Weaver And Mathis Re-Elected To Dalton Public Safety Commission

Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Chief Bruce Satterfield at left introducing the new employees.
Chief Bruce Satterfield at left introducing the new employees.
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. Chief 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.

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.
Ten new Dalton Fire Department employees
Ten new Dalton Fire Department employees

BASF Honors Chattanooga-Hamilton County Rescue Service

BASF thanked the men and women of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Rescue Service with a $1,500 donation as a part of this year’s Chattanooga Safety Day. Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger joined BASF employees at the company’s Amnicola site to highlight the dedication and volunteer service of the Rescue Service personnel in both the Hamilton County and Chattanooga areas. Leaders ... (click for more)

DPD Launching Operation Thumbs Up In October

The Dalton Police Department is turning October into “Distractober” as it launches Operation Thumbs Up, a month long education and enforcement campaign aimed at reducing distracted driving on the streets. The idea is to keep thumbs off of phones (or any other distraction) so drivers can focus on the road. During October, the agency’s Traffic Unit will be working with the patrol ... (click for more)

Sharply-Divided City Council Approves Office Reorganization; Councilman Freeman Calls Move "Evil, Hellish"

A sharply-divided City Council on Tuesday voted 5-4 to completely reorganize the council office, leaving current staffers without a job down the road but with the option to reapply. Councilman Moses Freeman called the move "evil" and "hellish." He said, "We are punishing somebody on a personal level," though he said the office has been running smoothly. Saying the majority ... (click for more)

DA Sets Up Process To Review 120 Cold Cases Murders Dating Back 40 Years

District Attorney Neal Pinkston said at a morning press conference on Tuesday that he is setting up a process to review 120 cold case murders in Hamilton County dating back some 40 years. He said former city major crimes detective Mike Mathis will be working out of his office on the cases. He is familiar with most or all of the cases, it was stated. DA Pinkston said Sgt. Bill ... (click for more)

How To Reform The City Industrial Development Board - And Response (3)

My aims is to bring to the public’s attention the need for procedural changes that, if implemented, would significantly improve the information available the public, to the City Council and to the City Industrial Development Board about the verifiable benefits and costs of tax incentive financing structures and to make the entire process transparent. The public, the City ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: He Can Never Go Home

When Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston sparked top-ranked Florida State to a 56-41 comeback over N.C. State last Saturday, you would have thought the world had forgotten and virtually excused his vulgar rant from the week before. His inexcusable mid-week antics kept him sidelined during the Clemson game and brought down the nation’s scorn but less than a week later he was ... (click for more)