Posts on Jan 1970

Dalton Woman Honored For Life-Saving Effort

A Dalton woman was honored on Tuesday for her life-saving effort last Labor Day that saved a young man who nearly drowned in Carter’s Lake. Misty Lopez was recognized by the US Army Corps of Engineers with the Commander’s Award For Public Service.

On Labor Day 2015, a 21 year old male swimming at the public beach at Carter’s Lake began to drown. When he was pulled to safety on the beach, he was not breathing and did not have a pulse. Ms. Lopez, who was at the recreation area to celebrate Labor Day, was one of the first people to respond and began to perform CPR on the victim. Through her efforts, the man started to breathe again and regained a weak pulse. Rangers responded to the scene and took over. The victim was transported to a hospital and eventually made a full recovery.

Lopez was honored at Tuesday morning’s meeting of the Dalton Public Safety Commission. Colonel Donald Walker, the Deputy Division Commander of the Army Corps of Engineers’ South Atlantic Division, presented Lopez with the Commander’s Award. He also presented the Commander’s Award For Civilian Service to Park Ranger Javier Perez-Ortiz, one of the rangers who responded to the scene. Park Rangers Brandon Cass and Mike Tedder had also been honored with the same award previously for their roles in the rescue.

Below: Misty Lopez receivers her award from Colonel Donald Walker

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DPD Kicks Off Fundraising For Special Olympics Torch Run

The Dalton Police Department is joining police across Georgia to raise money for Special Olympics Georgia (SOGA). The DPD is taking part in the statewide Law Enforcement Torch Run effort to raise money to send Special Olympics athletes to the state games and fund other important parts of SOGA’s operation. You can help by purchasing Torch Run hats or running shirts from the DPD or donating through pledges of support for officers who will run in a nine mile Torch Run relay April 15th. The route will take participating officers on a route through the city of Dalton.

The 2016 Law Enforcement Torch Run shirts are sky blue dry-fit running shirts with the Law Enforcement Torch Run logo.  The hats are available in two styles. One is white and the other is in a camouflage pattern. The hats cost $12 each and the shirts cost $15. The shirts are available in small, medium, large, X-large and 2X-large. Both the hats and shirts are on sale at the Police Services Center at 301 Jones Street.

Each year, the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) is the largest fundraising effort for SOGA.  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.  In 2015, the LETR effort raised more than $866,000 in Georgia. Over the years, Georgia’s LETRs have raised more than $11 million for the Special Olympics.

Funds raised through the Torch Run fund many aspects of the Special Olympics operation. Much of that money goes to send athletes to compete in the statewide Special Olympics Games. It costs $85 to send one athlete to one of the state games meets. At these games, children and adults with intellectual disabilities get to compete in high quality sports, interact with peers, and experience new places. Participation in the games means athletes work towards a goal, learn and master new skills, and develop good habits that could improve their health and lives.

Special Olympics Georgia does not receive funds from local, state, or federal funds. SOGA also does not receive United Way funding. Funding for SOGA, which operates competitions year-round for their athletes, comes from donations and fundraising events such as the Law Enforcement Torch Run. Neither Special Olympics athletes nor their families pay fees to compete. More than 26,000 athletes are currently being served by SOGA.

The DPD’s Torch Run is coming up on April 15th. Anyone who wants to sponsor a DPD runner can contact Sergeant Ricky Long at rlong@cityofdalton-ga.gov or by calling 706-278-9085, dial 9 and enter extension 168 for more information. Donations can also be made to the department’s fundraising effort itself either through a separate monetary donation or purchase of Law Enforcement Torch Run merchandise.

You can click here to visit a donation site set up by Special Olympics Georgia.

Below: The 2016 Special Olympics Georgia Law Enforcement Torch Run hats and dry fit running shirt, available at the Police Services Center at 301 Jones Street

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Application Deadline For Explorers Program Is March 1st

The Dalton Police Department is accepting applications for the department’s 2016-2017 Law Enforcement Explorers program, but the deadline is rapidly approaching. Applications are due March 1st.

The Law Enforcement Explorer Program allows young men and women to gain training and experience in the law enforcement field. The program also provides opportunities for community involvement and development. Program activities center around law enforcement training, organized recreational activities and competitive events. Officer David Saylors currently oversees the program.

To be eligible for the program, an applicant:

  • Must be between 14 (in 9th grade) and 20 years old.
  • Must maintain at least a “C” average in every class, and must remain enrolled in school until graduation or earn a GED
  • Must attend regularly scheduled meetings, including physical training

To apply to become a Dalton Police Explorer, click here to download a .pdf copy of the application. Fill out the application and send it to:

Officer David Saylors
Dalton Police Department
301 Jones Street
Dalton, GA 30720

You can also email a completed copy of the application to dsaylors@cityofdalton-ga.gov or FAX a copy of the application to the attention of Officer Saylors at 706-217-2075. Applications will be accepted until March 1st, 2016.

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DPD Investigating Sexual Assault

The Dalton Police Department is investigating a sexual assault that happened Monday night in the parking lot of the West Walnut Avenue Kroger.  The incident happened last night at approximately 8:20 pm when a woman was getting into her car after loading her groceries. Just as she got into the car, a man got into the passenger side and reached over and groped her. He was apparently spooked when the victim’s child in the back seat screamed and that gave the victim time to tell her daughter to get out of the car. Both the victim and her daughter escaped the car and the suspect fled on foot towards Walnut Avenue. Responding officers were unable to locate the suspect.

The suspect was described as a black male wearing a dark gray hoodie and jeans with black shoes standing between 5’9 and 5-11 with a medium build and patchy facial hair.

After speaking to witnesses and checking video footage in the area, our investigators have determined that the suspect walked up and down the sidewalk along the shopping center for between 45 minutes and an hour before the assault happened. The picture and video below are from a surveillance camera in front of Las Palmas recorded before the assault.

Anyone with information on the identity of this suspect is asked to please contact Detective Forrest Jones at 706-278-9085, dial 9 and enter extension 184.

Below: An image and video of the suspect

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Focusing On Pedestrian Safety In Dalton

It’s been a dangerous few months to be a pedestrian in Dalton. The city typically averages one or two pedestrian-involved crashes per year, but there have already been three such incidents since December 2015. Two of those crashes involved teenage pedestrians.

The DPD wants to put a stop to that trend, so the agency is making changes to the Pedestrian Safety Program that began in Dalton elementary schools last year.  The program, now known as the WALKS (Walk Always Looking both ways and Knowing what’s Safe) Program, will also be incorporated at the middle and high school levels. As part of the WALKS program, officers from the Traffic Unit and other patrol officers will be working with Dalton students and even walking with kids on their school-wide “Walk to School Days” whenever possible.

If you drive, be on the lookout for pedestrians and bicyclists.  If you cycle, walk, or run around town please make yourselves familiar with pertinent laws and safety practices.  If cycling, please wear a helmet.

Here are a few reminders on how to be a safe pedestrian around 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.
  • Avoid crossing streets at hill crests and/or other natural blind spots.  Even if there is a crow walk in one of these areas, drivers cannot stop for what they cannot see.
  • 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.  Even though the temps are cooler, you can still dehydrate.
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DPD Investigating Report Of Missing Woman

UPDATE (2/17/16) Leslie Gunter has been located safe and sound. 

The Dalton Police Department is looking for 36 year old Leslie Marie Gunter who was last seen by her family on January 23rd. Gunter was first reported missing by her family on February 11th. Her family told investigators that it is not unusual for her to disappear for a period of time, but that she has never been gone so long before.

Gunter was last seen leaving her father’s home on Bermuda Street in Dalton on January 23rd with an unknown African-American male who was driving a gray or silver dually-style pickup truck. Since that time, her family has tried to call her multiple times but her phone goes straight to voicemail.

Gunter is a white female standing between 5’2 and 5’3 and weighing approximately 150 pounds. She has long brown hair and green eyes.

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DPD Seeks Woman In Shoplifting Case

The Dalton Police Department is hoping someone will recognize a woman who shoplifted more than $100 worth of jewelry from Kohl’s.  The woman stole the items after attempting to return another piece of jewelry without a receipt.

The incident happened at the Kohl’s location on Shugart Road on November 2nd. Loss prevention reported the theft to the Dalton Police Department. The female suspect came into the store at approximately 5:30 that afternoon and tried to return a silver bracelet without a receipt. The cashier refused to give a refund because she did not have an ID. The woman was given a store credit.

After this transaction, surveillance footage shows the woman walking around the jewelry department and taking several items out of their packaging. She then left the store without paying to the items.  The stolen items were pieces of costume jewelry, earrings, necklaces, and at least one ring.

The suspect wore jeans and a black shirt with a dark jacket and a bright yellow belt. A picture of the suspect is included below.

Anyone with information on this woman’s identity or this crime is asked to please contact Detective Matthew Lowery at 706-278-9085, dial 9 an enter extension 133.

Below: The suspect is pictured by Kohl’s store surveillance

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Driving Safe In Frigid Conditions

The snow has left Dalton for now, but northwest Georgia still has frigid temperatures in store through at least this weekend. Since it seems we are in store for more winter weather and colder temperatures, here are a few tips from the Dalton Police Department to help improve your safety during the winter months.

  • Avoid driving while you’re fatigued. Getting the proper amount of rest before taking on winter weather tasks reduces driving risks.
  • Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
  • Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
  • Never mix radial tires with other tire types.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
  • If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy and snowy weather.
  • Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand).
  • Always look and steer where you want to go.
  • Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.
  • Try to avoid unnecessary trips.
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Beware Sending Money To Strangers Online

The Dalton Police Department is again urging people to be cautious about donating money to people they meet online.

The department has received several reports of a scammer on Facebook claiming to be a chaplain from the United States Army. This individual appears to target older people online and befriend them before asking for monetary donations or donations of “care package” type items for soldiers. This individual is apparently using a picture of an actual Army chaplain as his or her profile picture online.

If someone you’ve only met online is requesting money, more often than not you are dealing with a scammer. Please be wary of sending money to online charities without first verifying who you are dealing with.

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DPD Investigating Theft From Parked Car

The Dalton Police Department is asking for the public’s help identifying a man who drove a getaway car for another suspect who stole a man’s wallet from a car parked at the West Walnut Avenue Kroger store. The driver was recorded on store surveillance entering the store before the theft took place.

The incident happened January 6th at approximately 1:45 pm. The victim parked and left his wallet in the center console of his vehicle and left the car unlocked as he went inside the grocery store. As the victim pulled into a parking space, a maroon Ford Expedition backed into the spot next to the victim. The driver of the Expedition then went inside the store. This man then returned to his Expedition. Before leaving, however, a man opened the passenger side door of the Expedition and got out, walked around to the driver’s side door of the victim’s vehicle, and opened the door. After a few moments, this individual then got back inside the Expedition’s passenger side door and the vehicle pulled out. The victim discovered the theft upon returning to his vehicle a short time later and called police. He said that while his wallet contained no cash, he did have bank cards, identification, and a social security card.

The driver of the expedition is a white male standing approximately 6 feet tall. He wore a University of Alabama ball cap, jeans, and a brown Nike hoodie pullover. The driver is not considered a suspect at this time, but investigators believe he can identify the person responsible.

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

Below: The suspect entering Kroger, the suspect’s vehicle

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