News Blog

DPD Officers Take The Plunge, Win Best Dressed, Meet Shaq

Officers from the Dalton Police Department took the plunge on Saturday, jumping into the chilly waters of Acworth Beach to raise money for Special Olympics Georgia. Five officers from the DPD pledged to brave the frigid water in exchange for donations to SOGA. They also won a special award for their fashion choice.

Assistant Chief Cliff Cason, Captain Chris Crossen, Sergeant Ricky Long, and Officers Terry Smith and Bart Chandler donned penguin costumes for the event Saturday and waddled into the cold water. The group won the event’s Best Costume award. Officers also got to meet Shaquille O’Neal who was on hand to help promote the event.

Above: Officer Terry Smith, Assistant Chief Cliff Cason, Officer Bart Chandler, Captain Chris Crossen, and Sergeant Ricky Long post with Shaquille O’Neal at Saturday’s Polar Plunge (note: our guys aren’t that tall, Shaq was standing down hill behind them)

The combined fundraising effort of the Dalton Police Department and students from Dalton High School and Dalton Middle School raised approximately $4,000 for SOGA. Andrea Barron’s class at Dalton High School (nicknamed “The Best of the Best”) spearheaded the fundraising at DHS which was named the top fundraising school in the state.

The DPD’s fundraising effort for the Special Olympics is continuing with the Law Enforcement Torch Run project. 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 Torch Run relay April 27th, the day before Whitfield County’s summer games. The route will take participating officers on a route through the city of Dalton.

The 2017 Law Enforcement Torch Run shirts are sky blue dry-fit running shirts with the Law Enforcement Torch Run logo and an image of a Special Olympics athlete carrying the torch.  The hats are available in two styles. One is tan and the other is in a digital camouflage pattern. The hats cost $12 each and the shirts cost $15. The shirts are available in all sizes. 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.

Below: DPD officers test the waters before taking the plunge

 

Dalton Again Recognized Among Georgia’s Safest Cities

The City of Dalton once again ranks among the safest cities in Georgia according to a study conducted by a national home security analysis company. Safewise ranks Dalton 44th among Georgia’s more than 750 municipalities. Dalton moved up one spot from 45th in Safewise’s rankings a year ago.

To conduct the study, Safewise analyzed the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) data from 2015 and calculated each city’s rate of violent crimes and property crimes per 1,000 residents. Dalton say only 2.86 violent crimes per 1,000 residents and 34 property crimes per 1,000 residents.

“It has been an uphill struggle, but in the last 10 years the numbers of the most serious crimes reported have reduced by about 40%,” noted Dalton Police Chief Jason Parker. “The same amount of effort is required to keep that up. Just because we made great progress, this is no time to rest on our laurels. We must as a community and police department stick to the strategies that have worked, and keep looking for improvements.”

And while the men and women of the Dalton Police Department are proud to see the city rank among Georgia’s safest, other law enforcement agencies and the community itself also can take pride in the ranking.

“I am proud of the work our officers and investigators do every day to keep the Dalton community safe,” said Chief Parker. “We also recognize the fine work done by the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office and other local agencies. There’s no doubt it is a collective effort.”

“We are fortunate to have a very responsive, supportive, and cooperative community who helps us solve and prevent crime every day,” Parker continued. “Good community relations go a long way, and we get information from citizens on active cases virtually every day. So, every Dalton resident should share in this distinction.”

The metro Atlanta city of Johns Creek ranked safest among Georgia cities in Safewise’s analysis. To view the complete list of Georgia’s Top 50 Safest Cities, visit http://www.safewise.com/blog/safest-cities-georgia.

Valentine’s Day Shoplifter Steals Razors

UPDATE (2/17/17, 9:20 am) The suspect has been identified and the DPD is seeking warrants for his arrest. Thanks to the many people who contacted us regarding his identity.

It’s legal for a well-groomed man to steal a woman’s heart on Valentine’s Day, but only if the man in question didn’t steal razor blades to get ready for his date. Unfortunately, a young man in Dalton coupled the laudable decision to apparently get rid of his attempt at a beard with a poorer decision to steal a package of razor blades from a section of the Shugart Road Walmart with a really good surveillance camera.

The incident happened on February 14th between 5:30 and 5:45 pm. The suspect, a white male with dark shaggy hair and patchy facial hair, entered the store and can be seen on a store surveillance camera concealing a package of razor blades in his pants. Later, he is seen on a different camera in the automotive department taking another item from a shelf and concealing that item, believed by the store’s loss prevention staff to be a headlight assembly, in his pants as well. The suspect wore jeans and an aqua blue t-shirt. A picture of the suspect is included with this release.

When the suspect left the store, one of the loss prevention associates tried to get him to stop but the suspect shoved the loss prevention associate aside and fled on foot.

Below: A surveillance image of the suspect

DPD Explorers Shine At Winterfest

The Dalton Police Department’s Law Enforcement Explorers traveled to Gatlinburg, Tennessee over the weekend to take part in the annual Winterfest competition and once again turned in a winning effort. Competing against Explorer posts from 85 other law enforcement agencies from across the southeast, Dalton’s Explorers brought home top honors in one event and placed third in a pair of others.

Dalton’s Explorers took part in several mock law enforcement scenarios and their performances were judged by law enforcement officers. Dalton finished first in the “Bomb Threat” scenario competition and finished third in “Domestic Crisis” and “Emergency Vehicle Operations.” The Dalton Explorers also came close to placing in a pair of other scenarios, finishing 5th in “Crisis Negotiations” and “Officer Down.”

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.  Officers David Saylors and Matias Castillo currently oversee the program.  Explorers must be between 14 and 20 years old, maintain at least a “C” average in school and must stay in school until graduation or obtaining a GED.  Explorers also must attend regularly scheduled meetings, including physical training.

Applications to join Dalton’s Law Enforcement Explorers post for the coming year are now being accepted. Click here to learn more about the program and to download an application.

Below: The DPD Explorers pose with their awards from the 2017 Winterfest Competition. (Front Row- Jenny Nunez, Shaw Scott, Ben Phillips Back Row- Officer Matias Castillo, John Gilfillan, Trey Williams, Corey Greene, Officer David Saylors)

 

DPD Seeks Suspect In Truck Theft

The Dalton Police Department is asking for the public’s help identifying a suspect in the theft of a pickup truck. The truck was stolen last week from a Mohawk Industries facility and was recovered after being abandoned later in the day. The suspect in the case ran from a Whitfield County deputy, who later recovered surveillance video of the suspect from a nearby convenience store.

The incident happened on February 8th at the Mohawk facility at 2100 South Hamilton Street. The victim reported that he parked his truck, a 1999 white Ford 150 Lariat, in an employee parking lot and left it unlocked with the keys inside. Oddly enough, when the victim returned to the parking lot shortly before 3:00 pm he discovered that it was missing. A Dalton officer that responded recovered surveillance video of a blue Nissan pickup truck pulling up next to the victim’s truck in the parking lot that appeared to have two men inside. The truck was then taken. Earlier in the day, a similar blue Nissan pickup truck was reported stolen to the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office.

Shortly after 4:00 pm, a property owner reported finding the victim’s white F150 abandoned on his property off of Bud Holland Road in Whitfield County. The property owner told a responding deputy that he saw fresh tire tracks and followed them approximately 25 yards into the woods and found the truck. He also saw a white male walking away from the area. The deputy then located the suspect who fled on foot. The man wore an orange t-shirt and khaki work pants and a baseball cap. While a search of the area was unsuccessful, the deputy was able to recover surveillance pictures of the suspect from a convenience store nearby on Coogler Road. Pictures of the suspect are included with this release. The truck was recovered with a flat tire.

Anyone with information on the identity of the suspect or this incident is asked to please contact Detective Aaron Simpson at 706-278-9085, dial 9 and enter extension 253.

The Dalton Police Department encourages all drivers to lock their vehicles and not to leave their keys inside of their vehicles.

Below: The suspect and his tattoos were recorded by store surveillance

Computers Shoplifted From Walmart

UPDATE (4:30 PM) – The suspect has been identified. 

The Dalton Police Department is asking for the public’s help identifying a man who shoplifted two computers from Walmart. The suspect was recorded by store surveillance.

The incident happened between 7:00 and 7:30 on Sunday morning, February 5th.  The suspect, an older white male with a gray mustache and graying blonde hair stole two HP desktop computers from the Walmart on Shugart Road. The computers are valued at $649 each. The suspect left in a white pickup truck, possibly a Dodge. The suspect wore blue jeans, white tennis shoes, a yellow polo shirt, and a tan jacket with a camouflaged Tennessee Volunteers baseball cap. Because the suspect was indoors and in a brightly lit store, the camouflage was not effective.

Below: The suspect and his truck were recorded by store surveillance

DPD Seeks Suspects In Home Burglary

The Dalton Police Department is asking for the public’s help identifying two suspects in a residential burglary. The suspects stole a number of Apple products from the home including three iPads, one iPad mini, two iPod Touch devices, and an iPhone 5s.

The burglary happened sometime between 8:00 am and 1:00 pm on January 26th at a residence on Westerly Drive in Dalton. After returning home, the homeowners noticed that their side door was standing open and noticed that several drawers in their bedroom were left partially open.

After an investigation, Dalton detectives obtained two pictures of suspects in the case which are included with this release. The suspects are a white male and a white female who both appear to be in their late teens or early 20’s. The female suspect has a piercing in her bottom lip.

Anyone with information on the identity of these two suspects is asked to please contact Detective Brian Shirley at 706-278-9085, dial 9 and enter extension 189.

Below: The two suspects.

Ferret Stolen From Pet Store, Length Of Winter Unaffected

UPDATE: The suspect has been identified and the ferret has been returned to the store thanks to multiple tips. Thank you for your help!

It may be Groundhog Day, but the Dalton Police Department is more interested in finding a ferret. The theft of one of the furry critters from a Dalton pet store was recorded by store surveillance, and investigators are asking for the public’s help identifying a suspect.

The incident happened January 27th at the Petland store at 1349 West Walnut Avenue. Shortly after 8:30 pm, a group of six people, two males and four females entered the store and spent several minutes walking around together. The group left the store and then came back inside a few minutes later before finally leaving together. Then at approximately 9:40 pm, one of the males and two females came back to the store. The females went to the area near the puppy cages while the male suspect went to the ferret cage. The male suspect spent several minutes with his hands in the cage, apparently concealing a baby ferret valued at $230 in his shirt sleeve. He then walked out of the store quickly (but not as quickly as if he’d been startled by his own shadow). A police incident report notes that the suspect “quickly walked out of the store while contorting his arm at odd angles and moving it around as if he were concealing something within his long sleeves.” After the suspect left, the two females quickly left the store together immediately afterwards.

The suspect is a black male with short black hair. He wore a thick black jacket inside of the store. Surveillance images of the suspect and the other five people he came into the store with are included with this release.

Below: The suspect is pictured at left in a black jacket. The other five individuals he was with are also pictured.

 

Veteran Officer Promoted to Captain

DPD Captain Promoted

A 28-year veteran of the Dalton Police Department was promoted to the rank of captain at Tuesday morning’s meeting of the Dalton Public Safety Commission. Captain Chip Whitfield had his promotion from the rank of lieutenant approved by a 4-0 vote of the commission (commission member Carlos Calderin was unable to attend Tuesday’s meeting).

Captain Whitfield currently serves as the division commander of the agency’s Administration Division. He holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Columbus State University and has his bachelor’s degree from the University of West Georgia. He has served the department in every capacity, as a patrol officer, detective, and supervisor. In addition to his duties with the police department, he also serves as a part-time instructor in the criminal justice program at Dalton State College.

Captain Chip Whitfield (right) poses with Chief Jason Parker at Tuesday morning’s meeting (click image to see a larger version)

Firefighter Promotions Approved

The Dalton Fire Department opened Tuesday morning’s monthly meeting of the Dalton Public Safety Commission by presenting seven candidates for promotion.

Presented for promotion from the rank of Firefighter 1 to Firefighter 2 were Katelen Farmer, Dwayne Pangle, Danny Arthur, and Casey Jones. Farmer has been with the department since February 2006 and is a graduate of the prestigious FLAMES (Firefighters Laboring and Mastering Essential Skills) course in addition to holding numerous other training certifications. Pangle joined the department in January 2013 and also is a FLAMES graduate as well. Arthur also joined the department in January 2013 and is a graduate of the grueling Georgia Smoke Diver program and also serves as an Emergency Medical Technician.  Casey Jones also joined the department in January 2013 and is a hazardous materials technician in addition to numerous other training certifications.

Firefighter 2 Adam Stanley and Firefighter 2 Andy Brock were both presented for promotion to the rank of Engineer. Brock and Stanley both have served the Dalton Fire Department since July 2011. Both are Georgia Smoke Divers each serves as an EMT and hazardous materials technician in addition to holding many other certifications.

Firefighter 2 Matt Daniel was presented for promotion to the rank of Firefighter 3. Daniel is a 14 year veteran of the fire department, joining in January 2003. In addition to numerous other training qualifications, Daniel is a member of the Georgia Search and Rescue Team.

Each of the seven promotions were approved by a unanimous 4-0 vote of the Public Safety Commission.

Dalton Fire Chief Bruce Satterfield poses with firefighters Katelen Farmer, Danny Arthur, Adam Stanley, Matt Daniel, Andy Brock, Casey Jones, and Dwayne Pangle after their promotions Tuesday morning (click image to see a larger version)

 

Chairman, Secretary Named

As Tuesday’s meeting was the first of the year, commission members voted to name a commission chairman and secretary. Chairman William B. Weaver and Secretary Terry Mathis were both re-elected to their same positions for 2017 by unanimous vote.

The Dalton Public Safety Commission is comprised of Chairman William B. Weaver, Carlos Calderin, Terry Mathis, Keith Whitworth, and Kenneth E. Willis.

Fundraising Kicks Off For 2017 Law Enforcement Torch Run

Following our best Special Olympics fundraising effort ever in 2016, the Dalton Police Department is once again joining police departments from across Georgia in the Law Enforcement Torch Run fundraiser. The DPD is taking part to help send Special Olympics Georgia (SOGA) 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 Torch Run relay April 27th, the day before Whitfield County’s summer games. The route will take participating officers on a route through the city of Dalton.

The 2017 Law Enforcement Torch Run shirts are sky blue dry-fit running shirts with the Law Enforcement Torch Run logo and an image of a Special Olympics athlete carrying the torch.  The hats are available in two styles. One is tan and the other is in a digital camouflage pattern. The hats cost $12 each and the shirts cost $15. The shirts are available in all sizes. Both the hats and shirts are on sale at the Police Services Center at 301 Jones Street.

2017 Law Enforcement Torch Run shirt and hats

In 2016, the DPD enjoyed its best year of fundraising to date, raising more than $11,000 in support of the cause. Sergeant Ricky Long, who coordinated last year’s effort, was honored by Special Olympics Georgia with its “Rookie Fundraiser of the Year” award.

Sergeant Ricky Long poses with his “Rookie Fundraiser of the Year” award and a plaque recognizing the DPD’s 2016 fundraising effort

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 27th. For more information on donating to the cause or sponsoring runners, contact Sergeant Ricky Long at rlong@cityofdalton-ga.gov or by calling 706-278-9085, dial 9 and enter extension 168. 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.