Posts on Jan 1970

Eight Firefighters Promoted At PSC Meeting

Eight members of the Dalton Fire Department had their promotions confirmed by unanimous vote of the Public Safety Commission at its monthly meeting Tuesday morning.

Alan Ridley was promoted to the rank of captain.  He joined the Dalton Fire Department in April 1999, working his way up through the ranks.  Most recently, he served as a lieutenant and holds multiple certifications in strategy and tactics, incident command, management, and supervision.

Kirk Williams is moving up from the rank of firefighter 3 to lieutenant.  Lt. Williams joined the department in October 2001 and was promoted to firefighter 3 in August 2007.  He holds a number of training certifications from both the Georgia Fire Academy and National Fire Academy including leadership and management certifications, instructor certifications in structural fire control and emergency vehicle operations and is a hazardous materials technician and an emergency medical technician.

Chance Nelson and Jeremy Phillips were both promoted from engineer to the rank of firefighter 3. Nelson joined the DFD in March 2003 and has risen through the ranks, most recently serving as an engineer.  He also holds a number of certifications including management and supervision certifications such as acting officer in charge, and certification in the National Incident Command System (NIMS).  Phillips joined the fire department in September 2003 and has been the “A” shift engineer since July 2008.  Phillips has a number of training qualifications and certifications and has also served in the role of firefighter 3 numerous times in the absence of other officers.

Dale Stratton and Jared Burns were both moved up from firefighter 2 to the rank of engineer.  Engineer Stratton joined the DFD in February 2005 and was promoted to firefighter 2 in April 2006.  He is a member of the Georgia Search and Rescue (GSAR) team which includes holding a number of certifications in rescue strategy and techniques. He is a paramedic, a Georgia Smoke Diver, and has graduated from the Firefighters Laboring and Mastering Essential Skills (FLAMES) course.  Engineer Burns is also a Georgia Smoke Diver and FLAMES graduate, and has a number of NIMS certifications.  He joined the Dalton Fire Department in July 2011.

Adam Stanley and Justin Rishel both received promotions from firefighter 1 to firefighter 2.  Firefighter 2 Stanley joined the fire department in July 2011 and he is a certified  Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).  He also holds a number of different firefighter and rescue certifications.  Firefighter 2 Rishel joined the fire department in January 2003.  He is a member of the GSAR team and also has a number of rescue and hazardous material certifications.

Below (from left to right): Engineer Jared Burns, Firefighter 2 Adam Stanley, Firefighter 3 Jeremy Phillips, Firefighter 2 Justin Rishel, Firefighter 3 Chance Nelson, Engineer Dale Stratton, Deputy Chief Todd Pangle, Chief Bruce Satterfield (Captain Alan Ridley and Lt. Kirk Williams were out of town for training and did not attend)



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Burglary Suspect Fails To Finish Red Carpet Half-Marathon

Instead of a finisher’s medal, a Dalton burglary suspect won a pair of handcuffs after his short run on the Red Carpet Half Marathon course.  26 year old James Clayton Ownbey of 203 Goose Hill Road in Rocky Face was arrested in connection with a pair of burglaries after being spotted trying to blend in with a group of half marathon runners on Saturday morning.

Ownbey was suspected of breaking into homes on Mount Sinai Road the past two weeks and taking assorted items including a safe reportedly containing an estimated $40,000 worth of jewelry.  He was also arrested on October 23rd on a charge of shoplifting from the Shugart Road Walmart.  After Ownbey bonded out on that arrest, detectives discovered evidence linking Ownbey to the Mount Sinai Road burglary.

During the Red Carpet Half Marathon on Saturday morning, a detective handling traffic control at the intersection of Thornton Avenue and Tyler Street saw Ownbey walk out of the wood line near some mini-warehouses and start walking south along Thornton.  After apparently seeing the detective, Ownbey, wearing jeans and a long sleeved red shirt under a black t-shirt, joined a group of half-marathon runners and ran along with them as he passed the detective, apparently attempting to blend in with the group.  The detective called patrol units to look for Ownbey in the area of Benton Street.  Two patrol units searched the area and found Ownbey walking alone on Benton back towards Hawthorne Street.  Officers told him to stop and after pausing, he attempted to run.  Officers chased him a short distance and took him into custody.

Ownbey is charged with one count of forced entry burglary and obstruction of officers. Dalton detectives are still investigating possible connections between Ownbey and other burglaries and further charges are possible. Investigators were able to recover the safe and some other stolen property from the Mount Sinai Road burglary from a vehicle that Ownbey had been using.

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Motorists Should Watch For Ghosts, Goblins, Ghouls On Saturday

With Halloween falling on Saturday, the sidewalks and streets of Dalton will be covered with zombies, monsters, and possibly even a few super heroes. That’s to say that kids will be out in force trick or treating for candy. Motorists should take some extra care on Saturday to watch for kids, especially between the hours of 4:00 and 10:00 PM when trick or treat foot traffic is at its heaviest.  According to the Safe Kids Worldwide, twice as many young children are injured as pedestrians on Halloween than on any other day of the year.

Here are some things for drivers to remember:

  • Do not count on small children being aware of your approach.
  • Please keep vehicle speeds well below the posted speed limit, especially in neighborhoods.
  • Watch for vehicles dropping off or picking up children.
  • Avoid using other devices in the car that you are operating, such as cell phones or navigation devices.
  • Be patient when traffic becomes congested in areas where there is a lot of Trick or Treaters

Parents and guardians can also help keep their kids safe by talking to their young ones before the night’s adventure.  Here are some tips:

  • Warn children about the dangers of crossing the street without first looking for oncoming traffic.
  • Avoid Trick or Treating on very busy streets.
  • Always have your children use sidewalks and crosswalks when they are available.
  • To increase visibility, have your children carry a flashlight or glow sticks.
  • Apply reflective tape or stickers to costumes.
  • Make sure the costume fits your child properly before they venture out, making sure they can see out of their mask. Costumes may restrict the visibility of small children.
  • Always travel in groups and have chaperones, especially with smaller children.

The department would like motorist and parents alike to make this a safe and accident free Halloween night for our local children. We hope you all get some great treats!

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Road Closures Coming Friday, Saturday

The Dalton High School Homecoming Parade will cause road and lane closures along the downtown parade route on Friday evening. The Dalton Red Carpet Half Marathon will also be closing roads and lanes of travel around Dalton on Saturday morning.

Drivers should plan to avoid these areas if at all possible. For information about roads affected by the DHS parade Friday evening, click here.  For information about roads affected by the half marathon route, click here.

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Road Closures Coming Oct. 23rd For DHS Homecoming Parade

Several streets along the downtown Dalton parade route will be closed on Friday, October 23rd for Dalton High School’s Homecoming Parade. Affected roads will be closed from 4:00 until approximately 5:30 pm.

The roads affected include:

  • Waugh Street between Manly & Pentz Streets
  • Hamilton Street between Waugh Street & Pentz Street
  • Morris Street between Hamilton Street & Thornton Avenue
  • Thornton Avenue between Morris & Waugh Streets
  • Crawford Street between Thornton Avenue & Cappes Street

DPD officers will be directing traffic around the affected intersections. Drivers should plan to avoid the area.

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Motorcycle Crash Leaves Man With Broken Leg

A motorcyclist was lucky to escape with only a broken leg after a crash around noon today in Dalton. The victim ended up being dragged underneath a pickup truck for a few feet before coming to rest.

The crash happened a few minutes before noon Thursday. Oscar Adams, 22, of Chatsworth was traveling westbound on the Walnut Avenue bridge near Abutment Road on his Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle when he rear-ended a black Ford Explorer driven by 33 year old Stephen Bingham, also of Chatsworth. Adams was thrown from his bike and both he and the bike crossed the center lane into oncoming traffic. Rexie Patterson, 35, of Dalton was traveling eastbound over the bridge in a Ford F-250 truck and attempted to stop but was unable to before Adams slid underneath his truck and was dragged for a few feet. Adams was wearing his helmet and other protective gear.

Units from the Dalton Fire Department, Dalton Police Department, and Hamilton EMS responded to the scene.  Adams was transported to Hamilton Medical Center with a broken leg but he is expected to make a full recovery. Adams was cited for following too closely and not having proof of insurance. No charges were filed against other drivers involved.

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Man Leaves Wallet, But Steals Cash

The Dalton Police Department is asking for the public’s help identifying a man who stole nearly $350 from a wallet that had been left inside a parked car, but was apparently nice enough to leave the wallet behind. The incident was recorded by surveillance cameras.

The theft happened on September 6th at the Academy Sports and Outdoors store on Shugart Road. At approximately 2:00 pm a man realized that he had left his wallet in his car in the parking lot, and sent his girlfriend out to get it. After initially being unable to find the wallet in the car, she found it sitting outside of the vehicle on one of the running boards. She checked the wallet and found that all of the cash was missing. The victim reports that he left his vehicle locked, but that one of the rear windows was rolled down and inoperable. He reported that he had $347 cash in the wallet which was missing, but the rest of the contents of the wallet were still inside.

After police arrived, they checked store surveillance and saw an unknown male with closely cropped or shaved hair and a goatee leave the store and walk to a white Nissan Quest minivan parked near the victim’s car. The unknown man can be seen putting his bags into the back of the minivan and then walking to the side of the victim’s car. The man then gets into his minivan and drives away before circling back and parking in the spot directly in front of the victim’s car. The suspect then gets out of his minivan, walks to the driver’s side door of the victim’s car and appears to put something down next to it. The suspect then gets back in the minivan and drove away.  A picture of the suspect is included with this release.

Anyone with any information on this incident or the identity of the suspect is asked to please contact Detective Matthew Lowery at 706-278-9085, dial 9 and enter extension 133.

Below: The suspect pictured on store surveillance


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Big Crowd At Community Night Out Event

The Dalton Police Department’s annual Community Night Out event was a big success on Wednesday night as a large crowd of visitors both young and old showed up to meet the first responders who serve them.  Officials estimate between 150-200 people attended the event, which featured representatives from eight area public safety agencies.

Most interactions between the public and law enforcement or emergency personnel usually take place in the middle of stressful situations. The Community Night Out event is one of the Dalton Police Department’s efforts to build communication and trust with the people of Dalton by giving them a chance to meet our people in a more relaxed environment. The event is also modeled after the National Night Out Against Crime initiative’s mission to send a message to would-be criminals that our community and our law enforcement are working together to keep Dalton a safe place.

Wednesday night’s Community Night Out featured personnel and equipment from the DPD, Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office, Dalton State College Police, Tunnel Hill Police, Dalton Fire Department, Whitfield County Fire Department, Hamilton Emergency Medical Services (EMS), and Whitfield County 911/EMA (Emergency Management Association). In addition to police cars, open for kids and adults alike to inspect, the Whitfield EMA Mobile Command Unit and the DPD’s Crime Scene Unit were also on site for tours. The Tunnel Hill Police Department sent two officers, Lt. Scott Reneau and his four-legged partner K9 Vince to meet with visitors. Vince was a big hit with the kids, as were the clowns from the Whitfield County Fire Department’s clown brigade.

The Community Night Out was about more than just getting a chance for kids to get their hands on police cars and fire trucks. Officers and first responders also gave out valuable safety information to those who visited the event. Dalton officers gave parents free fingerprint kits to keep for their records. Officers also distributed information about better protecting homes and property from criminals. Car seat technicians from Safe Kids Dalton were available to answer any questions about proper car seat installation for parents.

The DPD thanks all the public safety agencies who attended to help make the Community Night Out a great event. Thanks also to everyone who came to spend part of the evening with us!

Below: Scenes from the Community Night Out. To see more pictures from Wednesday night’s event, click here to see a photo gallery on the DPD’s Facebook page. 



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Community Night Out Event Set For October 7th

Many interactions between police or other first responders and the citizens they serve take place under stressful conditions, which doesn’t always lead to a lot of understanding. That’s why the Dalton Police Department is hosting a Community Night Out event next week at the Mack Gaston Community Center. The event is designed to bring first responders from around the region together with the people they serve in a fun environment to build relationships and foster communication with the community.

The event will take place in the community center’s parking lot at 218 N. Frederick Street on Wednesday, October 7th from 5:30 pm until 7:30 pm. Joining officers from the DPD will be the Tunnel Hill Police Department’s K9 unit, the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office, the Dalton and Whitfield County Fire Departments, Hamilton EMS, and the 911 Mobile Command Unit. All agencies will have vehicles and equipment set up to give visitors an up-close look. The DPD will also be handing out free fingerprint kits for kids and their parents.  The DPD’s Traffic Unit will also have the Fatal Vision DUI awareness course set up as well as a seat belt demonstration ride.

“It’s good for police officers to get a chance to talk to people one-on-one and find out what kinds of concerns they have in their neighborhoods,” said Brandon Daugherty, the DPD’s recruiting and community involvement officer. “This event should be fun for kids and it should give families a chance to get some valuable safety information as well.”

In years past, the DPD hosted a similar event in concert with the National Night Out Event in August, but in recent years the agency has moved the event to the fall to avoid the summer heat.

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DPD Investigating Fatal Crash At Shugart/Hwy 41

The Dalton Police Department’s Traffic Unit is investigating a fatal crash that occurred on Thursday afternoon at the intersection of Shugart Road and Highway 41.

The crash happened at approximately 3:30 pm Thursday on October 1st. A Chevy Blazer driven by 68 year old Harry Whitfield of Calhoun was traveling westbound on Highway 41 towards the interstate when he apparently suddenly veered into the turn lane while traveling at a high speed and rear-ended a stopped dump truck. His wife Linda Whitfield. 67. was in the passenger seat and was transported to Hamilton Medical Center where she died from her injuries. Harry Whitfield was also transported to Hamilton Medical Center. The driver of the dump truck, Justin Elrod of Tunnel Hill, was transported to Hamilton Medical Center for observation.

Charges have not been filed in this case as the investigation into the crash is continuing. At this time it’s unclear what caused the crash. Anyone who witnessed this crash is asked to please contact Officer Sean Hudson at 706-278-9085, dial 9 and enter extension 312.

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