The City of Dalton's Public Safety Commission held its May 2012 meeting this morning at Dalton City Hall as both the Dalton Fire Department and Dalton Police Department presented their monthly reports for April 2012. Here are some notes from the meeting:
The Dalton Fire Department opened the May meeting of the Dalton Public Safety Commission by presenting two candidates for promotion. Lieutenants Steve Hollingsworth and Brandon Bray both had their promotions to the rank of captain confirmed by unanimous vote of the commission.
Captain Hollingsworth has served with the Dalton Fire Department since April 1987. Hollingsworth served as a lieutenant on “A Shift” since 2001, and as that shift’s acting captain since April 2011. Captain Hollingsworth has left a mark on the department in other ways, including being cited by Chief Bruce Satterfield for playing an instrumental role in the opening of DFD’s stations #3, #4, and #5 over the years. Captain Hollingsworth is a certified Smoke Diver and holds many other instructor and training certifications. His promotion fills a vacancy left by the promotion of Battalion Chief Todd Pangle.
Captain Bray has served with the fire department since March 1996. He’s been a lieutenant with “C Shift” since July 2005 and has been that shift’s acting captain for the last two months since the promotion of Battalion Chief Chris Cantrell. Captain Bray is a member of the Georgia Search and Rescue (GSAR) team and also holds an array of other leadership, supervision, rescue, and firefighting qualifications in his training profile. He is also a Georgia Smoke Diver.
DPD State Certification Renewed
The Dalton Police Department’s State Certification was officially renewed on Monday night with a presentation at the meeting of the Mayor and Council. The state certification is awarded by the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police (GACP).
The GACP is comprised of more than 1,000 executive officers from law enforcement agencies across the state. The association promotes cooperative relationships between Georgia's police agencies, and evaluates the professional standards of agencies to offer training and education for administrators. The Dalton Police Department was among the first law enforcement agencies in Georgia to be certified by the GACP in 1999, and the department recently completed its re-certification process. Certification is an exhaustive process in which agencies first complete a comprehensive self-analysis of department policy and procedures, and then have assessors from across the state perform another study of the department's standards and practices. Departments are re-certified every three years. This was Dalton's third re-certification (originally departments were re-certified every five years). Out of more than 700 law enforcement agencies in Georgia, there are currently only approximately 100 enforcement agencies certified by the GACP. The DPD is currently seeking an international accreditation by the Commission on Accredtation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).
GACP Executive Director Frank Rotondo presented a plaque to the DPD at Monday night’s meeting in honor of the agency’s re-certification, and the achievement was noted at Tuesday’s meeting of the Public Safety Commission.
DPD Chief Jason Parker continued Tuesday morning’s meeting with an analysis of crime statistics for the month of April. Part I crimes (homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson) continued a recent upward trend, with the reported rate up 3.8% year to date compared to 2011. Chief Parker noted that the total reported rate of all crimes in April (Parts I and II) went up 17.1% compared to April 2011.
Chief Parker noted that violent crime is a continued area of concern, with the city’s first homicide since 2009 (and first gun-related homicide since 2007) occurring April 29th when Emilio Christopher Canales killed his father and brother and wounded his mother in a domestic incident. Canales was arrested later in the day.
Chief Parker continued the discussion of violent crime by reporting that there were only four reported robbery incidents in April, and arrests have been made in three of those incidents. That echoes positive trends in the overall clearance rates and arrest rates for both violent crimes and property crimes, with all indicators either holding steady or higher than last year. Year to date, the violent crime clearance rate is 63%, a 2% increase over 2011. The property crime clearance rate is 47%, an increase of 6%. There have been 19 arrests for violent crimes in 2012, identical to the year to date numbers in 2011. There have been 170 property crime arrests, 17 more than last year.
Chief Parker noted a 23% decrease in traffic crashes in April from the 125 crashes in March, but April’s 96 crashes were still a 13% increase over April 2011. Walnut Avenue, Chattanooga Road and Shugart Road continued to be the biggest trouble areas, accounting for 33% of all crashes. 15% of all crashes in Dalton included a distracted driver. There were 22 crashes with injuries reported.
The Dalton Public Safety Commission is comprised of Chairman William B. Weaver, Carlos Calderin, Terry Mathis, Keith Whitworth, and Kenneth E. Willis.
Below: Chief Jason Parker and Lt. Chris Cooke pose with GACP Executive Director Frank Rotondo after the presentation of the DPD’s State Certification on Monday night; Chief Bruce Satterfield, Captain Brandon Bray, Captain Steve Hollingsworth, and Deputy Chief Gary Baggett pose after the confirmation of promotions for Bray and Hollingsworth