Weaver, Mathis Elected To New Terms as PSC Officers
Tuesday morning’s meeting of the Dalton Public Safety Commission was the first of 2013 and therefore started with an election of officers for the year. Commission chairman Bill Weaver and Secretary Terry Mathis were both re-elected to another term in their respective positions by a unanimous vote of the commissioners.
DPD To Switch To New Duty Weapon Platform
Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the PSC voted unanimously to approve a proposal from Chief Jason Parker to change over to a new duty weapon for Dalton Police officers. The new standard duty weapon will be the Glock Model 22 40-caliber pistol. Dalton officers currently carry the Sig Sauer P229 40-caliber pistol. The Glock 22 uses the same type of ammunition as the department’s current weapons and is similar in size and operation.
The department’s current handguns are 15 years old and have performed well with few malfunctions. While they are still in good condition, their usable lifetime as law enforcement weapons is coming to an end. As the department examined options for replacing the weapons, officers determined that switching to the Glock weapon platform would be a much cheaper option than purchasing new Sig Sauer guns. The cost to purchase the new weapons (complete with holsters, spares, training “simunition” guns, and weapon-mounted lights) will be approximately $14,000. To purchase new Sig Sauer weapons, the cost would be more than $27,000, a cost that does not include a weapon-mounted flashlight system.
The weapon system upgrade will be paid for using drug seizure funds. No taxpayer funds will be used for the switch.
DPD Addresses School Security
Chief Parker also briefly updated commission members on the department’s efforts to address school security in the wake of the deadly school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut in December. Chief Parker told the commission that while the agency has had safety plans in place for Dalton schools for many years, they’re taking the opportunity re-examine those plans. Parker said he is working with Dalton Public Schools superintendant Dr. Jim Hawkins to put together a work group of police and school district officials. That group will review and revise the safety plan to account for the latest tactics, security and training for both school and police personnel, and also different technological improvements such as school security cameras. Part of the workgroup’s mission will be reviewing all facilities with an eye toward strengthening security.
DPD Statistical Report
Chief Parker had some good news to report in his monthly look at Dalton’s crime statistics. In December 2012, the reported rate of Part 1 crimes (the most serious offenses) was down by 21% compared to December 2011. For the year, Part 1 crimes went down in 2012 by 2.3%. Total crimes were up 4% for the year, with a 2% increase in violent crimes. Property crime, however, was down 2.6% in 2012.
Another bright spot in the crime statistics for 2012 is the fact that clearance rates for both property crimes and violent crimes were at a 5-year high. The DPD cleared 79% of all violent crime cases in 2012 and 41% of all property crime cases.
December was a rough month on Dalton’s roadways, as traffic crashes were up 28% compared to December 2011. For the year, traffic crashes were up 4.3% in 2012. Chief Parker noted that the Dalton Police Department will be working to address that problem in 2013.
DFD Recruit Class Confirmed
Dalton Fire Chief Bruce Satterfield opened Tuesday’s meeting with the presentation of ten new fire department employees for the approval of the commission. The new employees are Danny Arthur, Corey Baldridge, Brandon Glass, Casey Jones, William Mann, Dewayne Pangle, Alan Parrish, Justin Salter, Ronald Strickland, and Jake Warnix. The fire department is currently holding a ten week “recruit school” for the new firefighters.
Below: Chief Bruce Satterfield (left) introduces the DFD's new employees to the PSC Tuesday at City Hall.
Beer License Approval
Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the Public Safety Commission approved a new pouring beer license for Restaurante Bar El Jarocho at 702 5th Avenue. The commission approved the license application by a unanimous 5-0 vote.
The Dalton Public Safety Commission is comprised of Chairman William B. Weaver, Carlos Calderin, Terry Mathis, Keith Whitworth, and Kenneth E. Willis.