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Police History Exhibit 

The Dayton Police History Exhibit
Dayton Safety Building
335 W. Third St., Downtown Dayton
8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M., Monday through Friday
Free Admission 


The Dayton Police History Exhibit is open at the Dayton Safety Building (Police Department headquarters), following a successful run at  Carillon Historical Park. 


This enlightening exhibit follows the evolution of the police profession and honors its sacrifices.   The theme of the exhibit is "Patrolling the Streets – The History of the City of Dayton Police Force".  It chronicles the ways by which the Dayton police force has protected the public since the time Dayton Township appointed its first constable in 1797 to the city of present day.  There will be an extensive photographic history depicting all forms of patrol:  the walking beat, horse, wagon, bicycle, motorcycle, touring auto, patrol cruiser, boat, helicopter and special patrol details.  On display will be police artifacts, tools of the profession and technological innovations significantly changing police patrol practices, from the call box to the modern-day mobile dispatch terminal communication system. 



A preview of just a few of the things you will find at the Dayton Police History Exhibit includes:


Ø     Post Civil War, the Dayton Police Force was first organized in 1867 and soldiers were appointed to the new profession of police patrolmen.  Actual equipment used by these officers will be on display as depicted in photos of assembled officers from 1876 and 1888.

Ø     Circa 1890 peeler police hats, 1900 clubs/batons and police patrol call boxes circa 1920 and 1945… the utility of these artifacts will be photo illustrated and explained.

Ø     J. Edgar Hoover named him FBI’s Public Enemy No. 1… John Dillinger.  Arrested in Dayton in 1933, his confiscated Colt .38 Super semi-automatic handgun and the handcuffs placed on him by a Dayton officer will be on display, along with the story of his capture.

Ø    The 1947 local arrest record of George ‘Bugs’ Moran, leader of  Chicago’s north-side Irish gang that rivaled Al Capone’s south-side Italian gang.  Moran – the main target who escaped the slaughter of his gang in the ‘St. Valentine’s Day Massacre’ – did not escape his Dayton crime.  Convicted of a $10,000 armed robbery in west Dayton, ‘Bugs’ Moran was sentenced to 10-25 years behind penitentiary bars.

Ø     An evolution of weapons, holsters, leather gear, radios and uniforms.  Bicycle and horse patrols re-emerged in the 1990’s; their hardware will be on display.

Ø     A replica 1969 Dodge Coronet Dayton police cruiser used in the filming of the movie “Circumstances of Fate”. 

Ø    A fresh look at the history of African Americans and women in law enforcement.

Ø     The 24 fallen Dayton police officers are honored in a memorial tribute designating their end of watch. The Memorial Wall was specifically created for this Exhibit by the U.S. Air Force Museum.  





The following are the many sponsors & contributors that supported and helped underwrite the costs of the Dayton Police History Exhibit:


v     Star Sponsors: Miami Valley Crime Stoppers; Orbit Movers & Erectors; CODE Credit Union; the City of Dayton; the National Museum of the United States Air Force; Sandy’s Towing and


v     Gold Sponsors:  United Business Services; Dayton FOP Lodge No. 44; Dayton Stencil and the Dayton Dragons.


v    Blue Sponsors:  Vance’s Shooters Supplies; Meijer; the Rodeo Shop, Inc. and Tobin Bros. Moving & Storage.


Other Business Contributors: Cox Publishing; Sentry, Inc.; Rankin & Houser, Inc.; Doll, Jansen & Ford ; Copp Systems Integrator; Wright State University Paul L. Dunbar Library; and Dayton Firefighters IAFF Local 136. 


Donations for this continuing law enforcement educational project may be sent to:


Dayton Police History Project

P.O. Box 293157

Dayton, OH 45429-9157


The funds raised will be used to pay for future Dayton police exhibits having different themes (e.g. CSI, special tactics teams, etc.) and for the continued efforts to establish a permanent police museum.


This project is endorsed by the Dayton Police Department and Dayton Fraternal Order of Police.