Posts on Jan 1970

Citizen Surveys Going Out Soon

The Dalton Police Department would like to know how to better serve you.  That’s the main reason the agency sends out surveys every three years to gauge public opinion about the police department’s performance and what concerns Dalton residents have about crime in the community. 

The Citizen Survey is one of the exercises the department performs to identify issues within the community and the agency itself which need to be addressed in the upcoming Strategic Plan.  The department also performs an employee survey.  Upon completion of those surveys, the department conducts a review of both the citizen and employee surveys and the previous Strategic Plan by committees of agency employees and Dalton citizens.  The current three-year Strategic Plan runs through 2015 and the new plan will cover 2016-2018. The survey is also part of the agency's accreditation process with CALEA (the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc).

The 2014 Citizen Survey will be mailed out soon.  To achieve a random and representative sample of the population, the police department has used its records management software to select a random sample of citizens who have had contact with the department proportional to the demographic makeup of Dalton.  However, if a survey form arrives at your home addressed to a former resident we ask that you fill it out yourself.

If the department does not receive enough responses to achieve a representative sample, volunteers will visit surveyed homes in mid to late June to attempt to solicit responses.  These will be volunteers who are not police officers or employed by the Dalton Police Department.  

Read More

Texting While Driving Leads To Car Getting Hit By Train

On Thursday morning, texting while driving almost became a deadly mistake for one Dalton teenager. 19 year old Luis Hernandez of 909 Croy Street told a Dalton officer that he was texting and driving just before his car was hit by a passing train on McFarland Avenue. Amazingly, Hernandez walked away from the wreck with only minor bumps and bruises.

According to witness statements shortly before 8:10 AM, Hernandez's silver Honda Accord was traveling eastbound on McFarland Avenue when he crossed the railroad tracks. The gates were down and the lights were activated as two trains were approaching. Hernandez managed to miss the southbound train but his car was hit in the back quarter panel by the northbound train and his car was dragged a short distance. 

Hernandez was transported to Hamilton Medical Center to be checked out, but he didn't complain of any injuries at the scene.  He was treated and released from the hospital.  He was cited by the Dalton Police Department with texting & driving, disregarding a railroad crossing, and window tint violation.  

All things considered, today was this driver's lucky day because this crash could very easily have been deadly if the car had been struck by the train even a tenth of a second sooner.  No matter what message you're sending or receiving, it can wait. PLEASE pull over before sending or reading texts or emails. It can wait.

Pictures of the wreck are below. You can also scroll further down to watch a short video produced by the DPD reminding you NEVER to drive while distracted. It's not just texting; any form of distraction while driving can lead to a serious crash.

005004 009

Read More

Dalton Civitan Club Supports DPD Torch Run Effort

The Dalton Civitan Club on Wednesday presented a check for $200 to the Dalton/Whitfield County Special Olympics in support of the DPD's Law Enforcement Torch Run effort.  Several Civitan members also made private donations during the fundraising effort.

Captain Cliff Cason, the patrol division commander and a member of the Civitan Club, invited Lisa Hughey from Special Olympics to talk to the club about what the Special Olympics does for athletes in the Dalton/Whitfield area and the state at large.  Then Civitan President Ruby Mitchell presented a check to Hughey.

Each year, the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) is the largest fundraising effort for Special Olympics Georgia.  More than 100 law enforcement agencies across the state take part through various fundraisers which culminate with a series of relay runs with the Special Olympics torch.  Whitfield County's Torch Run took place last week. In 2013, the LETR effort raised more than $759,000 in Georgia.  This year, the statewide goal is to raise $849,000. 

Below: Civitan president Ruby Mitchell (left) presents a check to Lisa Hughey (center) with Captain Cliff Cason (right)


Read More

New Officer Sworn In

The Dalton Police Department added a new officer to the ranks on Wednesday morning. Officer Mollie Parker was sworn in by Judge Jim Wilbanks at the Municipal Court, and then received her badge from Chief Jason Parker (no relation) in a ceremony at the Dalton Police Services Center.

Officer Parker is a native of Chatsworth and graduated from Murray County High School in 2009. She earned her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of North Georgia in 2013.  While studying at North Georgia, Officer Parker interned with the Dalton Police Department and completed a study of traffic problems in the city with a focus on distracted driving.  After graduation, she joined the department as a civilian employee before going to the police academy in Athens. 

Officer Parker says that becoming a police officer is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.  “The more I got into criminal justice, the more interesting I thought it was,” said Officer Parker.  

Below: Officer Parker is sworn in by Judge Jim Wilbanks (left) and receives her badge from Chief Parker in a ceremony and has it pinned onto her uniform by her mother Denise

Parker Swearing InBadge Pin 2 Badge Pin

Read More

Click It Or Ticket Underway, Traffic Unit Gears Up For Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day is set aside to honor those who have served in the armed forces and also signals the start of summer vacation with travel and fun in the sun.  Unfortunately, it also signals a rise in the rate of roadway crashes and fatalities across Georgia.

Eight people were killed in crashes on Georgia’s roads over Memorial Day weekend in 2013, which was actually down from fifteen deaths in 2012.  In an effort to make Memorial Day 2014 the safest one yet on Georgia’s roads, the officers of the Dalton Police Department will be joining police everywhere in the nationwide Click it or Ticket campaign beginning May 19th and continuing thru June 1st.  The goal of the department’s participation in the national mobilization is to influence motorists to buckle up every single day, not just the holiday weekend.

The Dalton Police Department will also be participating in the Memorial Day Community Celebration at Dalton Green on May 26th.  In addition to the free food and family activities, Dalton Police officers and volunteers will be working with mature drivers to find a better “fit” in their cars to improve their comfort and safety.  “CarFit” is a national program developed by AAA, AARP and the American Occupational Therapy Association.  Through the program, a 12-point checklist is completed with each driver.  Anyone wishing to go through the checklist will need to bring their vehicle to the area of Pentz Street between the hours of 11am and 2 pm. 

Here are a few more safety tips from the National Safety Council to ensure a safer Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Drivers should:

  • Refrain from all cell phone use behind the wheel
  • Make sure all passengers are buckled up and children are in age-appropriate safety seats
  • All children 12 and under should always be in the back seat
  • Allow plenty of travel time to avoid frustration and diminish the impulse to speed
  • Drive defensively and exercise caution, especially during inclement weather
  • Avoid driving while drowsy
  • Designate a “non-drinking” driver – even moderate consumption of alcohol impairs reaction time and driving judgment

For questions concerning occupant safety laws, please contact the Dalton Police Department Traffic Enforcement Unit at 706-278-9085 ext. 124.

Read More

Senior Drivers Can Get “CarFit” Check-Up On Memorial Day

The Dalton Police Department's Traffic Unit is committed to reducing the number of serious injuries caused by traffic crashes. One of the many strategies we're employing to accomplish that goal is helping tailor the way cars "fit" for senior drivers. Senior drivers are more at risk for certain types of injuries in crashes and members of the Traffic Unit have been certified as "CarFit" experts to help senior drivers reduce those risks.

To help the 10,000 Americans turning 65 every day and all senior drivers find a better “fit” with their cars for comfort and safety, the DPD's mobility experts are hosting a safety program designed to help older drivers and their families. CarFit is national program developed by AAA, AARP and the American Occupational Therapy Association and is designed to give a quick, yet comprehensive check on how well an older driver and their vehicle work together.     

The DPD will conduct CarFit check-ups in Dalton on May 26, 2014 at the Memorial Day Celebration Downtown.

At a CarFit event, trained volunteers complete a 12-point checklist with each driver. Among the items checked:

  • Correct position of driver’s seat
  • Driver’s ability to easily reach pedals
  • Proper adjustment of mirrors

Senior drivers can also check with their local AAA club or AARP office to take a driver safety refresher course for older road users or look into occupational therapy driving evaluation programs for individualized assessments and recommendations.  CarFit represents an extension of those classroom programs, and an opportunity for older drivers to make sure their personal vehicles are adjusted to their needs.

Read More

DPD Investigates Theft Of Cosmetic Drugs

The Dalton Police Department is investigating the theft of Botox and Juvederm from an area dental practice.  At this time, investigators are withholding details of the theft but are asking people who may have been injected with treatments of Botox or Juvederm outside of a medical practice setting to contact police.

Botox is a medication that reduces facial wrinkles by reducing the movement of facial muscles. Juvederm is a gel filler that is injected to smooth out facial wrinkles around the mouth.  Besides being used for cosmetic purposes, both are sometimes used by dentists to inhibit jaw clenching and teeth grinding. Both medications can only be legally injected by licensed and approved physicians in a clinical setting.

A large quantity of both products was recently stolen from a Dalton area dental practice and DPD investigators believe the stolen drugs are being used for cosmetic injections by someone who is not a licensed physician.  Anyone who believes they may have received injections of Botox or Juvederm from someone other than an approved physician is asked to contact Detective Chris Tucker at 706-278-9085, extension 165.

Read More

DPD Observes Peace Officers Memorial Day

Rain didn't dampen the Dalton Police Department's observation of Peace Officers Memorial Day on Thursday. Despite being forced indoors, the ceremony was still well attended by officers, firefighters, and city leaders. 

As part of Thursday's ceremony, the site for the Chief William Hannah Police Memorial was dedicated. The site, near the intersection of Waugh Street and Jones Street, will soon be home to a memorial honoring the DPD's two officers killed in the line of duty (Chief Hannah and also Officer Maurice William Phillips, Sr. who was killed in an accidental shooting in 1956) and fallen law enforcement officers everywhere.  The memorial is named in honor of Chief William "Bill" Hannah who was killed in the line of duty in 1899. Two of Hannah's great-grandchildren attended Thursday's ceremony.

After a welcome from Chief Parker which included remarks on Chief Hannah's story, DPD chaplain Don Treick offered a benediction.  DPD Spokesman Bruce Frazier then read the names of the three Georgia law enforcement officers who were killed in the line of duty in the year since last year's Peace Officers Memorial Day.  They are: Corporal Thomas Keith Slay, Columbus Police Department (July 30, 2013); Officer Ivorie G. Klusmann, DeKalb County Police Department (August 10, 2013); and Officer Noel Lee Hawk, Eatonton Police Department (May 4, 2014). After a moment of silence in their memory, Chief Parker dismissed those in attendance.

May 15th was declared to be National Peace Officers Memorial Day by President John F. Kennedy in 1962. President Kennedy further declared that the week in which Peace Officers Memorial Day falls to be National Police Week. This year, Police Week runs from Sunday, May 11th through Saturday, May 17th.

Below: The site for the Chief William Hannah Police Memorial and scenes from Thursday morning's ceremony. For more pictures, click here to see a photo gallery on the DPD Facebook page


Read More

Honor Guard Participates In DC Nat’l Police Week Ceremony

Members of the DPD Honor Guard traveled to Washington, DC to participate in the observance of National Police Week. On Tuesday night, the Honor Guard participated in a candelight vigil at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial where the name of Officer Maurice William Phillips, Sr. was dedicated. Officer Phillips was killed in an accidental shooting in 1956.

Making the trip to DC to represent Dalton were Captain Tom Phillips, Lieutenant Mike Wilson, Sergeant Ricky Long, and Officer Terry Smith.

Officer Phillips was training a fellow officer on some “quick draw” techniques at the police headquarters in Dalton’s old city hall building on December 22nd, 1956.  The officers were practicing with unloaded weapons. When the other officers stepped out of the room, Officer Phillips reloaded both weapons.  When the officer returned, he again tried the “quick draw” not realizing that his gun was now loaded.  He fired, hitting Officer Phillips in the chest.  Officer Phillips succumbed to his injuries on December 25th.

The observation of National Police Week began in 1962 when President John F. Kennedy declared May 15th to be National Peace Officers Memorial Day, and the week in which it falls to be a week honoring police officers.  This year, National Police Week is Sunday, May 11th through Saturday, May 17th.  

Below: (from left to right) Captain Tom Phillips, Lieutenant Mike Wilson, Officer Terry Smith, and Sergeant Ricky Long represented the DPD at a National Police Week ceremony in Washington, DC this week.


Read More

Running For A Good Cause

Officers and deputies traded in their gun belts and badges for sweat bands and running shoes on Wednesday morning, joining forces for the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run.  Funds raised by the runners and their agencies go to support Special Olympics Georgia.  Law enforcement agencies participate in the effort across Georgia, and each year the Torch Run is the largest fundraiser for the Special Olympics.

Wednesday morning, 15 runners from the DPD, WCSO, and Special Olympics staff set out from the old jail on Waugh Street and ran through a cheering crowd at City Park Elementary School before running a mile down Thornton Avenue to Bryman's Plaza.  From there, they took a ride on a van down to the South Dalton Bypass where they started running once more.  Escorted by DPD and WCSO patrol cars, the Torch Runners ran down the bypass to Highway 41 where they met another cheering crowd at Valley Point Elementary School.  After a short stop at the school, the runners continued on down Highway 41 to the Gordon County line.

The Dalton Police Department and Whitfield County Sheriff's Office thank everyone who donated to the Law Enforcement Torch Run effort for their support of Special Olympics Georgia.

Below: Images from the Law Enforcement Torch Run (click here to see more pictures in a photo galley on the DPD Facebook page)

013 016042

Read More