31.  Fellow Gordon County Deputy Sean Henry finished the Combat Shooting Course in 1:18:03, ahead of Valerian Khoshtariya of the Chamblee Police Department who finished at 1:18:80.  Officer Khoshtariya continued his impressive week at the Police and Fire Games by also finishing second place in the Pistol Match with a 99.2 (31 bulls-eyes) ahead of Whitfield County Deputy Adrian Medina who also scored 99.2, but had 26 bulls-eyes.  Officer Khoshtariya won the Toughest Overall competition on Monday.  

Par 3 Golf: The Dalton Police Department brought home a medal today on the links, as Sergeant Barry Woods carded a 68 at the Par 3 Golf Tournament which was held at the Nob North Golf Course.  He was four strokes off of the gold medal pace, though, as Larry Gilbert of the Calhoun Fire Department took the top spot with a 64.  Mike Young made it a 1-2 finish for the Calhoun Fire Department with his 65.

3-on-3 Basketball: Three separate basketball squads made up of players from the Dalton Fire Department (and one straggler from the Dalton Police) took the three medalist positions at the basketball tournament at the Mack Gaston Community Center.  

First place honors went to a team ironically named "Last Place" composed of Dalton firefighters Grant Jenkins, Chad Hall Hector Chiesa and DPD Officer David Saylors.  In second place were the Bricklayers, composed of Dale Reed, Jason Suddeth, Mark Richardson, and Melissa Russell. Team Hoop Dreams earned bronze medals for Cory Baldridge, Casey Jones, Brandon Glass, and Bobby Blackwell.

Below: Scenes from the shooting competitions at the Whitfield County Sheriff's Office Firing Range and the medalists from Wednesday's competitions (to see more pictures, click here to see a photo gallery on the DPD Facebook page)

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Georgia Police and Fire Games, Day Two

The second day of the week-long Georgia Police and Fire Games featured two competitions in the Dalton/Whitfield County area: Cycling and Golf (singles).  

Cycling: Jason Spruill from the Dekalb Couny Police Department took the gold with a time of 54:07 on the Georgia Cup cycling course this morning.  Bartow County Firefighter Matt Akin was second with a time of 54:24 and Cherokee County Firefighter Phillip Carlisle was the bronze medalist with a time of 57:51.

Carlisle won his age group of 18-29 with fellow Cherokee County Firefighter Nathan Fany finishing second at 1:00:00.  In the 30-39 year old group, Jason Spruill and Matt Akin finished first and second with Matt Vess from the Dalton Fire Department taking third place honors at 57:53.  Dalton Firefighter Doug Kerns finished in 59:15.  One competitor placed in the 40-49 year old class, Hall County Firefighter Jeffery Bowers.  Warner Robins' David Dixon took top honors in the 50-59 class at 57:52, followed by Grovetown's Robert Eastman at 1:18:17.

Golf (Singles): Golf competition continued on Day Two at the Georgia Police and Fire Games with individual competition.  The Dalton Golf and Country Club played host to the singles tournament where Ara Baronian of the Milton Police Department carded a 75 which was good enough for first place honors, one stroke ahead of a two-way tie for second between two deputies from the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office.  Deputies Brian Chatham and Travis Spriggs both carded a 76. 

Below: Golf winner Ara Baronian (left) stands with second place finishers Brian Chatham (center) and Travis Spriggs (right).  

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Hamilton Street to Close Saturday For Police and Fire Games 5K

Hamilton Street will be closed on Saturday morning between Waugh Street and the railroad tracks near Grace Street for the Georgia Police and Fire Games 5K race.  The road will close at 7:30 am and will stay closed until approximately 9:00 am or until the last runner is finished with the course.

Police officers and firefighters from across Georgia participating in the race will start on Hamilton Street by the Waugh Street overpass and will run south to the railroad tracks just south of Dalton Wrecker and then they will turn around and return to finish the course where they started. 

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