published Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Dalton crimes, arrests rise

Police Officer Ryan Amos checks vehicles Wednesday afternoon in Dalton, Ga. Thefts from vehicles have increased this year in Dalton compared with 2010.
Staff Photo by Mariann Martin/Chattanooga Times Free Press
Police Officer Ryan Amos checks vehicles Wednesday afternoon in Dalton, Ga. Thefts from vehicles have increased this year in Dalton compared with 2010. Staff Photo by Mariann Martin/Chattanooga Times Free Press



Year to date — 2011 — 2010

Robbery — 7 — 10

Burglary — 71 — 76

Larceny-theft — 321 — 250

Forgery/counterfeiting — 53 — 52

Fraud — 85 — 42

Vandalism — 96 — 129

Drug sales — 37 — 13

Drug possession — 150 — 92

Total — 2,216 — 1,728


Year to date — 2011 — 2010

Robbery — 7 — 4

Burglary — 27 — 5

Larceny-theft — 119 — 58

Forgery/counterfeiting — 22 — 18

Fraud — 34 — 7

Vandalism — 30 — 8

Drug sales — 36 — 9

Drug possession — 138 — 71

Total — 1,359 — 905

Source: Dalton Police Department

DALTON, Ga. — The bad news is the crime rate in Dalton is up more than 28 percent this year compared to the same time last year, with the largest increases in theft, fraud and drug incidents.

The good news is police have made 50 percent more arrests during the same time, statistics show.

Police Chief Jason Parker presented the most recent numbers — covering January through April — to the Public Safety Commission on Tuesday. Parker said the increase in crime continues a trend that began last year.

Crime fell between 2005 and 2009, Parker wrote in an email response to questions about the increase. “Near the middle of 2010, however, we began to see a reversal of that trend, and a steady rise that continues now,” he wrote.

During the meeting, commission member Bill Weaver noted that police responded to more calls this year with the same number of personnel.

“Those are a large number of calls every day,” Weaver said.

Police have set a goal of reducing burglaries and robberies by at least 5 percent this year. So far, statistics show, both of those categories have decreased slightly. Vandalism numbers also shrank.

One of the largest increases was in fraud cases, which more than doubled this year. Thefts were up 28 percent, but arrests on thefts more than doubled compared to last year.

The classification of larceny-theft covers a broad range of general thefts, but the biggest increase this year was in thefts from vehicles and shoplifting, Parker said.

He said drug sale and drug possession incidents also increased dramatically. Some are from the culmination of long-term investigations, Parker said.

He said officers on the street mostly see methamphetamine and marijuana, but illegal use of prescribed medication and other drugs also is a factor.

Most drug possession arrests come from officers who make car stops for other violations, Parker said.

“Just plain, solid police work by seasoned officers,” he said.

Experts say crime rates often rise during hard economic times and periods of high unemployment, but Parker said his department has not seen a direct connection.

Joblessness in Dalton and Whitfield County still is higher than state and national averages, but the picture has improved in recent months compared to 2009 and 2010.

“There are other possible factors, including that there is still a high return on recycled metal and precious metals,” Parker said. “In addition, some intelligence suggests that a considerable amount of property crime is related to drug users attempting to raise cash, and by drug dealers accepting direct trade of property for drugs.”

about Mariann Martin...

Mariann Martin covers healthcare in Chattanooga and the surrounding region. She joined the Times Free Press in February 2011, after covering crime and courts for the Jackson (Tenn.) Sun for two years. Mariann was born in Indiana, but grew up in Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Belize. She graduated from Union University in 2005 with degrees in English and history and has master’s degrees in international relations and history from the University of Toronto. While attending Union, ...

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revmike11 said...

What a cop out! Accusing the Mexican people is not fair! Some are here illegally, but not all of them. Give them an equal chance! Those folk just want to get ahead. Seems to me like PR and Indian have something wrong with them!!

May 26, 2011 at 3:16 p.m.
tremex62 said...

hey indian ,the plitics are taking your benefits not Mexicans,just remember all the money that de US Goverment gave to the Banks, and the GMC, Chrysler etc, now you remebered that?

June 1, 2011 at 11:33 p.m.
rolando said...

Including all family members joining their [illegal] "sponsors", it is estimated that over 50 million illegal mestizos are currently here in the US.

That is 50 million free medical care recipients who are bankrupting our Medicare system [it is not the plitics [sic] doing it, it is the illegal mestizos]; probably half of them use and clutter up our free education resources and waste our teachers' time; they drive without insurance or driver's licenses and run up our car insurance costs defending against them; etc., etc. And that doesn't even begin to address the cost to us to provide them free room and board, medical and dental care, etc while in jail -- as they so often are.

June 4, 2011 at 2:57 p.m.
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