At Tuesday morning’s meeting of the Dalton Public Safety Commission, Dalton Police Chief Jason Parker provided the monthly statistics report for November 2011. Chief Parker reported a reduction of some crime types during the month, and a higher clearance rate for both violent crimes and property crimes for the 2011 calendar year.
Unlike the past few years, “Part I” crimes have climbed 5% higher year-to-date in 2011 when compared to the first eleven months of 2010, but the rate of “Part I” crimes in November 2011 was 7% lower compared to November 2010. “Part I” crimes include homicide, rape, robbery, burglary, larceny, aggravated assault, motor vehicle theft, and arson. Chief Parker credited the agency’s increased emphasis on home and business security for the decreases, as November and December typically see the highest burglary rates of the year.
Additionally, the clearance rates for both violent crimes and property crimes have increased dramatically in 2011 compared to 2010. The year-to-date clearance rate for violent crimes is up to 69%, an increase from 41% over the first eleven months of 2010. The clearance rate for property crimes year-to-date is at 40%, up from 26% in 2010.
Traffic statistics presented by Chief Parker indicated that November 2011 saw the highest incidence of alcohol-related crashes, with five DUI-related crashes resulting in one injury. There were 14 DUI arrests in November 2011, two more than the same month in 2010. There were 107 total crashes in November, with 28 injuries. None of the injuries were considered serious. Walnut Avenue remained the most dangerous road in town, with 23 crashes accounting for 21% of crashes in the city. Glenwood Avenue had 13 crashes, while Chattanooga Road had 10 crashes. 13 crashes (12% of total crashes) in the city involved distracted or inattentive driving as a contributing factor, a three percent decrease from October 2011.
The police department experienced a 15% increase in the number of calls for service in November compared to the same month in 2010. For the year, the department is experiencing a 3% increase in service calls compared to last year.
Chief Parker also discussed several recent cases with the Public Safety Commission. In addition to several cases from November, Chief Parker also updated the commission on the unfounded report of an abducted child from December 8th. On that day, a juvenile girl reported seeing a young boy taken by a man or men in a gold or brown in color car or SUV. Responding officers from the Dalton Police, Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office, Whitfield County Emergency Management Agency, GBI, Georgia State Patrol, and State Probation canvassed the neighborhood and worked with the local school system to try to confirm the report. After confirming the whereabouts of all children with the school system, officers spent the rest of the day trying to find a report of a missing child. The investigation found that the initial report was unfounded, but investigators are still asking anyone who may have picked up a friend or family member that morning in the area of Matilda Street to contact the department. Chief Parker told commissioners that he was pleased with the way all agencies involved, including the Dalton Public Schools, were able to work together in a coordinated effort to ensure that children were safe.
Discussing the Dalton Fire Department’s monthly report to the commission, Chief Bruce Satterfield reported that the department completed its 5 month recruit training school with five new Dalton firefighters graduating from an original class of six candidates. The class wrapped up in November and a graduation ceremony was held on December 8th at City Hall. Chief Satterfield reported a steep drop in monetary losses due to fire in November 2011 compared to November 2010. The department answered 226 calls for service in November. Only one civilian injury resulted from fires in November, with a citizen suffering a burn on an arm during a kitchen fire. The department completed 2,477 training hours during November and hosted 30 students and 60 instructors during Georgia Smoke Diver Class #44 at the department’s training ground.