Dalton Police Chief Jason Parker opened his presentation to the Dalton Public Safety Commission Tuesday morning with an overview of the crime statistics from September, noting that the reported Part 1 crime rate was up about 3 percent compared to 2011.
Part 1 offenses for the FBI’s master crime reporting format are homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft. Part 2 offenses are all other offenses.
The overall Part 1 crime rate for 2012 year-to-date is within 1 percent of the 2011 statistics. Violent crime rates continue to be reported at a lower rate than 2011, but property crime rates are relatively static.
The clearance rate for both violent crimes and property crimes is up over 2011, with a 67 percent clearance rate for violent crimes (a 6 percent increase) and a 41 percent clearance rate for property crimes (a 3 percent increase).
There was a 23 percent spike in the number of traffic crashes in September 2012 compared to the same period last year. Fourteen percent of crashes in Dalton involved distracted driving as a contributing factor. For the year, there has been a 12 percent increase in the number of crashes in Dalton.
New officers confirmed
Four DPD officers had their hiring officially confirmed by unanimous vote of the Public Safety Commission. John Guerreri, Jacob Allen and Serena Martin all graduated from the Georgia Public Safety Training Police Academy in Forsyth last month and have been taking part in the DPD’s field training program since Oct. 1. Jacob Burger had his re-hiring with the Dalton Police Department approved by unanimous vote. Burger left the department earlier this year for a stint with the Georgia State Patrol, but opted to return.
The commissioners voted 3-0 in favor of confirming the four officers (commission members Carlos Calderin and Kenneth Willis were not in attendance at the meeting).
New parade route to get first test
Also at Tuesday’s meeting, Parker reminded the commissioners that Dalton’s new parade route will be used for the first time for Friday afternoon’s Dalton High Homecoming Parade.
Earlier this year, the police department and the Dalton Fire Department worked with the Downtown Dalton Development Authority to develop the new standard route for parades through downtown.
The new route will take parades down Waugh Street starting at First Baptist Church and then onto Hamilton Street. Parades will turn right onto West Morris Street, and then right on Thornton Avenue before turning onto Crawford Street and finishing at Harmon Field. Organizers stress that all parked cars on the east side of Hamilton Street between the Waugh Street overpass and the Morris Street intersection must be moved before the parade starts at 4 p.m.
Organizers will work with downtown businesses to make sure those spaces are clear to allow enough room for parade floats to pass safely. Several downtown streets will be closed for the parade between 3:45 p.m. and approximately 5:30 p.m.
The Dalton Public Safety Commission is comprised of Chairman William B. Weaver, Carlos Calderin, Terry Mathis, Keith Whitworth and Kenneth E. Willis. Regular meetings are scheduled for the fourth Tuesday of each month at 8:30 a.m. at City Hall.