The Dalton Public Safety Commission began Tuesday's meeting with a pair of promotions of veteran Dalton firefighters. Dan Hudson was promoted from the rank of lieutenant to the rank of captain and Jeremy Phillips was promoted from the rank of firefighter III to the rank of lieutenant.
Captain Hudson joined the fire department in 2003 and has served as an officer since his promotion to lieutenant in the summer of 2017. Chief Todd Pangle noted that Captain Hudson has grown in his leadership role, taking an active role in the department’s succession planning as he mentored his subordinates and took an active role in training and development of the agency’s firefighters. Battalion Chief Brandon Bray, Captain Hudson’s supervisor, noted that he is self-motivated and often sends leadership articles and other materials to the members of his shift to continue their development and has also instituted several changes to the operation of his shift to make things work better for his team.
Lt. Phillips is being promoted to fill the role vacated by the promotion of Captain Hudson. Lt. Phillips joined the DFD in September 2002 after serving as a volunteer with Catoosa County Fire & Rescue and also as an emergency medical technician with several ambulance services. Lt. Phillips has put his medical training to use while serving in Dalton, not only in emergency situations but also while serving as one of the agency’s CPR instructors. He has also been developing as one of the leaders of his shift, having taken the opportunity to serve as “officer in charge” during multiple calls and demonstrated excellent ability while supervising firefighters on scene. Battalion Chief Alan Ridley praised Phillips’ leadership abilities and also his ability as a mentor.
Also at the Tuesday morning monthly meeting of the PSC, Dalton Police Chief Cliff Cason presented the agency’s Officer of the Year for 2020 with his award. Detective Charles Williams was honored as the department’s Top Cop last year in part for his excellent work in solving a series of industrial burglaries that plagued businesses in the south district of the city and also impacted businesses located in unincorporated areas of Whitfield County. Detective Williams’ work led to the arrest of Bryan Keith Shoopman and Gregory Henry Scott Dale in May on charges related to at least six burglaries in the city.
The burglaries occurred in the overnight hours in the area of Callahan Road and Brickyard Road when those areas were deserted. The burglars broke through cinder block building walls to make entry, most likely with a sledge hammer, or by peeling back metal siding walls to get into metal buildings. Once inside, the burglars stole tools, and also broke into vending machines to steal not just the money inside, but also the drinks or snacks. Investigators believe that the burglars got more than $1,000 in cash and change from the machines they destroyed.
During the course of the investigation, Dalton detectives recovered exterior surveillance video that showed the burglars using a Dodge Ram truck. While studying the video, an investigator noticed that one of the tail lights on the vehicle appeared to be dimmer than the other one as if it was damaged. While following up on another burglary in the area on Tuesday afternoon, Detective Williams happened to spot a Dodge Ram driving in the area with a damaged tail light covered by tape. After checking the truck’s license plate number, investigators traced the vehicle’s registered address back to Bryan Keith Shoopman and Gregory Henry Scott Dale. Investigators were then able to determine that Shoopman was one of the men seen on video committing the burglaries. Police made contact with Shoopman and Dale at their residence on Hill Circle and arrested them on burglary charges as well as other charges connected to the cases.