The Dalton Police Department promoted a veteran officer and honored another with a departmental award at Tuesday morning’s meeting of the Dalton Public Safety Commission. The department also presented two newly hired employees for confirmation as new police officers with the agency.
Chief Cliff Cason opened Tuesday’s meeting by presenting 16-year department veteran David Saylors for promotion to the rank of sergeant.
Saylors joined the police department in January 2004, serving in a variety of roles in the patrol division, including a stint with the Bike Unit and also serving five years on the department’s Traffic Enforcement Unit. Since October 2019, Saylors has served as the agency’s Training Officer.
Sergeant Saylors is one of the department’s most decorated officers, having received 25 awards and letters of commendation including being named the department’s Officer of the Month three times. In addition to his duties, he also serves as the coordinator for the department’s Police Explorers program. His promotion was confirmed by a unanimous 4-0 vote of the Public Safety Commission (Terry Mathis was not in attendance and Anthony Walker voted via videoconference).
Sgt. Saylors’ wife Brandi Saylors pinned on his new sergeant’s badge after his confirmation by the Public Safety Commission while his daughter Gracison looked on.
Traffic Safety Officer Of The Year Award
Officer Justin Smith was recognized as the police department’s Traffic Officer of the Year at Tuesday morning’s meeting. The award is given each year to a member of the department’s patrol division who performs the most work in traffic safety education and enforcement through citizen contacts. The winning officer is selected by a committee based on criteria such as attending traffic safety training courses, participating in traffic safety events and also enforcement efforts. Officer Smith was presented with the award by Officer Colten Parker, a member of the department’s Traffic Enforcement Unit.
New Officers Confirmed
Officers Charles Walker and Zachary Bell were both confirmed as new police officers at Tuesday’s meeting.
Zachary Bell is a graduate of Murray County High School and Georgia Southern University where he earned his degree in kinesiology in 2015. Bell worked for the football program at Georgia Southern from 2014 until 2016 first as a student assistant and ultimately working his way up to being the assistant director of player personnel. After working for one year in the same role at Fresno State University, Bell returned to Georgia Southern as director of recruiting in 2017. From there, he joined the University of Minnesota’s program as director of recruiting communications. He returned to the Chattanooga area to work in logistics before joining the Dalton Police Department.
Charles Walker comes to Dalton from the Atlanta area. After graduating from Heritage High School in Conyers, he earned an associate’s degree from Georgia Perimeter College and his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega. In May, he completed his master’s degree at Georgia State. While studying at Georgia State, he worked as a graduate teaching assistant and also worked as a research assistant at the Atlanta Police Leadership Institute and as an intern at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Both officers graduated from the Police Academy last Friday. They were confirmed by a unanimous 4-0 vote of the commission. The new officers will now continue their training in the DPD’s field training program where they will ride with and be evaluated by veteran training officers before graduating to solo status.