Three new police officers were confirmed by the Dalton Public Safety Commission on Tuesday. Officers Nicholas Hill, Leslie O’Neal, and Jacqueline Perez were all unanimously confirmed. The commission was holding its first monthly meeting since February due to meeting cancellations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Officer Nicholas Hill is a 2019 graduate of Dalton State College and a 2015 graduate of Ridgeland High School in Rossville. Before joining the police department, he worked for a Food City grocery store in Fort Oglethorpe, working his way up to a manager’s position while also attending college before leaving to pursue a career in law enforcement.
Officer Leslie O’Neal is a veteran of the United States Marines, serving from 2001 until 2005 and then again from 2007 until August 2014. In between, he also served in the Arizona Air National Guard. After completing his military career, he joined the Somerton, Arizona Police Department in 2014 and also served the Yuma, Arizona Sheriff's Office as a volunteer until January 2019. He holds two associate's degrees from Arizona Western College and is continuing his studies at Grand Canyon University.
Officer Jacqueline Perez is a 2011 graduate of Southeast Whitfield High School. She began her college career at Dalton State before finishing her business degree at Georgia State University in 2015. She worked for the Fulton County Schools system after graduation before returning to work for the Dalton Police Department in 2018 in a civilian role. She was recruited to take on a sworn officer’s position and completed the police academy this year.
All three officers are taking part in the department’s field training program now, riding with and being evaluated by mentor officers.