Two longtime members of the Dalton Police Department had their promotions to the rank of lieutenant confirmed by unanimous vote of the Public Safety Commission. Lieutenants Ricky Long and Barry Woods were both presented for promotion by Chief Cliff Cason at the commission’s monthly meeting Tuesday morning.
Long joined the Dalton Police Department in March 2000 and served as a patrol officer, school resource officer, and detective before being promoted to the rank of sergeant in May 2012. Most recently, Lt. Long was assigned to the Support Services Division as the operations supervisor, a role in which he will continue with his promotion. He is a graduate of Dalton State College and Belhaven University and is pursuing a master’s degree from Columbus State University. Lt. Long is a veteran of the US Army.
Lt. Woods has served the department since February 1998. He moved into the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) in 2005, first as a drug unit detective and then later as the drug unit’s supervisor after earning a promotion to the rank of sergeant in 2010. In 2015, he was assigned as the operations supervisor for CID, a role in which he will continue with his new promotion. Lt. Lt. Woods is a graduate of Northwest Whitfield High School and has an associate’s degree from Dalton State College and a bachelor’s from the University of West Georgia. Lt. Woods is also pursuing a master’s degree from Columbus State.
Also at Tuesday morning’s meeting, another DPD officer was just starting his career with the agency. Officer David Rayborn was confirmed by a unanimous 5-0 vote of the commission.
Officer Rayborn is new to the DPD but he is not new to law enforcement. He comes to the agency after serving three years as a deputy with the Murray County Sheriff’s Office. He also served the Eton Police Department as a part-time officer. Before starting his law enforcement career, he worked in the public safety department at Hamilton Medical Center and as a security guard for Walden Security. Officer Rayborn is a May 2012 graduate of Southeast Whitfield High School.
Chief Cason also recognized Detective Scott Murray as the department’s Officer of the Month for September at Tuesday morning’s meeting. Detective Murray was honored for his role in an August investigation of a shooting at an area apartment complex. Nobody was seriously injured in the incident. Detective Murray was off duty when a report of shots fired at the complex went out and responded to the scene to interview witnesses and suspects. Detective Murray’s investigation led to the arrest of two suspects in the case.
Also at Tuesday morning’s meeting, Dalton Fire Chief Todd Pangle presented Firefighter Cody Manly to the commission in recognition of the completion of Manly’s probationary period. Mr. Manly joined the Dalton Fire Department in August 2017 and completed the agency’s recruit school in November. All probationary firefighters have a year from their graduation to complete the requirements in the Firefighter 1 task book to earn their full status as Dalton firefighters.
Five Dalton firefighters were presented with a special recognition from the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) at Tuesday morning’s meeting. The DEA recognition comes after firefighters from Squad 1 responded in mutual aid to the scene of a clandestine drug lab in Catoosa County in July.
According to a letter from DEA Special Agent In Charge Robert Murphy, the scene of the clandestine lab was filled with carcinogens, fragile glassware, weapons, and electrical hazards. The Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement Team called for assistance and Squad 1 responded. Firefighters from Squad 1 assisted the DEA team by providing lighting for the scene, stand-by firefighting for the scene, and performing decontamination of all CLET personnel and equipment. Squad 1 members stated on scene until the scene was secured.
Chief Pangle presented a plaque from the DEA to Squad 1 Firefighters Michael Sams, Justin Rishel, and Engineer Andy Brock. Lt. Dan Hudson and Firefighter Greg Metcalf were also honored by the DEA but were not in attendance.
Chief Pangle also presented commendations to Engineer Brandon Elliot and recently retired Battalion Chief Steve Hollingsworth for their heroic efforts to aid a motorist injured in a crash on I-75 in Gordon County. While driving on vacation, Mr. Elliot and Mr. Hollingsworth came upon the scene of a rollover crash involving a family of five. Mr. Elliot and Mr. Hollingsworth worked together without regard for their own safety and pulled the driver from the burning vehicle in an attempt to save her life. After pulling the victim to a safe distance, Mr. Elliot and Mr. Hollingsworth assessed her and found that she did not have a pulse. They began CPR on the victim and were able to regain her pulse, but unfortunately, the victim did not survive her injuries.