The Dalton Police Department (DPD) welcomed five new officers to the ranks at Tuesday's Public Safety Commission meeting. The quintet of officers completed their training at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center's Regional Police Academy earlier this month. New officers Bobby Elswick, Jasmine Gilreath, William Mefford, Alex Stewart and William Womack had their appointments as police officers confirmed by vote of the Public Safety Commission.

Elswick is 2010 graduate of Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School and is serving in the National Guard. Before joining the DPD, Elswick worked for Norfolk Southern.

Gilreath is a 2013 graduate of Coahulla Creek High School. Her career in law enforcement began in 2018 with a stint with the Elbert Shaw Regional Youth Detention Center in Dalton before being hired by the DPD and attending the police academy.

Mefford is a 2017 graduate of the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega where he attended after his graduation from LaFayette High School in 2013.

Stewart has served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves since his graduation from Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School in 2014.

Womack is a 2007 graduate of Dalton High School and graduated from Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville in 2012. He is also serving in the Army Reserves, which he joined in 2013.

All five officers are now taking part in the DPD's "mini academy" training program and then will begin the field training program, during which they will ride with and be evaluated by mentor officers while receiving additional training before being deemed ready for solo patrol.

Dalton Fire Department names fire instructor

Also at Tuesday's meeting, Dalton Fire Department Chief Todd Pangle recommended firefighter Justin Rishel for a transfer to the agency's training division as a fire instructor. Rishel joined the fire department in 2002 and Pangle noted during his presentation that Rishel has performed above expectations during his service with the suppression division in such areas as special operations training, Georgia Search & Rescue Task Force training and deployment, and coordinated engine/truck operations among others.

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