News Blog

Section Of Walnut Avenue Will Be Closed Friday Morning

Westbound lanes of Walnut Avenue between Lester Drive and Sheridan Drive will be closed on Friday morning, August 25th, starting at 9:00 am to allow traffic investigators to investigate and document the scene of a recent serious crash there. The lane closures are expected to last a few hours.

 

Officers from the DPD’s Traffic Unit will be assisted by troopers from the Georgia State Patrol in reconstructing the accident that happened on the evening of August 9th that left a Dalton teenager hospitalized with injuries that were considered life threatening. An initial investigation of the crash indicated that a white 2005 Ford Mustang driven by 18 year old Austin Burnette of Chatsworth was traveling westbound on Walnut Avenue when a silver 2002 Toyota Corolla driven by 18 year old Keiri Suarez of Tunnel Hill traveling eastbound on Walnut attempted to turn left onto Sheridan Avenue in front of Burnette’s Mustang. Burnette’s Mustang hit the Corolla sending both vehicles off of the roadway. Burnette and a passenger in his vehicle sustained minor injuries. Ms. Suarez suffered severe injuries and remains in critical condition.

DPD Investigating Shoplifting Of Watches From Kohl’s

The Dalton Police Department is asking tor the public’s help identifying two men who shoplifted watches from Kohl’s on Shugart Road. The stolen watches were worth more than $300.

 

 

The theft happened on August 8th. Two white males were recorded by store surveillance concealing several watches on their person and disposing of the watch boxes. The store’s loss prevention staff reported that they also took a shirt. The stolen items totaled $359.95 in value.

 

 

The suspects are both white males. One of the suspects has brownish blond hair and wore a gray Adidas hooded sweatshirt with black sleeves and black Adidas sweat pants with white shoes. The second suspect has darker hair and wore a white t-shirt and black sweat pants. Pictures of the two suspects are included with this release.

 

 

Anyone who recognizes these suspects is asked to please contact Officer Justin Smith at 706-278-9085, extension 9573 or by email at wsmith@cityofdalton-ga.gov.

Below: The suspects were recorded on store surveillance

DPD Investigates Theft Of Slow Dispensing Cash

UPDATE: The woman has been identified. 

The Dalton Police Department is asking for the public’s help identifying a woman who took $100 that was mistakenly left behind at a self-checkout. The woman and her car were recorded by store surveillance.

 

The incident happened at the Walmart Neighborhood Market on West Walnut Avenue on August 9th. The victim tried to get $100 cashback at the self-checkout station but there was a lag in the system and no cash was dispensed. After waiting for his cash, the victim assumed there was a problem with the system and left the store. After he left, the system dispensed his cash. When the victim checked his bank statement, he saw the $100 debit on his account and returned to the store. Employees checked store surveillance videos and saw a heavyset white or light-skinned Hispanic woman with dyed blonde hair use the checkout next and take the money. The woman then left the store without trying to speak to any store employee or try to find the rightful owner of the money. The woman left the store in a vehicle that appeared to be a silver 2003-2007 Toyota Corolla S model sedan. A picture of the suspect is included with this release.

 

Below: The suspect was recorded on store surveillance

 

Scam Alert: Phone Scammers Posing As Cops

Another day, another phone scam. This time, there’s a phone scam going around with a scammer posing as a detective with the Dalton Police Department and spoofing his caller ID number to appear as the number of the police department’s main line. The scam has only been reported to police once so far but the department wants to alert the public to beware.

 

A Dalton resident reported to police that he was called on August 3rd by an individual claiming to be a DPD detective. This scammer informed the complainant that he was a suspect in a child pornography investigation. The fake detective then told the complainant that he could call the supposed victim’s father to try to work out some sort of settlement to avoid legal trouble. The complainant called the number and was threatened by a second scammer who demanded that the complainant pay his disconnect fee on a cell phone of more than $900 and also demanded money for therapy for the supposed victim of the child pornography. Fortunately, the complainant didn’t send the scammers any money.

 

It should go without saying that nobody from the Dalton Police Department or any other law enforcement organization will demand money in exchange for ending a police investigation. Nor will employees of any law enforcement agency ask for money to be sent over the phone to address any fines or fees. And certainly, no police investigator is ever going to contact suspects and put them in contact with victims to “work things out on their own.”

 

Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of this scam can contact the DPD’s Criminal Investigations Division at 706-278-9085, dial 9 and enter extension 250.

 

DPD Seeks ID Of Shoplifting Suspects

UPDATE: The suspects in this case have been identified.

The Dalton Police Department is asking for the public’s help identifying a male suspect who shoplifted more than $200 worth of men’s underwear and socks from a department store. The suspect and a friend with whom he was traveling were recorded by store surveillance.

The incident happened on August 2nd at the Kohl’s department store at 825 Shugart Road. At approximately 3:30, two white males arrived in a black passenger car, possibly a Nissan Altima, and entered the store. One of the males was recorded by store surveillance entering the dressing room area with several packages of men’s underwear and socks. After exiting the dressing room area, the male was recorded dumping empty packages into a trash can. Store employees retrieved the empty packages and determined that the items shoplifted totaled $226.83.

The suspect who shoplifted the items was wearing dark shorts and a white t-shirt and had dark hair. He was traveling with another white male with bleached blonde hair wearing a black t-shirts and jeans. The second subject did not steal any items from the store. A picture of the two males is included below.

Applications Open For Spanish Language Citizens Police Academy

After a successful first session last fall, the Dalton Police Department will host a second class of the Citizens Police Academy in Spanish later this summer. Applications are now being accepted for the program which will be held on six nights in August and September.

The DPD has held a Citizens Police Academy for nearly two decades in English, and last fall held a condensed version of the course for Spanish speakers. The program gives participants a behind the scenes look at every aspect of the police department’s operation. The pilot course was met with an enthusiastic response, so this summer the department will be hosting a six-week course. Classes will be led by Spanish-speaking officers and staff. The program is part of the police department’s strategic plan to improve communication and cooperation with the community.

“One of the fundamentals of successful policing and crime prevention is the ability of the police to receive cooperation and information during criminal investigations,” said Chief Jason Parker before the program’s first class. “Without that trust and support, we are much less effective.”

“Reaching every segment of our community helps everyone as a whole,” Chief Parker continued. “The fact that we have a sizeable group of people who are non-English speakers creates a barrier of communication with police and all emergency services. Statistics and research show that people generally only report about 40 percent of crime they know about, and that number is even lower in minority communities where they may not be aware of the opportunity to work with the police department to solve and prevent crime. Criminals are aware of that presence and intentionally target these people as victims of robbery, assault, and fraud. Even more concerning to the police department is that the potential exists for organized crime, such as human trafficking, to get a foot-hold. As a community, we should all be concerned about that.”

The class will meet at the Rock Bridge building at 114 South Hamilton Street on August 22nd, 29th, September 5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. People interested in participating can apply online at daltonpd.com/cpa_espanol.

DPD Investigating Credit Card Theft

UPDATE: (7/21/17) The suspect has been identified. Thank you to everyone who emailed or called with a tip! 

The Dalton Police Department is asking for the public’s help identifying a man who used a credit card stolen from a swim meet in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia at several locations in Dalton. The suspect used the stolen credit card to make purchases at four different locations for purchases totaling more than $250 in Dalton on July 15th, a short time after the victim’s wallet was stolen after possibly being forgotten on a counter at a swimming pool concession stand in Fort Oglethorpe. The suspect also attempted to use the stolen card to withdraw money from several ATMs, but failed.

 

The suspect used the stolen American Express card at the the Circle K at 1200 Glenwood Avenue, the Chevron at 100 North Oaks Drive, Shugart Road Murphy USA service station, and the Shugart Road Walmart. At the Walmart, the suspect bought a Samsung cell phone and a calling card.

 

The suspect is a skinny male, possibly Hispanic with dark hair and a dark mustache. He was recorded by store surveillance wearing a green polo shirt with dark stripes. He was a passenger in a silver Ford SUV with an unknown license plate.

 

Below: The suspect and the vehicle in which he was traveling were recorded on store surveillance cameras.

DPD Targeting Speeders July 17th Through The 22nd

Fans of auto racing know that summer heat means some of the year’s biggest races, but the Dalton Police Department is working to makes sure local roads don’t become NASCAR tracks. The Dalton Police Department is taking part in the Operation Southern Shield/Arrive Alive campaign that’s targeting speeders on roads all across the southeast. From July 17th until July 22nd, the DPD’s Traffic Enforcement Unit (TEU) and regular patrol shifts will be taking part in speed enforcement details all over town.

The campaign is being coordinated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Agency (NHTSA) and the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS).  Speeding on Georgia’s roads can cost drivers big time, and not just from paying fines for speeding citations. Speeding can cost drivers their lives. Statistics provided by the GOHS show how speeding can cost you. The chances of a crash being fatal is more than three times higher when speeding is a contributing factor. More young male drivers are involved in fatal crashes as a result of speeding. In 2015, 22 percent of the 15 to 24 year old drivers who were involved in fatal crashes were also speeding at the time of the crash in Georgia. During the same year, 27 percent of all young (ages 15-24 years) motorcycle operators involved in fatal crashes were speeding, as compared to 18 percent for light truck drivers (which includes pickup trucks, SUV, and vans).

The DPD’s TEU reminds drivers that the four main ways to make sure to stay safe and arrive alive are to watch your speed, always buckle up, never text and drive, and NEVER drink and drive.

Three New Officers Sworn In

The Dalton Police Department added three new officers to the ranks Wednesday morning with a ceremony at the Police Services Center. During a brief ceremony in front of family, friends, and fellow DPD members, Officers Caleb Renegar, Justin Smith, and Corey Greene were all sworn in as officers and received their badges.

 

Officer Renegar is a native of northwest Georgia, born in Chickamauga. He’s a 2011 graduate of Gordon Lee High School and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of North Georgia in 2015. Officer Rengar is also an active member of the National Guard.

 

Officer Smith is a native of Rock Spring, Georgia, and graduated from Gordon Lee High School in 2013. Before joining the Dalton Police Department, Officer Smith served as both a detention officer in the Walker County Sheriff’s Office Jail and also as a 911 dispatcher with Walker County.

 

Officer Greene is a Whitfield County native. He graduated from Northwest Whitfield High School in 2014 and has attended Dalton State College where he pursued a degree in criminal justice. Officer Greene is a familiar face at the DPD, joining Dalton’s Police Explorers post in 2010. He continued on with the DPD Explorers until March 2017.

 

All three officers graduated from the Regional Police Academy in Cherokee County last week and were confirmed by unanimous vote of the Dalton Public Safety Commission at Tuesday morning’s meeting. During the ceremony Wednesday morning, they all took the oath of office from Dalton Municipal Court Judge Robert Cowan. They will now continue their training in the department’s Field Training Officer program in which they’ll ride with veteran mentor officers.

Below: Officers Renegar (left), Smith (center), and Greene (right) stand together after receiving their badges during Wednesday morning’s ceremony at the Police Services Center

DPD Officers Now Carrying Narcan To Fight Overdoses

 

Officers from the Dalton Police Department are now carrying a new tool to help victims of drug overdoses. The DPD has issued overdose reversal kits to officers which can be administered in the field to people who are experiencing an opioid overdose. The kit contains Narcan, a nasal spray form of the drug Naloxone which blocks the effects of opioids and can reverse an overdose. The overdose kits were purchased with funds form a grant from the Medical Association of Georgia Foundation.

 

Opioids are a class of drugs that include not only illegal drugs such as heroin, but also prescription painkillers such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, and others. Opioid abuse is becoming more common across the country and so are incidences of deaths from opioid overdoses. Earlier this month, there was an outbreak of drug overdoses around the Macon, Georgia area that included as many as 20 cases and five deaths.

 

In addition to protecting members of the public who may be suffering a drug overdose, the police department’s deployment of naloxone is also intended as a measure to protect our own officers. Nationwide, there have been several cases of officers overdosing after being accidentally exposed to fentanyl or carfentanyl during investigations which can be absorbed through the skin.

 

“Drug overdoses are quite common in our community, and with the addition of fentanyl to these drugs, it’s more likely to lead to a quick death,” said Dalton Police Chief Jason Parker. “We also have to be concerned about the risk of exposure to our officers.”

 

Because law enforcement officers often arrive on the scene of an overdose before emergency medical personnel, they can be in a position to save the life of a patient who is experiencing an overdose. Part of the Medical Association of Georgia’s “Project DAN (Deaths Avoided By Naloxone)” is to equip first responders with Narcan and to train officers how to use it. Dalton Police Department officers recently received training online on how to recognize an opioid overdose and how to use Narcan to try to help victims. The Narcan nasal spray is easy for officers or other first responders to administer to an overdose victim.

 

“The overdose reversal drug the officers are now carrying is easy to administer, and safe for the victim,” Chief Parker said. “Its active ingredients target only the opioid drugs in the system. Having a nasal spray makes it much simpler and safer for the officer versus an injection”

 

Georgia’s 911 Medical Amnesty Law was enacted in 2014 and provides amnesty for people who witness a drug overdose and call 911 to get help for the victim. The 911 caller cannot be prosecuted for small amounts of drugs, alcohol, or other drug paraphernalia if they were discovered as a result of a 911 call for medical help. Symptoms of an opioid overdose include slowed breathing, sleepiness and being difficult to wake up, and “pin point” pupils (which may not be present if other drugs have also been used). If you see someone who has been using opioids with these symptoms, it is important to call 911 to get help.

 

“We are very aggressively targeting the drug manufacturers and dealers, but the bottom line as it relates to overdose situations is that individual drug users can call for help if they or another person is overdosing and the focus is going to be on the medical issue and human survival,” Chief Parker explained. “The same goes for a family member or friend of the overdosing victim who may hesitate to call for help out of fear the overdosing person being charged”

 

The Narcan nasal spray issued to DPD officers through this grant has a shelf life of up to five years. All Dalton officers in the field have been issued overdose kits and have been trained to use them.