Two Dalton Police officers had their promotions confirmed by a unanimous vote of the Dalton Public Safety Commission at its June meeting on Tuesday morning. Master Police Officer Ricky Long, Jr. was promoted to the rank of sergeant and Sergeant Chip Whitfield was promoted to the rank of lieutenant.
Sergeant Long has served the Dalton Police Department since March 2000 and has an associate’s degree from Dalton State College. In addition to his years as a patrol officer, Sgt. Long also served as a School Resource Officer (SRO) and also most recently as a detective in the Criminal Investigations Division (CID). Sergeant Long is now serving as a supervisor in the patrol division.
Lt. Whitfield is a Dalton native and has served the department since July 1988. He has a bachelor’s degree from West Georgia College and a master’s degree in public administration from Columbus State University. He has served in various roles including most recently as operations sergeant of CID. He now takes over as Division Commander of CID.
Both promotions were confirmed by a 3-0 vote (commission members Carlos Calderin and Keith Whitworth were not in attendance).
Chief Jason Parker began the DPD’s report covering May 2012 with some positive news. The reported rate of Part I crimes for May 2012 was down 17% compared to the same month in 2011, with the largest decreases coming in the areas of larceny-theft and motor vehicle theft. For the year to date, the overall rate of Part I crimes is virtually the same as 2011. In the individual Part I categories, the year to date numbers are virtually identical to 2011 with the exceptions of a large decrease in motor vehicle thefts (24 in 2011 vs. 14 in 2012) and an increase in larceny-theft cases (407 in 2011 vs. 417 in 2012).
The property crime clearance rate is still higher than last year at 46%, a 7% increase over the year-to-date total in 2011. There have been 198 arrests in property crimes to date, versus 180 in 2011.
For the year, traffic crashes are still higher compared to 2011, but May 2012 did see an 11% decrease in crashes compared to the same month last year. Walnut Avenue, Thornton Avenue and Shugart Road continue to be the worst trouble spots, accounting for 39% of all crashes in the city. Distracted driving continued to be the most frequent contributing factor in crashes, as it was reported in 14% of all crashes.
Dalton Fire Chief Bruce Satterfield’s report to the commission noted that May 2012 was a busy month for the department, with 219 calls for service. Of those, 12 were fire calls, with 4 more calls for service at industrial sites including the overpressure rupture incident at MFG Chemical. The department also responded to 130 calls for rescue and medical calls.
The total estimated value to property exposed to loss to fire in May was $1,695,270 and the estimated loss to fire damange was $52,978.
Alcoholic Beverage Licenses
The Public Safety Commission voted to approve the alcoholic beverage applications of three businesses at Tuesday morning’s meeting. The commission voted to approve a pouring beer and wine license for Ken’s Hibachi Buffet at 101 West Walnut Avenue, a pouring beer and liquor license for the Broken Spoke at 300 South Hamilton Street, and a package wine license for Raspberry Row at 205 W. Cuyler Street.
The Dalton Public Safety Commission is comprised of Chairman William B. Weaver, Carlos Calderin, Terry Mathis, Keith Whitworth, and Kenneth E. Willis.
Below (from left to right): Lt. Chip Whitfield, Chief Jason Parker, and Sergeant Ricky Long pose after the confirmation of promotions Tuesday morning at the Public Safety Commission's monthly meeting at City Hall.