Dayton Police Department

Dayton police are asking for the public to comment on the department’s decision to purchase body cameras for its officers.

The Dayton Daily News reports an online survey went live this week and will be open for Dayton residents until July 31. Questions ask about people’s feelings about police, interactions with the community, ways they think body cameras would help officers and when and where they should be used.

Dr. Kimberly Barrett (left) and Dr. Joann Wright Mawasha organized the forum at Wright State along with Dayton Police.
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

About fifty people attended a forum on race and policing at Wright State Tuesday evening intended to move community members from dialogue to action around racial bias and police.

“There’s a difficult and torturous history of race and policing in this country,” said Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl, who helped facilitate. “That history is not over. We’re still living it.”

The Dayton Mediation Center and two Dayton police officers want to help ease tensions following reports of white officers shooting unarmed black people in recent months, including the nearby shooting of John Crawford III at the Beavercreek Walmart.

Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl acknowledges issues with diversity within the city's police department.
City of Dayton Police Department Website

Despite efforts to address racial disparities within its ranks, the Dayton Police Department hasn't increased the percentage of black officers. 

A 2008 lawsuit by the U.S. Department of Justice found the Dayton police and fire departments engaged in hiring practices that discriminated against African Americans. The criticisms focused on written and physical tests that were eliminating African-American candidates.

Dayton Police Chief, Richard Biehl, says there were problems with the testing.

Major Brian Johns DPD

This week, City officials will dedicate a mural in honor of fallen Dayton Police Officer William "Steve" Whalen who was killed in the line of duty in 1991 while attempting to stop a vehicle wanted in connection with a shooting at a local hotel.

In the incident, the driver opened the rear window of his truck and fired an AR-15 rifle. Whalen returned fire twice but was struck in the head and killed. The suspect was apprehended and sentenced to life in prison. In 2011, then Governor Ted Strickland, denied the clemency request of Karl Vultee—the man who killed Whalen.

Dayton police have closed the case of RTA bus driver Rickey Wagoner who claimed he was attacked on the job earlier this year, saying the evidence doesn’t support Wagoner’s story.

Wagoner, who is white, told police in February he stepped off his bus in the 1900 block of Lakeview Avenue in Dayton to investigate a loss of power and was attacked by three black men. Claiming he was shot and stabbed while fighting back, Wagoner said his attackers used racial language. The incident was being investigated as a hate crime.

 

U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration
U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration

You open your mail and there it is – a picture of your car allegedly speeding through town or sailing through the red light at an intersection. Ready to proclaim your innocence, you wait for your day in court. But, if you reside in any of the 15 Ohio communities that use traffic enforcement cameras, that’s not what you get. In most cases, you’ll get an administrative hearing.

That's the reason traffic cameras are being challenged in courts around Ohio. One case has reached the Ohio Supreme Court and could have an impact on local communities that use traffic cameras.

Jerry Kenney

The Dayton Police Department has begun a crackdown on traffic violations in the I-75 construction zone through downtown.  The stepped up enforcement efforts will run through September during periods of heavy traffic.

Police say they’ll be on the lookout for speed, lane change, and tailgating violations.  They’ll also be on the lookout for aggressive drivers.

No warnings will be issued and so motorists need to know the law, according to Sergeant John Ross with the Dayton PD.

The Dayton Police Department has released more information about the death of 45-year-old Terry Darnell Heath, who was killed during a confrontation with police on Monday night.

Around 10pm Monday, police responded to a report of an argument and stabbing in the 2300 block of Wyoming Street. They found one of the men involved in that altercation, John Hagen, who was taken to Miami Valley Hospital where he was reported to be in stable condition.

Update at 3:00pm: One person was injured in a shooting at the Dayton VA Medical Center earlier today, and a suspect is in custody, according to the Dayton Police Department. The shooting took place around noon in the basement of the the VA Clinic and the VA has been on lockdown since just after police were alerted around 12:15pm.

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