Posts on Jan 1970

Safe Kids Car Seat Check Coming May 8th

Safe Kids Dalton will be having a car seat check event on May 8th, 2015, 12pm to 2pm, at the Check Into Cash store at 1133 N. Glenwood Ave. If you'd like to have a certified car seat technician check to make sure your child safety seat is installed properly and is in good working order, come to this event and get it checked out by a professional.

Georgia law requires children use a child restraint system or booster seat until they’re at least eight years old (nine years old in Tennessee), but Safe Kids Dalton recommends that children use child restraint systems until they weigh at least 80 pounds regardless of age.  Children are also found using car seats that have expired, have missing parts, or are not being used according to the manufacturers’ recommendations.  Any of these elements of misuse can put children at risk of serious injury or death in a car crash.

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Second-In-Command Appointments Highlight Promotions

DPD and DFD Promote Officers To Second-In-Command

Tuesday morning’s meeting of the Dalton Public Safety Commission saw the retirement of a longtime police officer, the confirmation of two new ones, and eight promotions.  Those promotions were highlighted by unanimous votes confirming the appointment of officers to the position of second-in-command at both the Dalton Police Department and Dalton Fire Department.

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DPD Works With Westwood Elementary For Crosswalk Safety

Officers from the DPD's Traffic Unit visited Westwood Elementary Wednesday to give kids some tips on how to stay safe while crossing the street. As part of the run-up to National Walk-to-School Week May 18th-22nd the DPD will be visiting area schools to teach kids how to properly use sidewalks and crosswalks to stay safe while walking to school.

The lesson started with getting classes together in the school's gym to watch a video about how to properly use crosswalks and look both ways to make sure it's safe to cross.  After that, students walked outside with their teachers and officers to practice.

Now that the weather's getting warmer, kids aren't the only people hitting the sidewalks around town to enjoy a stroll. Here are some tips you can follow to be a safe pedestrian on Dalton's streets:

  • It is important to use sidewalks and crosswalks when they are provided.  It not only keeps you and your family safe but it is the law, as covered in the Official Code of Georgia (OCGA 40-6-91, 40-6-92 and 40-6-95). 
  • If there is no sidewalk, you should always walk facing traffic and make sure that you walk as far to your left as possible.  This will allow you to see oncoming traffic and help you react to it sooner. 
  • If you walk in the street or cross outside of crosswalks, you are responsible to yield to traffic.  If you use marked crosswalks and sidewalks, vehicles are required to yield to you.
  • Remember to wear comfortable shoes and to wear clothing that can be easily seen by vehicles and other pedestrians, as well. Bright colors and reflective materials are best.
  • Children should NEVER walk on or near roadways without a parent or guardian.
  • And finally, running and walking can be great exercise but don’t over-do it!  Be aware of your physical fitness level before you head out so that you are less likely to risk injury.
  • Hydrate!  Make sure that you drink plenty of fluids if you are engaging in physical activity, whether you’re walking, running, playing a sport, etc.

Below: DPD Traffic Officer David Saylors explains the finer points of crosswalk safety to Westwood Elementary students Wednesday 

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DPD Officers Rescue Kidnapped Woman

Officers from the Dalton Police Department rescued a woman who was kidnapped and being held against her will in a room at the Guest Inn at 2220 Chattanooga Road Tuesday afternoon.  DPD investigators will be charging 47 year old Dennis Charles Watkins related to the kidnapping and false imprisonment of the adult female victim once he is released from the hospital. The incident is being jointly investigated by the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office and the Dalton Police Department. Watkins surrendered after DPD officers found him holding the victim against her will in a room and forced their way into the room.

The incident began Monday evening when Watkins picked up the victim, who was known to him, from the CVS Pharmacy on Cleveland Highway.  That location is in Whitfield County.  Family members of the victim reported her missing to the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office after she failed to show up as expected later in the evening.  The victim’s car was later located at the CVS and video surveillance showed her leaving the store with Watkins.

On Tuesday, DPD patrol division officers received information that Watkins’ car was located parked at the Guest Inn on Chattanooga Road.  Officers determined that he was in Room 148 and attempted to make contact with him but he did not answer the door.  At approximately 2:30 in the afternoon, officers knocked again and asked him to come to the door.  As they were about to unlock the door and enter, they heard the victim cry out for help.  When they opened the door, officers found it barricaded by a desk and kicked their way in.  Watkins, who was armed with a knife and a pair of scissors when officers entered, dropped his weapons and gave up after officers told him he would be tased if he did not comply.  There was no force used during his arrest.  He was transported to Hamilton Medical Center for evaluation because of apparent drug and alcohol intoxication.

The victim was able to escape from the room after officers entered and was checked out at the scene by paramedics and was found to be uninjured.  She told investigators that she had been held against her will since 7:30 pm on Monday night and that her life had been threatened. 

This incident is still under investigation by Detective Jason Thompson of the DPD and Detective Blake Smith of the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office.  The county plans to charge Watkins with kidnapping and the police department intends to charge him with aggravated assault, false imprisonment, making terroristic threats, and aggravated sodomy.  

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Happy National Telecommunicators Week!

When you call 911, the voice on the other end of the phone can be your life line. That same voice can also be the difference between life and death for police officers, firefighter, and EMTs.  That's why the Dalton Police Department joins public safety agencies nationwide this week as we say thank you to our 911 operators and dispatchers and wish them all a Happy National Telecommunicators Week!

Commonly referred to as dispatchers or 911 operators, telecommunicators work both with 911 callers and also all public safety employees in the field through their radio.  For law enforcement, telecommunicators perform a variety of important tasks as wide ranging from dispatching officers to calls to looking up and relaying important information to officers via the radio. The information they provide can be valuable for investigations and it can also be life saving.  

The second full week in April was declared by Congress to be National Telecommunicators Week in 1991. Before that, observance of the week began in 1981 by the Contra Costa County (Calif.) Sheriff's Office and spread around the country from there.

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DPD Seeks ID Of Pair In Debit Card Theft

The Dalton Police Department is asking for the public’s help with identifying two women who used a stolen debit card account to make three fraudulent purchases at two different stores in Dalton on April 6th.  The fraud amounted to more than $150 in charges. The incident was reported to police after the victim found the fraudulent transactions on his account statement.

Two of the fraudulent purchases happened at the Dollar General store at 2308 East Morris Street shortly after 7:00 pm on April 6th.  Two African American women wearing scrub-type clothes entered the store and made separate purchases totaling $53.11 and $26.55.  The women were recorded on store surveillance making the transactions and images from the surveillance footages are included below.  A third fraudulent purchase using the stolen debit account was made at a Family Dollar store in Dalton totaling $52.05.

Anyone who can identify these two women or with information on these incidents is asked to please contact Detective Chris Tucker at 706-278-9085, dial 9 and enter extension 165.

Below: The two suspects pictured on store surveillance

Dark hairBlond suspect

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DPD Celebrating 20th Anniversary Of Citizens Academy Thursday

The Dalton Police Department will celebrate the 20th anniversary of its Citizens Police Academy program on Thursday evening with an open house reception at the Police Services Center.  The event will run from 4:30 to 7:00 pm at the center at 301 Jones Street.  All previous graduates of the program’s 22 classes are invited to attend. 

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Coffee With A Cop Event A Success

The DPD thanks everyone who attended the "Coffee With A Cop" last Thursday morning at Panera Bread on Walnut Avenue. More than two dozen people came through the informal event, which ran for two hours. Several officers from the police department were on hand to meet anyone who wanted to speak with an officer.

The event, which was modeled after similar events that started in California and spread nationwide, was intended to give officers and Dalton residents a chance to meet and interact in an informal environment. Typically, interactions between police and citizens take place either after a crime, during an emergency, or during a traffic stop.  None of those situations lend themselves to great communication. Events like "Coffee With A Cop" give the police department a chance to communicate with the people it serves and vice versa.  Officers from the patrol division and also code enforcement officers were available to answer any questions the public had or simply to meet and greet those who attended.

The DPD thanks Panera Bread for allowing us to use their restaurant and looks forward to more events like this one in the future.

Below: Officers from the DPD meet with members of the public at the "Coffee With A Cop" event

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Slow Down And Arrive Alive

Today's hurry-up culture has bred a generation of aggressive drivers leading to the phenomenon of road rage. There are also more sleep-deprived and drowsy drivers. With so many different stimuli inside and outside the car from distracting retail signs to MP3 players, cell phones, and many others, driving has become a secondary function for some drivers. Many elderly drivers are also on the road today, with slower reflexes and poorer vision, and some try to compensate for this by driving slower than the rest of the traffic.

All of those risk factors combine to form a speeding "storm" brewing on the streets and highways. The deadly forecast seems unavoidable based on recent nationwide statistics. Worldwide, speeding is a contributing factor in about 31% percent of all fatal crashes which means nearly 14,000 lives per year lost in the United States alone. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates the economic cost to society for speeding-related crashes is $40.4 billion a year.  That's $76,865 per minute, or $1,281 every second.

The Dalton Police Department encourages the citizens to slow down and take their time while traveling the streets within the city. Stopping speeding is a big key thing to remember while driving within the city is so you can “arrive alive for 365”. 

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DPD Officer Reaches Out To Hispanic Businesses

Police can’t investigate a crime if they aren’t aware of that crime.  That’s one reason Officer Osvaldo Sicairos of the Dalton Police Department has been reaching out to improve communication with owners and managers of Hispanic businesses in Dalton.

“There was a robbery on 4th Avenue last year,” said Officer Sicairos while on patrol recently. “As a result of that we started going around to some of the businesses and advising them how to better protect their businesses and also just to improve the relationship between the people and police.”

Over the past year, Officer Sicairos has visited more than a dozen area businesses to build up a database of contact information for owners and also help them protect their stores. The advice offered by Sicairos ranged from removing large signs and advertisements from windows so passersby could see into the store more easily and call for help if something was wrong to installing camera systems to making sure existing camera systems were in good working order.  The main thing Sicairos urged business owners to do was simply report crimes when they happened.

“I don’t think I’ve ever taken a shoplifting report in a Hispanic store before,” said Sicairos. “You think it doesn’t happen? Of course it happens. Every single [business owner] told me that people shoplift and 90-something percent of the time, they don’t report it.”

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