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Home Page - DPH Foundation, Inc.


DPH Foundation is dedicated to the preservation of Dayton Police History.  It is organized and operated exclusively for educational purposes as defined by section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  To learn more about DPH Foundation, read below and click on the topics listed at the left side of this page. 


DPH website's most viewed pages for current entries are:  Favorite LinksNews Right Now and  Beat Patrol


Please note:  When clicking on a link to an outside website, you must click the back arrow to return the the DPH website.
Why should the reader explore the DPH Foundation website?
         Dayton Police Officers ca. 1935/
The proud and accomplished
history of Dayton, Ohio's police force is a story that the public has yet to discover and fully appreciate.
This website will direct readers where and how  to learn more about Dayton's police past.  There are many facets of police service in Dayton that make it illustrative of Midwest police development but also give the Dayton police force unique historical standing on a national level. 


What will the reader learn from the DPH Foundation website?
That John Dillinger was arrested by Dayton police in 1933.  That  George 'Bugs' Moran committed armed robbery in Dayton in 1946, was convicted of the crime and sentenced to 10 years in the Ohio Penitentiary.
These are but two notorious accounts that the City of Dayton has in its annals of law enforcementInfamous criminals bring notoriety but Dayton's heroic and professional crime fighters are the true measure of this law enforcement agency.  Ptl. Lee Lynam, Capt. John C. Post, Sgt. Lucius Rice, Sgt. William Mortimer and 20 other brave officers have died protecting the lives of their local citizens (see Dayton's Fallen 24) .
Our Nation's "dean of police chiefs" for 14 years beginning in 1935 was the commander of the Dayton police force.  Chief Rudolph Wurstner, a 47-year police veteran (1902-1949) headed the Department for an incredible 24-year period. 
The Dayton police force has made its mark on the national landscape.  It has a history of innovation and its members have proven to be on the cutting-edge of the law enforcement profession.
In 1940, the Dayton Police Department was the 1st in the U.S.A. to equip its patrol fleet with a two-way radio system.  In 1950, Dayton Ptl. Karl Lewis resigned from police service to market the world's 1st and only interchangeable barrel revolver among many other firearm inventions.  In 1974, Dayton police became one of the earliest police agencies in the country to assign women to uniform patrol duties.  In 1987, Dayton police led the nation in police dispatching technology.   
Organizations associated with the Dayton police officers have also been at the national forefront.  The National Police Softball Tournament has been annually hosted by Dayton police since 1974.


Dayton FOP Capt. John C. Post Lodge No. 44 was one of this country's early lodges to represent the interests of police officers.  It's associate organization, the Fraternal Order of Police Associates Lodge No. 1 was the 1st FOPA in the nation.


Dayton has been credited with issuing the world's 1st speeding ticket in 1904.  Harry Myers was traveling 12 miles per hour on West Third Street when he was ticketed.  It happenened four years before Harry (real name Henry C. Myers) became a hollywood actor.  His career would include appearing in 257 silent and "talking" films as well as directing 48 films.  Myers most famous role was with Charlie Chaplin in City Lights.
The reader can learn far more.  Read on!  Click on the various topics listed to the left side of this page to discover DPH.  In particular, click on Favorite Links to read historical accounts and other stories.
DPH Foundation, Inc. may be contacted by e-mail or by regular mail service at the following address:.

DPH Foundation, Inc.
P.O. Box 293157
Dayton, Ohio 45429-9157

Col. George Newcom's Tavern
The first jail was the tavern's dry well
Dayton... a Midwest police story, but one unlike others in this nation.

The history of law enforcement in Dayton goes as far back as the beginning of its settlement and embodies the story of Dayton itself.

Post-Revolutionary War, pioneers headed beyond the Appalachian range from larger eastern cities.  A main corridor for the movement westward was the Ohio River: from Pennsylvania and (West) Virginia to Kentucky and Ohio. 


Dayton was typical of many emerging cities throughout the Midwest during the frontier expansion.


In 1796, Dayton was founded in a river wilderness on the western edge of the new frontier.  Named after a signer of the U.S. Constitution, Jonathan Dayton, this new community was settled along the banks of the confluence of the Great Miami and Mad Rivers.


Its population was meager - only 5 families at the start - but within a year, local police service began with the appointment of its first constable, Cyrus Osborn, in June 1797.

 Miami-Erie Canal looking toward E. First St.  ca. 1890

The adjacent buildings to the right still stand.

(the canal is now Patterson Blvd.)


By 1830, Dayton was second in Ohio to Cincinnati in population and was growing.  By the Civil War, Dayton was the 45th largest city in the nation.  Only the Ohio cities of Cincinnati and Cleveland were larger although the state capital, Columbus, was on the rise.  Dayton would remain a top 40's city for 110 years until 1970.  It remains a major Midwest metropolitan community.


As the city of Dayton grew in national prominence, it police history evolved in traditional (and also not so common) ways.


Whenever visiting this website, always check the DPH section titled Favorite Links.  Many stories written by DPH are found in this section as well as accounts and related topics of interest provided by others via the internet.  Favorite Links is routinely updated with new material.
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