As the July 4th holiday approaches, we remind our citizens fireworks are illegal in the City Limits of Dothan. The Police Department will be patrolling and may issue citations for illegal use of fireworks. For those readers who may legally use fireworks at their home (again, this is no one in the City Limits of Dothan!!) we would like to encourage safety first! We encourage those within the City Limits to visit a professionally produced fireworks show such as the “Fireworks on the Fairgrounds” beginning at 9:00 PM at the Peanut Festival Fairgrounds.
The National Council on Fireworks Safety lists nine safety tips that encourage firework users to celebrate our nation’s heritage on the Fourth of July safely.
If discharging fireworks where it is legal to do so:
Use fireworks outdoors only.
Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them.
Always have water handy (a hose or bucket).
Only use fireworks as intended. Don’t try to alter them or combine them.
Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
Use common sense. Spectators should keep a safe distance from the shooter and the shooter should
wear safety glasses.
Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Have a “designated shooter.”
Only persons over the age of 12 should be allowed to handle sparklers of any type.
Do not ever use homemade fireworks of illegal explosives!
The FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has seen an increase in reports of online extortion scams during the current “stay-at-home” orders due to the COVID-19 crisis. Because large swaths of the population are staying at home and likely using the computer more than usual, scammers may use this opportunity to find new victims and pressure them into sending money. The scammers are sending e-mails threatening to release sexually explicit photos or personally compromising videos to the individual’s contacts if they do not pay. While there are many variations of these online extortion attempts, they often share certain commonalities.
Online extortion schemes vary, but there are a few common indicators of the scam. The following characteristics are not all-inclusive but should serve as red flags. It is important to remember that scammers adapt their schemes to capitalize on current events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, high-profile breaches, or new trends involving the Internet, all in an attempt to make their scams seem more authentic.
The online extortion attempt comes as an e-mail from an unknown party and, many times, will be written in broken English with grammatical errors.
The recipient’s personal information is noted in the e-mail or letter to add a higher degree of intimidation to the scam. For example, the recipient’s user name or password is provided at the beginning of the e-mail or letter.
The recipient is accused of visiting adult websites, cheating on a spouse, or being involved in other compromising situations.
The e-mail or letter includes a statement like, “I had a serious spyware and adware infect your computer,” or “I have a recorded video of you” as an explanation of how the information was allegedly gathered.
The e-mail or letter threatens to send a video or other compromising information to family, friends, coworkers, or social network contacts if a ransom is not paid.
The e-mail or letter provides a short window to pay, typically 48 hours.
The recipient is instructed to pay the ransom in Bitcoin, a virtual currency that provides a high degree of anonymity to the transactions.
TIPS TO PROTECT YOURSELF:
Do not open e-mails or attachments from unknown individuals.
Monitor your bank account statements regularly, and your credit report at least once a year for any unusual activity.
Do not communicate with unsolicited e-mail senders.
Do not store sensitive or embarrassing photos or information online or on your mobile devices.
Use strong passwords and do not use the same password for multiple websites.
Never provide personal information of any sort via e-mail. Be aware that many e-mails requesting your personal information appear to be legitimate.
Ensure security settings for social media accounts are activated and set at the highest level of protection.
Verify the web address of legitimate websites and manually type the address into your browser.
The FBI does not condone the payment of online extortion demands as the funds will facilitate continued criminal activity, including potential organized crime activity and associated violent crimes.
If you believe you have been a victim of this scam, reach out to your local FBI field office, and file a complaint with the IC3 at www.ic3.gov. Please provide any relevant information in your complaint, including the online extortion e-mail with header information and Bitcoin address if available.
Fake testing kits, “cures” and “treatments” for the virus, counterfeit personal protective equipment (PPE), and email phishing scams are examples of schemes that have become popular recently. Not only are these scams taking people’s money, they also have potentially dangerous consequences.
Please view the video to learn more about precautions you can take to avoid becoming a victim yourself. We’ve also provided some resources for you to seek help if you have been the victim of a scam as well.
The Dothan Police Department K9 Unit wrapped up the 24th Annual K9 Seminar on Friday, February 7, 2020.
This annual seminar is intended to provide K9 teams from all over the country with an opportunity to do real world scenario-based training in a controlled and safe environment.
The seminar provides these guys a week of quality K9 training that allows these teams an opportunity to fix any issues they may have and make themselves better according to Sgt. William Wozniak, K9 trainer.
Teams from around the United States participated including New Jersey, Texas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Indiana and North Carolina.
A group of city leaders met with private partners today to discuss plans for replacing the city’s aging animal shelter. Discussions centered on projects ranging from a website for increased transparency to reviewing several possible locations for the new facility.
“We really just wanted to make sure the public was aware that this project is being undertaken in earnest,” said Steve Parrish, Dothan’s Chief of Police. “We have a long way to go, and these meetings are a key part of making sure we’ve got everything in place to make the project a success.”
Dothan Mayor Mark Saliba, District 5 Commissioner Beth Kenward and City Manager Kevin Cowper were also in attendance at the meeting.
The current animal shelter is not adequate for the city’s needs and has been found to be in need of replacement. The goal is to build a new shelter that provides not only a clean, inviting atmosphere for its visitors, but also is a safe, healthy place for strays to be kept until they can be adopted.
The Dothan Police Department K9 Unit will begin the 24th annual seminar tomorrow. We are excited to welcome teams arriving in our city tonight from New Jersey, Texas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and North Carolina! Follow us on DPD website, Facebook and Twitter for daily updates.
The Dothan Police Department (Lawdawgs) and members of the WTVY News team (News Action Team) came together to play a little flag football game at Rip Hewes to help raise donations of food for the Wiregrass Humane Society.
Although it was tied 20-20 at the half, the News Action Team managed to come out on top 38-40. Thanks to all who participated and came out to support the Wiregrass Humane Society.
The Dothan Police Department will be hosting its 24th Annual K9 Seminar. The seminar will be held February 3 through February 7, 2020. K9 teams are expected to participate from all over the southeast region. Training will focus on narcotics and explosives detection, patrol apprehension and tracking. Each media outlet is being afforded the opportunity to come out and observe. For further information you may contact Lieutenant R. David at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local local law enforcement as well as our community gathered this morning to show our support to Officer Yoh as as he prepared to depart from Southeast Health for further treatment. Best wishes love and support from all of us here at DPD!