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Police Department Reorganizing to Place More Officers on Street

There will soon be more police officers working the streets of Dayton more frequently.

The city council heard a first reading of an ordinance that would restructure the police department, removing two part-time officers and replacing those positions with one full-time officer. Administratively, the position of captain will be eliminated and the employee currently in that role will become a sergeant, and two police corporals will become officers. 

Police Chief David Halfhill said the costs for the city are roughly the same while the difference is more officer presence on the streets of Dayton. "We were too top heavy with too many doing administrative duties," said Halfhill, who became chief earlier this year after newly elected Mayor Virgil Boruske fired Scott O'Brien, citing differences in staffing philosophies. "Officers who were fairly new were needing a supervisor and were finding themselves alone."

Sergeants serve as supervisors during shifts and the structure change will give officers a supervisor at all parts of the day. The captain set to become a sergeant agreed with the change and would make the same salary, Halfhill said. Both part-time officers have resigned and that position will be posted for hire when the ordinance is adopted next month. 

Halfhill also talked about SentiGuard, an app for smart phones that allow for the submission of crime tips and viewing of crime maps, which is being used by the department. "We're the first in the country to use SentiGuard," he said. "It's a great tool. It doesn't cost anything right now and it's putting technology at the forefront. We're excited about it."

Other notes: 

Bellevue-Dayton Fire Chief Michael Auteri presented to council his hopes to purchase new defibrillators for the department and to renovate the firehouse's restrooms. He will also submit a federal grant application this week for the possible funding of three new firefighters. The grant would cover the new firefighters' costs for two years and then if retained, the two cities would have to budget for them.

Dayton's ambitious plan to restore its central business district will not have a vote till spring, postponed by the sudden passing of City Attorney Jack Fischer. The program will provide financial incentives to business owners or potential business owners with storefronts on the 100 block of Sixth St. Funding for the program will come out of the city’s Economic Development fund.

Jack Fischer was remembered by his brother, State Rep. Joe Fischer (R-Ft. Thomas) who thanked the city for its support. "I can't tell you how dedicated an attorney he was for this city," Fischer said. "He was very proud of the city and the progress that he saw." Fischer said the best way to memorialize his brother would be to donate money to the Dayton High School scholarship fund. 

Former Councilwoman Cathy Volter also suggested donations to the scholarship fund. "We have lost a great friend, a great mind, and someone who loved the city. Just a gentleman," she said. 

Written by Michael Monks, editor & publisher of The River City News * Facebook, Twitter, email