Posts on Jan 1970

Simplifying The Neighborhood Policing Program

The Dalton Police Department is simplifying our method for putting citizens like you in contact with our officers about issues that affect you and your neighborhood.  While calling 911 is still the best method for getting emergency help from police, fire, or EMS personnel, we've streamlined the process for communicating with us on other issues.

In 2009, the DPD instituted a Neighborhood Policing Program which assigned each officer in the agency to a small neighborhood "beat". Each officer was assigned to spend part of his or her shift working in that area to make contacts with residents or workers about ongoing problems in the area, whether related to crimes or other issues such as traffic.  The neighborhood officer served as the point of contact for that community as well.

However, the process of locating your neighborhood officer and making contact could be a bit difficult at times.  Also, with officers rotating to third shift hours or changing assignments between patrol and other duties, sometimes the beat assignments changed.  

So now, we're making getting in touch with an officer much more simple.  Instead of giving you a map of Dalton with 90 individual "beats", we're giving you Dalton divided into three separate districts: East, West, and South.  Simply determine which district your neighborhood is in by visiting the map located at the bottom of this link. The contact information for the lieutenant and sergeants assigned to manage the department's strategy for each district is located there as well.  Simply call or email the district commander about the issue of concern, whether it's suspicious activity in the area or other problems.  Then the commanders will assign an officer to follow up with you and begin to work on the issue.  

Officers will still be assigned to pay special attention to neighborhoods and business beats, this change is simply to streamline the communication between the public and our personnel.  The hope is to increase the amount of feedback we're getting from the community.  

The Dalton Police Department has also set up a separate website at www.safedalton.com devoted solely to municipal code violations.  Any Dalton residents with concerns about potential code violations in their neighborhoods (such as overgrown lawns, properties in a state of disrepair, or other issues) can visit the site to submit a request to the DPD's code enforcement officers to check it out.

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DPD Explorers Excel At Alabama Competition

The Dalton Police Department's Explorers is looking for some more shelf space to show off some awards. On Saturday, the DPD Explorers traveled to the University of Montevalo in Alabama for a competition and took first place honors in all three events in which they competed.  

The Alabama State Competition puts student Explorers through different law enforcement scenarios while their responses and actions are judged by law enforcement officers from area agencies.  The Dalton Explorers competed in three different scenarios: Traffic Stop, Domestic Violence, and Burglary In Progress.  Dalton won first place honors in each of the three scenarios.  

The Dalton Police Explorers program allows young men and young women to gain training and experience in the law enforcement field.  The program also provides young people with opportunities for community involvement and development.  Program activities center around law enforcement traiing, organized recreational activities, and competitive events.  Officer David Saylors currently oversees the program.  Explorers must be between 14 and 20 years old, maintain at least a C average while remaining in school until graduation or obtaining a GED, and must attend regularly scheduled meetings which include physical training. 

On March 1st, the Dalton Police Explorers will kick off their annual fund raising drive with the sale of Dalton Police Explorers discount cards.  The cards cost $5 each and feature discounts from area businesses.  They can be purchased at the Police Services Center at 301 Jones Street and also Zaxby’s, In Heaven’s Name bookstore, John’s Bar-B-Q, or from any Dalton Police Explorer.  

Below (from left to right) DPD Explorers Christian Peinado, Corey Greene, Shaw Scott, and Trey Williams pose with their trophies from Saturday's competition in Alabama 

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DPD Investigates Reported Home Invasion Robbery

The Dalton Police Department is investigating a reported home invasion burglary from the early morning hours of February 20th.  During the incident a handgun was fired before the suspects fled with nearly $3,000 in cash and also the victims’ bank cards. 

The incident happened shortly after midnight on the morning of Thursday, February 20th at an apartment at 2214 Raintree Way.  The victims told investigators that they were asleep in their bedroom when they heard their front door being kicked in.  One victim told investigators he went downstairs to check and that he was confronted by three black males wearing dark colored hooded sweatshirts who demanded money.  At least one of the suspects was armed with a silver handgun.  The victim told investigators that after a brief struggle he fled to a neighboring apartment to call 911. He told investigators that as he ran from the apartment after confronting the three suspects and that he heard a gunshot behind him.  Nobody was injured. 

The suspects then confronted the female victim and demanded money.  They stole her purse which had approximately $2,800 in cash and also the victims’ bank cards. 

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to please contact Detective Jason Thompson at 706-278-9085, extension 174.  This incident is still being investigated.    

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DPD Explorer Cards Go On Sale March 1st

New Dalton Police Explorers discount cards will go on sale March 1st at the Dalton Police Services Center at 301 Jones Street.  The cards, which cost $5 each, can also be purchased at Zaxby’s, In Heaven’s Name bookstore, John’s Bar-B-Q, or from any Dalton Police Explorer.  

This year, the cards can be redeemed for discounts or other services at John’s Bar-B-Q, O’Charley’s, The Sweet Spot, Outback Steakhouse, Zaxby’s, The Dalton Depot, Los Reyes, Panda Express, Subway, Taylor’s Tire & Service, Retro Bowl, Antonio’s Mexican Restaurant, Stroll-N-Shine, Fashion Cleaners, Chelsea’s On Thornton, The Perfect Cup, Iron Gate Pizza, Schlotzsky’s, Dalton Vacuum & Power Tool, In Heaven’s Name, Las Palmas, Mr. Philly, Las Margaritas, Fuji Japanese, and Buckin’ Burrito.

Proceeds from Explorer card sales will go to fund the Dalton Police Explorers program, which allows young men and young women to gain training and experience in the law enforcement field.  The program also provides young people with opportunities for community involvement and development.  Program activities center around law enforcement traiing, organized recreational activities, and competitive events.  Officer David Saylors currently oversees the program.  Explorers must be between 14 and 20 years old, maintain at least a C average while remaining in school until graduation or obtaining a GED, and must attend regularly scheduled meetings which include physical training. 

The Dalton Police Department thanks all of the sponsors of the Explorer cards for their generous support of the program. 

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Put Down The Distractions When You Drive

Multi-tasking is just part of life in 2014. With the ever increasing demands on our personal and professional time in today’s busy society, learning to juggle multiple tasks at once is something we all must do.  Perhaps as a result, a new traffic safety epidemic has emerged on America’s roadways that demands your attention: inattention. Or to put it more accurately, distracted driving.

In 2012, 3,328 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver.  One of the most alarming and widespread forms of distracted driving is cell phone usage while driving.  According to a Carnegie Mellon University study, driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37 percent.  A report from the National Safety Council found that people talking on cell phones or sending text messages cause more than one out of every four traffic accidents. 

Text messaging is an even greater concern than simply talking on a phone because texting combines three types of distraction – visual, manual and cognitive.  In other words, texting involves taking your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, and your mind off the task of driving. 

To fight back against this growing problem on Dalton's roads, the DPD Traffic Unit is focusing on ways to change the behavior of drivers through enforcement, public awareness and education—the same tactics that have curbed drinking and driving and increased seat belt use in Dalton.

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DPD Seeks Missing Man

UPDATE (2/25/14) The family of Michael Franks is offering a $300 reward for information that leads to his being located. They still believe he is in Tennessee.

UPDATE (2/18/14): Franks was reportedly seen on foot near Marion County, TN on February 17th, possibly trying to get to Knoxville. He has changed clothes from the outfit in this picture. Police in the area were unable to locate him. He's still missing.

The Dalton Police Department is asking for the public’s help with finding a man who went missing last night.  48 year old Michael L. “Paw” Franks was last seen leaving his apartment at 820 Shugart Road at approximately 7:00 pm last night. 

His cell phone was later found at the Greyhound bus station in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  Family members have told investigators that he might be headed towards Knoxville. 

Franks is a 48 year old white male standing approximately 5’11 tall and weighing approximately 190 pounds. Family members believe he was wearing the clothes in the picture below. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to please contact Detective Matt Lowery at 706-278-9085, extension 133.  

Below: Michael "Paul" Franks

Missing Person Franks 1Franks 2

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Chatsworth Man Arrested After Altercation, Firing Shots In Air

Dalton police arrested a Chatsworth man late Saturday night after he pulled a gun and fired two shots into the air in the parking lot of Chili’s restaurant near College Drive.  The incident happened after a disagreement between two parties inside the restaurant spilled into the parking lot and escalated into a fight. 24 year old Steven Andrew Holland of 312 Bowen Road in Chatsworth was arrested and charged with three counts of aggravated assault, reckless conduct, simple assault, and discharging a weapon on the property of another.

Officers were dispatched to the Chili’s restaurant at 881 Holiday Inn drive at approximately 11:10 pm to a report of shots being fired in the parking lot.  After officers arrived, Mr. Holland surrendered without incident and was taken into investigative custody.  Officers also stopped a gray SUV leaving the scene driven by his wife. 

Holland told officers that there was a group of people inside the Chili’s who had been harassing his wife and some people followed them into the parking lot as they were trying to leave.  Holland told officers that one member of that group hit him in the head and he was surrounded by four of five people as he tried to get into his SUV.  He told officers he pulled a 9 mm handgun from a holster in his jeans and fired two shots off into the air.  Other witnesses later disputed that story, telling investigating officers that Holland was the one who swung first before being punched and pulling out his gun.

Officers determined that disagreement between the group led back to a fight that Holland’s wife, Celeste Holcomb, had with Megan Bowling at a football game in Murray County several years ago.  Bowling and members of her group saw Holcomb and Holland at the restaurant which led to the exchange of words and then later to the incident in the parking lot.

Below: Steven Andrew Holland

Steven Andrew Holland

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Fugitive Arrested In 2010, 2011 Armed Robberies

28 year old Samantha King Sanford is in custody at the Whitfield County Jail after being arrested over the weekend on warrants from the Dalton Police Department.  Sanford has been wanted since the summer of 2011 in connection with a pair of armed robberies in Dalton.  She was arrested by the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office in a separate incident and transferred to Whitfield County on Monday.

Sanford was wanted in connection with a June 19th, 2011 incident at the McGhee Place Apartments at 775 McGhee Place.  In the early morning hours, the victim was in his apartment when two men started banging on the back door and identifying themselves as the Sheriff’s Office.  The victim refused to open the door, instead running out of the front door and around the side of the building where he was confronted by two men, one of whom was identified as then-29 year old Lavalis Sentell Ward.  The other suspect was identified as then-28 year old Alexander Blake Austin.  Ward followed the victim into the apartment at gunpoint, while his accomplice waited outside.  The victim told investigators went into a bedroom to get his sleeping daughter while he heard Ward go through his apartment.  The victim told investigators that as he exited the apartment with his daughter, he was hit in the head with a gun.

Lavalis Ward was arrested July 8th, 2011 and charged with aggravated assault, forced entry burglary, impersonating a public officer, and kidnapping. Blake was also arrested and convicted.  Sanford was a former roommate of the victim, and apparently also had a previous romantic relationship with the victim.  Investigators believe that she conspired with Ward to set up the robbery. 

Sanford was also wanted in connection with another armed robbery that happened in January 2010.  In that incident, Sanford and the victim were walking along Hawthorne Street just before 8:00 pm on January 15th when a man later identified as Ramon Walker stopped them at knifepoint and robbed them.  Investigators later determined that Sanford was working with Walker and set the victim up to be robbed after determining how much money he had.  Walker is in prison in Massachusetts on separate charges.

Sanford is being held on charges of armed robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, failure to appear, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, false imprisonment, criminal attempt to commit a felony, and conspiracy to commit a felony.  

Below: Samantha King Sanford

Samantha King Sanford

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Winter Weather Alert: Please Stay Off The Roads

Snow is apparently coming back to Dalton and the DPD is urging you to stay off the road unless you absolutely must travel.

Snow and frozen precipitation is in the forecast for Dalton tonight and Tuesday night. Due to the likelihood of winter weather, Governor Nathan Deal has declared a state of emergency in Whitfield County.  As was the case during the winter storm two weeks ago, road conditions are likely to become dangerous in Dalton and the surrounding area. 

The Dalton Police Department is urging motorists to avoid any unnecessary driving during this storm.  Please stay off the roads unless you absolutely must drive.  This will help us keep roads clear for emergency vehicles.

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DPD Seizes Money, Drugs In Synthetic Marijuana Bust

The Dalton Police Department arrested 62 year old Dhansukh C Bhika of Cartersville on Tuesday on nine counts of selling synthetic marijuana out of his Discount Tobacco Food Mart business at 516 ML King, Jr. Boulevard after a months-long investigation. Investigators also seized 1,320 packages of material believed to be synthetic marijuana and nearly $85,000 in cash.  The investigation, a cooperative effort involving the DPD, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Bartow County-Cartersville Drug Task Force and Homeland Security Investigations, began in October 2013.

After receiving information in December that Bhika’s business was selling synthetic marijuana, investigators with the DPD Drug Unit began an investigation. During the course of that investigation, evidence led detectives to the Cartersville area where Bhika lives.  On Tuesday, February 4th, investigators arrested Bhika at his Dalton business on warrants for nine counts of selling a Schedule 1 drug.  Investigators also executed search warrants at Bhika’s business and also his Cartersville apartment at 1106 Stonemill Circle.   Investigators seized 1,320 packages of leafy material weighing a total of 14,970 grams in various packaging that is believed to be synthetic marijuana.  It will be tested at the GBI crime lab to confirm its chemical composition. Investigators also seized $84,993 in cash.

This investigation is continuing and more charges are possible.  

Below: Pictures of synthetic marijuana packages and money seized by the DPD Drug Unit (Click images to see a larger version)

029 031038 033

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