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History of the Police Department of Dayton, Ohio
Title & Introduction



History of the Police Department of Dayton, Ohio

From Earliest Times to October First 1907


Roster of the Officers and Members of the Present Force


A Souvenir


Published by

John C. Whitaker, Chief of Police

For the Convention of the

Ohio Police Association

Dayton, Ohio, October 15-16, 1907





To tell the story of the Dayton Police Department is to portray the upbuilding of the structure upon which depends the peace and safety of every citizen, from the humblest to the wealthiest, and his inalienable rights to the security and enjoyment of his possessions. While, unfortunately, the data for this narrative is restricted and meager, enough has been gathered to mark the stepping-stones from the days of the lone village watchman of primitive days to the present complex and perfectly-constructed system known as the Dayton Police Department.

Nothing but facts are dealt with here. The annals which have been preserved take no cognizance of supposition, romance, or figments of the imagination, so that: what is recorded may be accepted for all time as the truest possible information regarding the history of the inception and development of this, the most vital branch of the city's government, from the days of the first marshal appointed in 1805 to the fall of 1907. Though not directly connected with this history, it may be as well to lay a foundation for the story of the Policeman by noting the principal events associated with the discovery and settlement of Dayton, thus leading up to a survey of the germination and growth of a system that has reached a degree of efficiency that would seem well nigh impossible to surpass. The very pith and marrow of orderly municipal government is found in the efficiency of its policemen. If they are weak, the entire body politic is weak. If they are corrupt it betokens a laxity in the morals of the community that continues them in office. No class of public servants is often more criticised than the policeman. Animosities are continually springing up, not only among the malefactors in whose breasts grudges are implanted with every arrest, but often in the minds of those who, unthinking, would demand omniscience in mere mortal man.

Policemen are endowed with but the five ordinary senses that all their fellowmen possess. In the pursuit of their profession they can command no sixth sense to aid in the prevention of crime or the detection of a criminal. 'Tis true there are many points which experience brings to the craft, the possession of which marks the difference in the grade of efficiency of the members of the force, but in the final analysis they are found to be but a quickening of the normal faculties common to us all.

Trusting that our efforts have not been in vain to make this a work that will prove of interest to all, I take this opportunity to extend my thanks to those whose liberality has made the publication of this work possible.


                                            (signed) John C. Whitaker


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