News Blog

Police participate in community safety event

The Dalton Police Department participated in Community Safety Night at K-Mart on W. Walnut Avenue.  The event was hosted by Safe Kids of Dalton.  Supporting agencies included the Dalton Chapter of The American Red Cross, City of Dalton Fire Department, Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office, Fire Department, and Emergency Medical Services, Teen Resource Center, Amerigroup, and the Epilepsy services of Northwest Georgia. 

The Police Department hosted the Fatal Vision DUI simulation using goggles that simulate being under the influence of alcohol and having to drive a golf cart through an obstacle course.  This event shows the driver just how difficult it is to operate a motor vehicle when impaired.

The event also involved child safety seat checks, a bicycle safety class, and child identity packets.

The next Community Safety Night is scheduled for October 14th at the Lowe’s Home Warehouse located on Glenwood Avenue from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Community_safety_night_oct_2006 Officer Chris McDonald waiting on another driver for the fatal vision demonstation

Cummunity_night_bicycle A young rider navigates through the bicycle rodeo obstable course

Personal Security: Safety outside your home

With very few exceptions, most of us spend about one third of our time outside the home.  So, what steps can we take to reduce our chances of being a victim?

1.  Be Alert –  We must be aware of our surroundings.  Levels or conditions of awareness are taught to all of our officers in the Basic Academy class.  They are summed up as:

  • White – State of complete unreadiness; oblivious to your surroundings
  • Yellow – Relaxed attention; aware of your surroundings
  • Orange – Specific problem noticed; possible problem developing
  • Red – Awaiting mental trigger to launch a response
  • Black – In a Fight; Stay focused (not part of the original conditions of readiness but added by other trainers)

Unfortunately, most people operate in condition "White".  Driving down the road, shopping, walking down the street, etc.  Train yourself to be in condition "Yellow" (alert) anytime you are outside your home.

2.  Travel with a friend (whenever possible) – Bad guys will seek an easy target.  Having to deal with you and another person will be risky. 

3.  Stay in well-lit areas – Criminals generally do not want to attract attention to their actions.  If they can attack you and no one see it, that is their preference. 

4.  Consider Carrying a light – Lights have become so small, lightweight, and inexpensive there is really no excuse not to have one.  Even the very small LED lights that fit on your keychain can provide enough light to guide you through a darkened area.  The basic idea is to allow you to spot someone before they are within arms length of you. 

5.  Walk Smartly – When walking, keep your head up and scan.  Try and make eye contact with people when walking.  Do not approach doorways, hidden areas or alleys within arms reach.  These are all excellent hiding places for the criminal to launch a surprise attack against you. 

6.  Don’t engage in conversation with strangers – A common tactic used by criminals is to engage you in conversation then launch their attack when you are distracted.  A common example is asking you "What time is it?" or "I’m lost, do you know where such and such is?".  When you look at your watch or look down at their map or look away trying to show them were to go, they seize this opportunity to launch a surprise assault.  While not everyone that asks you for the time, directions or engages you in other conversation is an attacker, it is worth noting that this is a common tactic used and you should up your awareness to "Orange" if this occurs.

7.  Dress for the occasion – Especially footwear.  Your best, or possibly only, option may be to flee the area.  Proper clothing and footwear will be an asset.

8.  Get Moving – When going to your car, have the keys out and ready.  Get into your car quickly, lock the doors, and get moving.

Keep in mind these are some of the very basic steps that can be taken to reduce your chances of being a victim.  If you encounter someone suspicious, contact authorities immediately.

Remember, to have a specific security issue addressed,  send me an email at Officer Chris McDonald

Police Department implements Electronic Dispatching

In June of this year, the Dalton Police Department, in cooperation with the Whitfield County 911 Center, implemented electronic dispatching commonly referred to as “Silent Dispatch”.  Traditionally, police officers are dispatched to calls for service via two way radios.  With this new system, officers will continue to be dispatched in this manner; however, they will have additional critical information sent to them electronically via “Silent Dispatch”. 

There are many advantages to “Silent Dispatch”.  They are:

  • Extends vital computer aided dispatch information and functionality to the officer in the field
  • Repeating of information by dispatcher is minimized
  • Decreases workload for the dispatcher since officers have all the information on their screens and will be able to enter disposition information normally entered by the dispatcher
  • Decreased radio airtime (less voice traffic)
  • An increased amount of information can be transmitted to the officers for officer safety and assistance in solving crime
  • Enhanced safeties for officers in the field by providing on-screen call history
  • Increased safety for officers and community since the transmissions are encrypted and transmitted as data and not voices (radio scanners cannot hear the transmissions)

According to Chief James Chadwick, “We are extremely happy to provide this valuable tool to the officers of the Dalton Police Department.  Not only will it provide our officers with time sensitive and essential information, it will provide the officers and citizens enhanced safety”.

Underage Drinking Material Distributed at Car Show

The Police Department distributed material on underage drinking at the recent car show to benefit The Greenhouse, a child advocacy center, here in Dalton.  The department also had on hand Recruiting Officer Kenneth Brooks and Investigator Mack Flood who showed off the department’s new crime scene van. 

Underage drinking is a real problem, not only here but nationwide.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2003, 3,571 young drivers ages 16-20 died in motor vehicle crashes. Of these, 1,131 – approximately 32% – had been drinking, and 26% were legally drunk at the time of the crash.

For more facts about underage drinking click here

Car_show Car_show_2

Mock crime scene was set up by Investigator Mack Flood

Police Applicants Participate in Physical Fitness Testing

If you are interested in being a police officer with The City of Dalton, plan on participating in a series of events to measure your physical fitness level.  In addition to an extensive selection process including a written test, polygraph examination, and comprehensive criminal background investigation, applicants are required to undergo a physical fitness test.  This test is designed to measure an applicant’s fitness level, an important attribute to a law enforcement officer.  The battery of tests consist of a vertical jump, sit-ups, a 300 meter run, push-ups, and finally a 1.5 mile run.

Picture_043_1 Applicants cross the finish line of the 300 meter event

They must complete this event in 71 seconds or less

Police offer $1000 Reward for information on BB Gun Vandalism

As many of you are aware, several businesses in our city have had their windows damaged by BB guns.  The Police Department has decided to issue a $1000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the individual(s) responsible for this damage.  We will also be putting up flyers at several locations around the city with this same message.

Below, two maps are included.  One is a mapping of all the incidents from July to present.  The other shows the highest concentration of incidents with those occurring from Morris Street to just north of Martin Luther King Blvd. 

We are asking for anyone with any information about the identity of the person(s) responsible for these crimes to contact the Criminal Investigations Division at 706-278-9085 ext. 250.

Bb_vandalisms_1 Bb_vandalisms_2


Police looking for suspect in attempted Rape case

The Dalton Police Department is looking for a suspect believed to have attacked a woman in the parking lot of Delray Farms grocery store located at 2518 E. Walnut Avenue at approximately 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday September 27th, 2006.  The attack occurred in the parking lot when the woman was getting into her vehicle.  The suspect came up from behind the woman, pulled her out of her vehicle and forced her to the ground.  She was unable to scream due to the suspect’s hand being over her mounth.  According to the victim, the suspect saw another person in the parking lot and stopped the attack.  He then got into a beige older model passenger sedan style car and fled the area.  The vehicle is further described as having "box type fenders".

The suspect is described as:

  • Black male, over 200 pounds (large build), 6 feet tall or taller
  • Short dark hair with possible stubble facial hair
  • Last seen wearing blue shirt with logo and tan pants

It is believed that the suspect followed the victim from Wal-Mart located on East Walnut Avenue to Delray Farms grocery. 

Investigators are asking for anyone that was at Delray Farms grocery or Wal-Mart between 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to contact Investigator Matthew Locke at 706-278-9085 ext. 320 with information.  Surveillance cameras captured images of the suspect while at Wal-Mart.


OneImage of suspect taken by Wal-Mart surveillance camera

Police looking for suspects involved in several Entering Autos

Investigators are looking for two individuals wanted for breaking into several cars in both Dalton and the southern part of Whitfield County.  The incidents occurred on September 13th, 2006 at the Central Church of Christ and several other churches in Whitfield County between 6:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

The suspects are listed as a white female and white male, both approximately 20-30 years old with the female having light brown or sandy blond hair and medium build and a white male with short black or dark brown hair and slim build.  They are possibly driving a silver or white 4-door car.  In a surveillance video, they are seen carrying a baby carrier.  Some of the stolen items were used in both Dalton and Cherokee County so they may have contacts in both areas.

Anyone with information about the identity of these individuals is asked to contact Detective Matthew Locke at 706-278-9085 extension 320.

Police Department to participate in the upcoming Car Show to benefit The Greenhouse

The Dalton Police Department will be participating in the Car Show this Saturday September 30th, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the North Georgia Fairgrounds.  The proceeds from this event will go to The Greenhouse, a child advocacy center for abused children.

Officers from the department will be available to discuss crime prevention and recruiting.  We will also have our new crime scene van along with our crime scene investigator present.  Everyone is invited to come out and support The Greenhouse.

Electronic Tickets

Officers will begin this week issuing electronic tickets to motorists.  Compared to the old style tickets used for the past 20 years, the new E-Tickets will look much like a department store receipt.  In the past, officers were required to manually enter all of the violator’s information onto the paper ticket.  With the new E-ticket, the officer simply enters the driver’s license number and the computer automatically enters all pertinent information for the ticket.  The ticket is printed on an inboard computer and given to the violator.  The ticket information is transferred to municipal court every 15 minutes and reduces much of the data entry requirements of the court personnel.

While there are many benefits to the new system versus the old, one major benefit is the reduction in time the violator will be detained.  Also with this shorter stop time, the roadway is cleared quicker and the officer has less exposure to oncoming traffic, a real danger to the officer.  Installation of the printers should be complete in all patrol units by the middle of October. Picture_042

Patrolman First Class Shaun Scott using car computer in preparation for printing E-Ticket