Posts on Jan 1970

Hitting The Cone Course

Police sirens have been heard repeatedly in the area of the North Georgia Fairgrounds in the past two weeks, but not because of any crime wave. Dalton officers have been taking part in a driver training refresher course laid out on the Fairgrounds pavement, and hitting the siren is part of the course.

This is the second year that DPD training officer Brian Pack has led the EVOC (Emergency Vehicle Operation Course) refresher for Dalton officers. He obtained an instructor certification for the course at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Brunswick, Georgia.  

All law enforcement officers receive EVOC training as part of the police academy, but most don't get any refresher training after that.  While the course being offered to Dalton officers does feature some driving with lights and sirens and instruction on how to operate a patrol car under emergency conditions, most of the training focuses on more everyday type situations such as backing up, parking, and parallel parking.  After all, that's the type of driving that officers do for the vast majority of their work day.

Below: Images from the driver training course at the North Georgia Fairgrounds (for more pictures, click here to see a gallery on the DPD Facebook page) Click here to see video from last year's driver training.

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DPD Police Chaplains Program

Click here to learn about the Dalton Police Department’s Police Chaplains Program.

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Second Synthetic Marijuana Arrest For Dalton Business Owner

On Wednesday the Dalton Police Department arrested three individuals for the sale of synthetic marijuana including the owner of a Dalton tobacco store who was arrested for the same offense in February.  The arrests came after an investigation that began in June and included the Department of Homeland Security Investigations, Bartow County-Cartersville Drug Task Force, Calhoun Police Department, and the Georgia Department of Revenue.

Dhansukh Chhaganlal Bhika, 63, of 90 Sheffield Place in Cartersville owns the Discount Tobacco Food Mart business at 516 ML King, Jr. Boulevard in Dalton.  In February, he was arrested and charged with selling synthetic marijuana from the business and investigators seized more than 1,300 packages of synthetic marijuana and more than $80,000 in cash.  Bhika has since been free on a bond. 

In May, Dalton investigators received information that synthetic marijuana sales were still taking place from the store and began a second investigation.  On multiple occasions, cooperating informants bought synthetic marijuana from Bhika and also two other individuals, Allen Martin Payne and Tiffany Ryane Fowler, at the ML King, Jr. Boulevard store and also met at other locations to make purchases.

On July 2nd, the Georgia Department of Revenue performed a tobacco license compliance check on the store and while there, agents discovered packages of synthetic marijuana in the store.  The agents reported the find to DPD investigators. Detectives from the DPD Drug Unit then obtained a search warrant for the store and found more than 100 packages of synthetic marijuana and more than 30 containers of a liquid form of synthetic marijuana that can be consumed using vapor pens or “E-Cigarettes.” 

The investigation continued and on Wednesday Dalton officers served an arrest warrant on Allen Martin Payne, 36, was arrested at his residence at 248 Yellow Wood Way in Dalton.  Payne consented to a search of his residence and officers found a 9 millimeter handgun, drug paraphernalia, and a small quantity of marijuana. Payne was charged with selling a controlled substance without FDA approval (synthetic marijuana), possession of marijuana, possession of tools for the commission of a crime, VGCSA, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. 

Also Wednesday, Dalton officers served an arrest warrant on Tiffany Ryane Fowler, 32, of 145 Patriot Way in Resaca.  She was arrested after meeting investigators at Dawnville Road and Highway 286 and was in possession of 1 package of synthetic marijuana when she was arrested.  She was charged with selling a controlled substance without FDA approval (synthetic marijuana), possession of a schedule 1 drug (synthetic marijuana), possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana, possession of tools for the commission of a crime, VGCSA.

Investigators arrested Dhansukh Chhaganlal Bhika after meeting him at the outlet mall in Calhoun.  He was in possession of packages of synthetic marijuana at the time of his arrest.  He was charged with selling a controlled substance without FDA approval (synthetic marijuana), possession of a schedule 1 drug (synthetic marijuana), and possession of tools for the commission of a crime, VGCSA.

After Wednesday’s arrests, investigators determined that Bhika had a storage unit in Bartow County where he had a large quantity of synthetic marijuana stored.  After obtaining consent to search the storage unit, investigators from the Bartow County-Cartersville Task Force, Dalton Police Department, and Homeland Security seized more than 22 pounds of synthetic marijuana from the storage unit valued at approximately $100,000. 

This investigation is continuing.

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Lights On When Raining!

The Dalton Police Department Traffic Unit reminds you to drive turn your lights on when the weather gets bad! Your headlights are important because they make you more visible to oncoming traffic and cars entering the roadway.

You normally hear, “my headlights are automatic” or “I have daytime running lights”. The problem with automatic headlights is that they turn on when it gets dark but they might not necessarily come on automatically in the rain because it might not get dark enough to trigger the sensor.  The daytime running lights may always be on, but that doesn't mean your rear lights are on. This will cause the traffic approaching from behind your vehicle to be unaware that you are there. Georgia law on running with your lights on during inclement weather is clear: Georgia Code 40-8-20.

Here are ten more tips on how to travel safely in the rain:

  • Exercise extreme caution after a dry spell. Dry spells allow grease and oil to build up on roads. When mixed with water, the road becomes slick. Normally, the first few hours are the slickest for roads but if it is not a hard rain the time length could be greater.
  • Allow more time for travel. If it is raining, snowing, sleeting, or foggy you should allow yourself more time to get to your destination. The weather could cause other issues that will change your route.
  • Brake earlier with less force. This allows you to have more distance to stop before reaching the vehicle in front of you. This will also reduce the likelihood of the brakes locking up and the tires to slide on the wet roadways.
  • Stay toward the middle of the roadways. This will assist you with avoiding the water that is standing on the roadway. This also reduces the likelihood of your vehicle hydroplaning.
  • Don’t use cruise control. If you hydroplane, your vehicle will likely accelerate if cruise control is set. Cruise control can also slow your reaction time when you need to be more vigilant.
  • If you can’t tell the depth of water, don’t drive through it. Not only could this damage your vehicle's engine and electrical components but you never know what might be in the middle of that large puddle. It could be that a major water line has erupted leaving a large hole that your vehicle could fall into.
  • Watch out for pedestrians. The rain not only makes it harder to see other cars while driving, it also makes it harder to see pedestrians that are walking or riding a bicycle on the side of the road.
  • If it is raining too hard to see, then stop and wait it out. Take the time to make it to your destination safely.
  • Don’t brake suddenly or turn the wheel if you start to hydroplane. If you do this then your vehicle may spin into a skid. If you do begin to hydroplane, release the gas pedal slowly and steer straight until your car regains traction. If you should have to brake, then tap the brake pedal (unless you have antilock brakes, in which case you can put your foot down).
  • Make sure your vehicle is prepared for the weather in which you are driving. Make sure that your windshield wipers are in working condition, your tires are safe for the weather, and your headlights and taillights are working. If unsure about the working order or if the tires are okay then check with a local mechanic about any questions you have.
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DPD Investigates “Tagging” At Creative Arts Guild

UPDATE (9/19/14): An arrest has been made in this case.

The Creative Arts Guild is home to many works of art, but the curators do require that artists be invited before exhibiting their work.  Some uninvited and unwelcome displays that appeared on the grounds over the weekend have the Dalton Police Department investigating.  Several instances of graffiti “tagging” at the Waugh Street facility were reported to police on Monday.

The graffiti tags are all painted in black spray paint and some include the words “MASS – PR – DEUCE”, “FAMA” and “EPA.D”.  Another tag includes the phrase “ART IS NOT DEAD.”  There were also two pictures of a person tagged.  The tags were all spray painted on columns underneath the main section of the building. The vandalism occurred sometime between Saturday evening and Monday morning when it was reported to police. Pictures of some of the graffiti are included below.

Investigators do not believe this tagging is gang related.

Below: Images of the graffiti tags at the Creative Arts Guild.

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With Kids, Look Before You Lock

Summer's here, and that means it can get really hot really fast inside of a car.  We've all been horrified by recent news stories involving babies and young children being left in hot cars and either losing their lives or being injured. The DPD's Traffic Unit along with the Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are once again warning parents and caregivers of young children to be mindful that a young child can die from heatstroke very quickly if left unattended in a parked car. All summer long, the NHTSA is launching a national radio and internet campaign called "Where's Baby? Look Before You Lock" to reach parents, caregivers, and grandparents about the importance of this issue.

Data from the San Francisco State University Department of Geosciences show a disturbing trend. At least 44 children in the United States lost their lives in 2013 after being left in unattended motor vehicles – and an unknown number of others were moderately to severely injured. The average number of U.S. child heatstroke fatalities per year since 1998 is 38. There have already been two such deaths reported this year.

It doesn't take much to lose a child to heatstroke. When outside temperatures are in the low 80's, the temperature inside a vehicle can reach deadly levels in only 10 minutes, even with a window rolled down two inches. Children's bodies in particular overheat easily, and infants and children under four years old are at the greatest risk for heat-related illness.

Heatstroke death and injuries often occur after a child gets into an unlocked vehicle to play without a parent or caregiver's knowledge. Other incidents can occur when a parent or caregiver who is not used to transporting a child as part of their daily routine inadvertently forgets a sleeping infant in a rear-facing seat in the back of the vehicle.

According to a new study by Safe Kids Worldwide, 14 percent of parents say they have left a child alone inside a parked vehicle despite the risk of heatstroke. Based on the U.S. population, that number is projected to be nearly two million parents transporting more than 3.3 million children who say they have intentionally left their infants, toddler, and kindergarten child alone in a parked vehicle. For parents of children three and under, the percentage increases to 23 percent. Dads are almost three times more likely than moms to leave a child alone in a parked car 23 percent compared to 8 percent.

Young children are particularly at risk because their bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult's. When a child's temperature reaches 107 degrees, they die.

The agency first launched the "Where's Baby? Look before you lock," campaign in 2012, after a first- of- its- kind roundtable and series of town hall discussions around the country that brought together representatives from the automotive industry, child safety advocates, health and safety professionals, members of the academic community, and victims.

NHTSA, Safe Kids, and its safety partners urge parents and caregivers to take the following precautions to prevent heatstroke incidents from occurring:

  • Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle, even if the windows are partially open or the engine is running and the air conditioning is on.
  • Make a habit of looking in the vehicle, front and back, before locking the door and walking away.
  • Ask the childcare provider to call if the child doesn't show up for care as expected.
  • Do things that serve as a reminder that a child is in the vehicle, such as placing a purse or briefcase in the back seat to ensure no child is accidentally left in the vehicle, or writing a note or using a stuffed animal placed in the driver's view to indicate a child is in the car seat.
  • Teach children that a vehicle is not a play area and store keys out of a child's reach.

In addition the DPD Traffic Unit urge community members who see a child alone in a hot vehicle to immediately call 911. A child in distress due to heat should be removed from the vehicle as quickly as possible and rapidly cooled.

To learn more about NHTSA's "Where's Baby? Look before you lock." campaign, visit www.SaferCar.gov/heatstroke.

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New Officers Confirmed By PSC

The Dalton Police Department's two newest officers had their appointments confirmed at the monthly meeting of the Dalton Public Safety Commission.  Officers Clinton Travis and Samuel Rosiles both were confirmed by unanimous 3-0 vote by the commissioners (PSC members Keith Whitworth and Kenneth Willis did not attend Tuesday morning's meeting).  

Officers Travis and Rosiles were sworn in as Dalton officers in June after the PSC's monthly meeting. Officer Rosiles is a 2010 graduate of Gilmer County High School in Ellijay where he lived for 21 years. He also graduated from the Universal Technical Institute in Orlando, Florida in 2012.  Officer Travis graduated from Chattanooga’s Central High School in 2001 and now makes his home in Ringgold. The Tennessee native has called Ringgold home for the past five years.  He graduated from Chattanooga State in 2010 with an associate’s degree in criminal justice and from Dalton State College in 2012 with an associate’s degree in psychology. 

Officer Molly Parker also attended Tuesday's meeting for an introduction to the commission.  She was confirmed by a unanimous vote of the PSC in June but was unable to attend that session.

Below: Officers Clinton Travis, Samuel Rosiles, and Molly Parker are presented to the Public Safety Commission by Assistant Chief Truman Whitfield

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Dalton Officer Acts To Save Injured Dog

A dog hit by a car in the middle of Walnut Avenue is getting a second chance at life thanks to the actions of a Dalton police officer and his family.  The dog, a Dalmatian, was rescued by Officer John Gurrieri who took on part of the cost of her care out of his own pocket.

Officer Gurrieri was dispatched to a call of an injured dog on East Walnut Avenue on Sunday, June 30th.  Once on scene, Officer Gurrieri found the Dalmatian with an obviously badly broken front left leg.  The dog was otherwise apparently uninjured and was able to walk on three legs.  Despite being hurt, the injured Dalmatian was friendly to the point of trying to jump into Officer Gurrieri’s patrol car.  There are no emergency vet services in Dalton on the weekend, so there were few options for the Dalmatian’s care.  Instead of calling for animal control which might have put the dog at risk of being euthanized, Officer Gurrieri took the dog home.  His family named the dog Victoria and drove her to the RIVER (Regional Institute for Veterinary Emergencies and Referrals) veterinary clinic in Chattanooga and paid more than $400 to have the dog’s leg put into a splint. 

“My wife and I are huge dog lovers,” said Officer Gurrieri. “When I saw the extent of the injuries was only what appeared to be a broken leg, I just couldn’t allow myself to see that dog be put down.”

Surgery for the Victoria’s leg, however, would cost more than $2,000.  Family members of other Dalton officers got involved from there. Searching the internet, they found the Dalmatian Rescue of South Florida which agreed to cover the cost of amputating the dog’s broken leg and to adopt the dog. Victoria will serve as a goodwill ambassador for the organization which is based in Miami.  Victoria had surgery yesterday in Chattanooga to amputate her shattered leg and the Gurrieri family will drive her to Macon on Saturday to meet a plane which will carry her to her new home in the sunshine state. 

“I talk to my children all the time about character,” said Officer Gurrieri. “How can I stand to look at them knowing that I allowed a good dog with minor injuries to be put down?”

Dalmatian Rescue of South Florida is currently raising funds on its Facebook page to cover the cost of the dog’s surgery.  More information can be found at www.dalmatianrescue.com and also the organization’s Facebook page.

Below: Officer John Gurrieri and Victoria the Dalmatian before her surgery to amputate her broken leg

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DPD Investigates Fatal Accident

The Dalton Police Department’s Traffic Unit is investigating an accident that killed a Chatsworth woman after she was run over by her own truck after apparently falling out while reversing down a steep driveway. 55 year old Barbara Jean Eoff of 304 Leon Circle in Chatsworth was pronounced dead after being transported to Hamilton Medical Center.

The accident happened just before 8:00 pm at 721 Lance Street. Mrs. Eoff was leaving the residence alone and apparently attempted to back her 1999 Chevy Silverado truck down the steep driveway. There were no witnesses to the accident, but the homeowner came outside after hearing a crash and saw Mrs. Eoff lying on the ground injured and the truck was resting against some trees in a field down the street. Mrs. Eoff’s husband told investigators that it was not uncommon for her to roll down a window and look out while backing. Investigators believe she somehow fell from the vehicle and was run over while the truck rolled out of control down the driveway.

Investigators are still waiting for results from an autopsy and a toxicology report. This incident remains under investigation.

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Check Your Tires!

Earlier this month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) observed National Tire Safety Week. During this week a lot of valuable information was published regarding tire safety and steps that can be taken to protect both drivers and their wallets. Here are some tire safety tips from the NHTSA and the DPD Traffic Unit which will help keep you safe: 

  • Tire Maintenance – Making sure your tires are inflated to the proper air pressure is the most important maintenance step you can take to affect your tire's safety, durability, and impact on fuel consumption. Additional routine maintenance, including rotation, balance and alignment, can also help your tires last longer and save you money. Checking your tire's tread monthly will help you know when your tires are no longer safe to use. If the treadwear indicators are showing or if you can see the top of Lincoln's head on a penny when you place it in the tread with Lincoln's head upside down and facing you, it is time to replace your tires.
  • Aging Tires – Over time, the rubber and other components in a tire change due to service, storage and environmental conditions. Tires can deteriorate even when not used frequently (for example passenger vans or collectors' vehicles) or at all (spare tires) and warmer weather can contribute to tire aging. While tire aging cannot be detected simply by looking at your tires, knowing the age of your tire and conducting monthly maintenance inspections can help you determine when it is time to replace tires.
  • Buying Tires – Once you've decided it's time to replace your tires, the first step is making sure the new tires you buy are right for you, your vehicle, and the environment in which you are driving. Before making a purchase, research the recommended tire size, type, and rating and also check the manufacture date of the tires you are buying.
  • Tire Registration and Recalls – Manufacturers rely on tire registration information to alert you in the event of a recall affecting your tire. Make sure your new tires are registered with the manufacturer, sign-up with NHTSA to receive tire recall alert notifications, and don't wait to get replacement tires when yours have been recalled.

For more information about these tire safety and maintenance tips, visit www.safercar.gov/Tire.

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