|City of Dayton|
|Motto: Birthplace of Aviation|
|Elevation||738 ft (225 m)|
|Highest point||Woodland Cemetery|
|Area||56.6 sq mi (147 km2)|
|- land||55.7 sq mi (144 km2)|
|- water||0.9 sq mi (2 km2), 2%|
|Density||2,852 /sq mi (1,101 /km2)|
|Founded||April 1, 1796|
|Mayor||Gary Leitzell (I)|
|- summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
Location of Dayton within Ohio
Location of Ohio in the United States
Location of Dayton in Montgomery County, Ohio
Dayton is a city in and the county seat of Montgomery County, Ohio, United States, in the southwestern part of the state. The population was 166,179 at the 2000 census. The Dayton Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 848,153 in the 2000 census. Dayton is the fourth largest metropolitan area in Ohio and the 61st largest Metropolitan Area in the United States. The Dayton-Springfield-Greenville Combined Statistical Area had a population of 1,085,094 in 2000. Dayton is situated within the Miami Valley region of Ohio, just north of the Cincinnati metropolitan area.
Dayton is within 500 miles of 60% of the population and manufacturing capacity of the U.S. and so is defined as one of only two major logistics centroids in the United States. It plays host to significant industrial, aerospace, and technological/engineering research activity and is known for the many technical innovations and inventions developed there. Much of this innovation is due in part to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and its place within the community. With the decline of heavy manufacturing, Dayton's businesses have diversified into the service economy, including the insurance, legal, and healthcare sectors, though the city's population has continued to decline.
Dayton is also noted for its association with aviation; the city is home to the National Museum of the United States Air Force. The city was the home of the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords, which brought an end to the war in Bosnia. Orville Wright, poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, and entrepreneur John H. Patterson were born in Dayton. Dayton is also known for its many patents, inventions, and inventors that have come from the area, most notable being the Wright Brothers' invention of powered flight. In 2008 and 2009, Site Selection magazine ranked Dayton the #1 mid sized metropolitan area in the nation for economic development.
Dayton was founded on April 1, 1796, seven years before the admission of Ohio to the Union in 1803, by a group of twelve settlers known as "The Thompson Party". They traveled in March from Cincinnati up the Great Miami River by pirogue and landed at what is now St. Clair Street, where they met two small camps of Native Americans. Among the group was Benjamin Van Cleve, whose memoirs have provided insights into the history of the Ohio Valley. Two other groups who traveled overland arrived a few days later.
In 1797, Daniel C. Cooper laid out the Mad River Road, the first overland connection between Cincinnati, Ohio and Dayton. This opened up the "Mad River Country" at Dayton and the upper Miami Valley to settlement.
The Miami and Erie Canal, built in the 1830s, connected the Dayton commerce from Lake Erie via the Great Miami River and served as the principal route of transportation for western Ohio until the 1850s. With the completion of the Miami and Erie Canal in 1829, Dayton was linked to Cincinnati and the town continued to thrive. Nine turnpikes connected Dayton to other areas of the state. By the 1840s, Dayton was one of the largest and wealthiest communities in Ohio. In the 1880s, John H. Patterson opened the National Cash Register Company in Dayton. In the twentieth century, Dayton continued to prosper. The city became known as the home of Wilbur and Orville Wright, the brothers who made the first successful flight in a powered aircraft while at the Outer Banks in Kill Devil Hills near present day Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
The catastrophic Great Dayton Flood of March 1913 severely affected much of the city, stimulated the growth of suburban communities outside central Dayton in areas lying further from the Miami River and on higher ground, and led to the establishment of the Miami Conservancy District in 1914. The flood remains an event of note in popular memory and local histories. The high waters damaged some of the Wright Brothers' glass plate photographic negatives of their glider flights at Kitty Hawk and power flights over Huffman Prairie near Dayton.
On November 29, 1964, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a speech to more than 6,200 people at the UD Fieldhouse (now called Thomas J. Frericks Center) on the University of Dayton campus. A reel-to-reel recording of this speech was discovered at the University of Dayton. The audio recording was discovered in January 2009 by filmmaker David Schock of Grand Haven, Michigan. He found the unlabeled tape in a box of recordings.
Dayton, Ohio, has been the site for many patents and inventions since the 1870s. Famous inventors such as the Wright Brothers who invented the practical airplane and Charles F. Kettering who had numerous inventions also came from Dayton. According to the National Park Service who cited information from the U.S. Patent Office Dayton had more granted patents per capita than any other U.S. city in 1890 and ranked fifth in the nation as early as 1870.
During World War II Dayton, like many other American cities, was heavily involved in the war effort. Residential neighborhoods in Dayton and in nearby Oakwood hosted the Dayton Project, in which the Monsanto Company Chemical Company developed methods to industrially produce polonium for use in the triggers of early atomic bombs, including those dropped by the United States on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. Dayton benefited greatly from the growth of wartime industries during World War II and received approximately $1.7 billion in government defense contracts during the war. The city's economy has remained strong in the decades following the Second World War, despite a decline in many of its traditional industries.
Dayton was home to the National Cash Register Company whose employees built airplane engines, bomb sights and code-breaking machines, including the American bombe designed by Joseph Desch which helped crack the Enigma machine.
The Dayton Agreement, a peace accord between the parties to the hostilities of the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the former Yugoslavia, was negotiated in the Dayton area. Negotiations took place from November 1, 1995, to November 21, 1995, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Fairborn, Ohio.
Richard Holbrooke wrote about his period in his memoirs:
There was also a real Dayton out there, a charming small Ohio city, famous as the birthplace of the Wright Brothers. Its citizens energized us from the outset. Unlike the population of, say, New York, Geneva or Washington, which would scarcely notice another conference, Daytonians were proud to be part of history. Large signs at the commercial airport hailed Dayton as the "temporary center of international peace". The local newspapers and television stations covered the story from every angle, drawing the people deeper into the proceedings. When we ventured into a restaurant or a shopping center downtown, people crowded around, aying that they were praying for us. Warren Christopher was given at least one standing ovation in a restaurant. Families on the air base placed "candles of peace" in their front windows, and people gathered in peace vigils outside the base. One day they formed a "peace chain", although it was not large enough to surround the sprawling eight-thousand-acre base. Ohio's famous ethnic diversity was only on display. We did everything possible to emphasize the fact that in the American heartland people from every part of southeastern Europe lived together in peace, their competition restricted to softball games, church rivalries, and the occasional barroom fight.
Dayton's primary nickname is the "Gem City". The origin of the name is no longer clear; it appears to stem either from a well-known racehorse named "Gem" that hailed from Dayton, or from descriptions of the city likening it to a gem. The most likely origin appears to be an 1845 article in the Cincinnati Daily Chronicle newspaper, by an author writing with the byline "T", which reads
Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872–1906) later acknowledged the nickname in his poem, "Toast to Dayton", which contains this stanza:
Another explanation for the nickname "Gem", is from Dayton's sister city to the south, Cincinnati. Cincinnati is known as the "Queen City", and Dayton would be the "Gem" in the queen's crown.
The city was advertised as "The Gem City, the Cleanest City in America" in the 1950s, 60s and into the 70s. The phrase was often seen on public trash cans, and other places throughout the city during this time period. Additionally, Dayton has one of the most consistent street cleaning schedules. Every morning, street cleaners sweep downtown Dayton of any trash from the previous day.
Ohio's nickname "Birthplace of Aviation" is frequently seen due to Dayton being the hometown of the Wright Brothers. In their bicycle shop in Dayton, the Wrights developed the principles of aerodynamics, and designed and constructed a number of gliders and portions of their first airplane. After their first manned flights in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, which had been chosen only due to its high average wind speeds, the Wrights returned to Dayton and continued testing at nearby Huffman Prairie.
|Average high °F||35||39||49||62||72||81||85||83||76||65||51||39||62|
|Average low °F||19||22||31||41||51||65||62||55||54||44||34||24||42|
|Average high °C||1.7||3.9||9.4||16.7||22.2||27.2||29.4||28.3||24.4||18.3||10.6||3.9||16.7|
|Average low °C||-7.2||-5.6||-0.6||5||10.6||18.3||16.7||12.8||12.2||6.7||1.1||-4.4||5.6|
|Source:  2009-07-02|
The region is dominated by a humid continental climate, characterized by hot, muggy summers and cold, dry winters. The highest temperature ever recorded in Dayton was 105 °F (41 °C) in July 1934, and the coldest was −21 °F (−29 °C) in January 1985.
Dayton is subject to severe weather typical to the Midwestern United States. Tornadoes are possible from the spring to the fall. Floods, blizzards, and severe thunderstorms can also occur from time to time.
Dayton's suburbs with a population of 10,000 or more:
As of the census of 2000, there were 166,179 people, 67,409 households, and 37,614 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,979.3 people per square mile (1,150.3/km²). There were 77,321 housing units at an average density of 1,386.3/sq mi (535.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 53.40% White, 43.10% Black, 0.30% Native American, 0.65% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.70% from other races, and 1.83% from two or more races. 1.58% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. The population of Dayton has been declining since the 1970s, as can be observed from portrayal of historical population data. This is in part due to the slowdown of manufacturing in the region and the growth of Dayton's suburbs including Englewood, Vandalia, Beavercreek, Miamisburg, and Centerville.
There were 67,409 households out of which 27.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 30.2% were married couples living together, 20.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.2% were non-families. 36.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 3.04.
The age structure of Dayton's population is:
The median age is 32 years. For every 100 females there were 93.1 males, while for every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $27,523, and the median income for a family was $34,978. Males had a median income of $30,816 versus $24,937 for females. The per capita income for the city was $34,724. About 18.2% of families and 23.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 32.0% of those under age 18 and 15.3% of those age 65 or over.
In 1913, Dayton became the first large city in the United States to adopt the council-manager system of city government. In this system, the mayor is merely the chairperson of the city commission and has one vote on the commission just like the other commissioners. The commission hires a separate city manager, who holds administrative authority over the city government.
Dayton is home to many major corporations and companies such as Reynolds and Reynolds, CareSource, Cargill, Cox Enterprises, NewPage Corporation, Huffy Bicycles, LexisNexis, Kettering Health Network, Premier Health Partners, Standard Register, and Teradata. It is the former home of the Speedwell Motor Car Company and the Mead Paper Company before it became MeadWestvaco. NewPage Corporation is a Fortune 1000 company. Behr Dayton Thermal Products LLC is also located in Dayton.
The National Cash Register Corporation, or NCR, founded and long headquartered in Dayton, and for decades a mainstay of the city's economy, announced on June 2, 2009, that the corporate headquarters will be moved to Duluth, Georgia. The long-term results of this major loss to the city are not certain as of the summer of 2009. Another blow to the region's economy occurred when the GM assembly plant in Moraine, Ohio closed in late 2008. In 2008, Forbes magazine included Dayton on its list of the "Fastest Dying Cities" in America; Dayton responded by hosting a conference on August 8–9, 2009 at the Dayton Convention Center where representatives of Dayton and seven other cities such as Cleveland, Detroit, and Buffalo, NY who are also on the list gathered to discuss strategies for reversing their long-term declines. The city has also started Tech Town, a development project intended to attract technology-based firms to Dayton and revitalize the downtown area.
The research and development arm of the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is the fifth largest employer in the state of Ohio and the largest employer at a single location. The Advanced Technical Intelligence Center, who works closely with WPAFB, is also an important asset to the Dayton Area economy.
The Dayton region is also known for its high concentration of aerospace and aviation technology. In 2009, Governor Ted Strickland designated Dayton as Ohio's aerospace innovation hub, the first such technology hub in the state. In addition, state officials are working to make the Dayton region a hub and a leader for UAV research and manufacturing. Along with UAV research, Dayton is also home the world's first RFID business incubator.
Dayton is working to build on existing underground water aquifers to bring jobs to the region. According to a press release, while many areas across the nation are struggling with drought conditions, Dayton is drought-free. The Dayton Development Coalition is attempting to attract companies to Dayton that consume large quantities of water because of the region's estimated 1.5 trillion gallons of renewable water aquifers.
The Kettering Health Network and Premier Health Partners have a major role on the Dayton area's economy. Hospitals in the Greater Dayton area have an estimated combined employment of nearly 32,000, a yearly economic impact of $6.8 billion. It is estimated that Premier Health Partners contributes more than $2 billion a year in positive economic impact through operating, employment, and capital expenditures. Thomson Reuters rated the Kettering Health Network as one of the top 10 hospital networks for clinical excellence in the United States. In addition, several Dayton area hospitals consistently earn top national ranking and recognition including the U.S. News & World Report's list of "America's Best Hospitals" as well as many of HealthGrades top ratings. The most notable hospitals are Miami Valley Hospital and Kettering Medical Center.
Below is a list of the Dayton region's largest employers:
Largest employers and Number of employees:
Unlike many midwestern cities of its age, Dayton has very broad and straight downtown streets (generally two or three full lanes in each direction), facilitating access to the downtown even after the automobile became popular. The main reason for the broad streets was that Dayton was a marketing and shipping center from its beginning: streets were broad to enable wagons drawn by teams of three to four pairs of oxen to turn around. In addition, some of today's streets were once barge canals flanked by draw-paths.
A courthouse building was constructed in downtown Dayton in 1888 to supplement Dayton's original Neoclassical courthouse, which still stands. This second, "new" courthouse has since been replaced with new facilities as well as a park. The Old Court House has also been a favorite campaign stop. On September 17, 1859, future President Abraham Lincoln delivered an address on the steps of the building. Eight other presidents have visited the courthouse, either as presidents or during presidential campaigns. They include Andrew Johnson, James Garfield, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton.
Dayton's ten historic neighborhoods — Oregon District, Wright Dunbar, Dayton View, Grafton Hill, McPherson Town, Webster Station, Huffman, Kenilworth, St. Anne's Hill, and South Park — feature mostly single-family houses and mansions in the Neoclassical, Jacobethan, Tudor Revival, English Gothic, Chateauesque, Craftsman, Queen Anne, Georgian Revival, Colonial Revival, Renaissance Revival Architecture, Shingle Style Architecture, Prairie, Mission Revival, Eastlake/Italianate, American Foursquare, and Federal styles of architecture.
In 2009, The CareSource Management Group completed construction of a $55 million corporate headquarters at the corner of Main Street and Monument Avenue in downtown Dayton. The 300,000-square-foot, 10-story building marks downtown's first new office tower in more than a decade.
The two tallest buildings of the Dayton skyline are the Kettering Tower at 408 ft (124 m) and the KeyBank Tower at 385 ft (117 m). Kettering Tower was originally Winters Tower, the headquarters of Winters Bank. The building was renamed after Virginia Kettering when Winters was merged into BankOne. KeyBank Tower was formerly known as the MeadWestvaco Tower before KeyBank gained naming rights to the building in 2008.
The Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center in downtown Dayton, is a world-class performing arts center and the home venue of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, Dayton Opera, and the Dayton Ballet. In addition to Philharmonic and Opera performances, the Schuster Center hosts concerts, lectures, traveling Broadway shows, and is a popular spot for weddings, and other events.
The historic Victoria Theatre, located in downtown Dayton, hosts concerts, traveling Broadway shows, ballet, a summertime classic film series, and more. The Loft Theatre, also located downtown, is the home of the Human Race Theatre Company.
Dayton is the home of the Dayton Ballet, one of the oldest professional dance companies in the United States. The Company runs the Dayton Ballet School, the oldest dance school in Dayton and one of the oldest in the country. It is the only ballet school in the Miami Valley associated with a professional dance company. Additionally, Dayton is home to the Gem City Ballet and Progressive Dance Theater, companies in residence at the Pontecorvo Ballet Studio.
Other Dayton-based food chains are Super Subby's which specializes in submarine sandwiches and chili, The Flying Pizza which is a New York–style pizza chain, Fricker's which specializes in chicken wings, and The Submarine House which specializes in submarine sandwiches.
The National Museum of the United States Air Force is at nearby Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and is the largest and oldest military aviation museum in the world. The museum draws over 1.3 million visitors per year and is one of the single most visited tourist attractions in Ohio. The museum houses the National Aviation Hall of Fame.
The Dayton Art Institute, a museum of fine arts, owns collections containing more than 20,000 objects spanning 5,000 years of art and archaeological history. The Dayton Art Institute was rated one of the top 10 best art museums in the United States for children.
America's Packard Museum is the world's only restored Packard Dealership operating as a museum. The museum contains over 50 restored Packard vehicles, and in addition, significant artifacts from the Packard Motor Car Company are on display.
SunWatch Indian Village/Archaeological Park is located on the south end of Dayton. SunWatch is the location of a 12th century American Indian village that has been partially reconstructed and includes a museum where visitors can learn about the Indian history of the Miami Valley.
Dayton is home to the United Theological Seminary of the United Methodist Church. Places of worship include the First Lutheran Church, the Sacred Heart Church, and the Temple Israel synagogue. Christmas on Campus invites children each year to celebrate Christmas on the campus of the University of Dayton.
The Vectren Dayton Air Show is an annual air show that takes places at the Dayton International Airport. The Vectren Dayton Airshow is one of the largest air shows in the United States and is known as one of North America's premier events.
South of Dayton in Kettering is the Fraze Pavilion, which hosts many nationally and internationally known musicians for concerts. Several notable performances have included the Backstreet Boys, Boston, and Steve Miller Band.
South of downtown, on the banks of the Great Miami River, is the University of Dayton Arena, home venue for the University of Dayton Flyers basketball teams and the location of various other events and concerts.
North of Dayton is the Hara Arena that frequently hosts expo events and concerts. In addition, the Dayton Amateur Radio Association annually hosts North America's largest hamfest at Hara Arena. Amateur radio operators are commonly referred to as "hams" with as many as 25,000 traveling from around the world to attend this convention.
The Nutter Center, which is just east of Dayton in the suburb of Fairborn is the home arena for athletics of Wright State University and the former Dayton Bombers hockey team. This venue is used for many concerts, community events, and various national traveling shows and performances.
From 1996 to 1998, Dayton hosted the National Folk Festival. Since then, the annual Cityfolk Festival has continued to bring the best in folk, ethnic and world music and arts to Dayton.
The Oregon District is a historic residential and commercial district in southeast downtown Dayton. The district is populated with art galleries, specialty shops, pubs, nightclubs, and coffee houses.
The Dayton area has been home to many famous persons ranging from actors to athletes. Some of the most notable are:
|Dayton Dragons||MWL, Baseball||Fifth Third Field||1998|
|Dayton Gems||IHL, Ice hockey||Hara Arena||2009|
|Dayton Dutch Lions||USL, Soccer||Miami Valley South Stadium||2009|
|Dayton Flyers||NCAA Division I Baseball, Basketball, Cross country, Football, Golf, Soccer, Rowing, softball, Tennis, Track and field, and Volleyball||University of Dayton Arena (Basketball), Welcome Stadium (Football), Thomas J. Frericks Center (Volleyball), Time Warner Cable Stadium (Baseball)||1995|
|Wright State Raiders||NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Basketball, Baseball, Softball, & Men's and Women's Soccer||Ervin J. Nutter Center (Basketball), Nischwitz Field (Baseball), Alumni Field (Soccer)||1968|
Dayton is served in print by The Dayton Daily News, the city's sole remaining daily newspaper. The Dayton Daily news is owned by Cox Enterprises. As well as the daily print, the Dayton region's main business newspaper is the Dayton Business Journal. Nielsen Media Research ranked the 11-county Dayton television market is ranked #62 in the United States. The market is served by stations affiliated with major American networks including: WDTN, Channel 2 – NBC, operated by LIN TV, WHIO-TV, Channel 7 – CBS, operated by Cox Communications, WPTD, Channel 16 – PBS, operated by ThinkTV, which also operates WPTO, assigned to Oxford, Ohio, WKEF, Channel 22 – ABC, operated by Sinclair Broadcasting, WBDT, Channel 26 – The CW, operated by Acme Television, and WRGT-TV, Channel 45 – Fox/My Network TV, operated under a local marketing agreement by Sinclair Broadcasting. The nationally syndicated morning talk show The Daily Buzz originated from WBDT-TV, the Acme property in Miamisburg, Ohio, before moving to its current home in Florida. Dayton is also served by 42 AM and FM radio stations directly, and numerous other stations are heard from elsewhere in Southwest Ohio, which serve outlying suburbs and adjoining counties.
The Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority (RTA) operates public bus routes in the Dayton metro area. In addition to routes covered by traditional diesel-powered buses, RTA has a number of electric trolley bus routes. In continuous operation since 1888 with some form of electric transit, Dayton is the second longest-running of the five remaining trolleybus systems in the U.S., having started them in 1933. They are behind Philadelphia, which started trolleybuses in 1923.
Air transportation is available just north of Dayton proper via the Dayton International Airport.
The Dayton International Airport operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and offers service to 21 markets through 10 airlines. In 2008, it served 2.9 million passengers. It has several business traveler centers and Wi-Fi internet connectivity throughout its terminals. People from nearby cities such as Cincinnati, Columbus, and Indianapolis travel and fly out of Dayton due to lower costs. The Dayton International Airport, ranking among the nation's busiest air-freight facilities, was formerly the Midwestern hub for Emery Worldwide. Dayton's central location means that the airport is within 90 minutes by air from 55 percent of the nation's population. The Dayton International Airport is also a significant regional air freight hub hosting FedEx Express, UPS Airlines, United States Postal Service, and major commercial freight carriers.
The Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport is a general aviation airport that is owned and operated by the City of Dayton and serves as the reliever airport for Dayton International Airport. The airport primarily serves corporate and personal aircraft users.
The Dayton region is primarily served by three interstates:
Other major routes for the region include:
The Ohio Department of Transportation is currently in the process of $533 million of construction to modify and reconstruct I-75 through downtown Dayton. ODOT is upgrading and widening I-75 from Edwin C Moses Blvd. to Stanley Avenue.
In 2009, Dayton was rated first in the state and 12th in the nation on Allstate Insurance company's 2009 best drivers list. In the study, Dayton has consistently been one of the safest cities in the nation every year Allstate has released the report.
Dayton has been identified as a hub in the proposed Ohio Hub project, which would bring high-speed rail to Ohio. Dayton also hosts several inter-modal freight railroad terminals. Two Class I railroads both CSX and Norfolk Southern Railway, operate switching yards in the city. Because of its transportation system, which affords direct access to major markets, Dayton has become an important warehouse and distribution center.
The city of Dayton has 35 private schools located within the city.
Dayton is home to two major universities: First, the University of Dayton, a private, Catholic institution founded in 1850 by the Marianist order which has the only American Bar Association (ABA) approved law school in the Dayton area. The University of Dayton is also Ohio's largest private university and is one of the top 10 Catholic universities in the United States. UD is also home to the University of Dayton Research Institute which ranks second in the nation for sponsored research. Second, the public Wright State University, which became a state university in 1967. The Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright State University is the only medical school in the Dayton area and is a leader in biomedical research. Dayton is also home to Sinclair Community College the largest community college at a single location in Ohio  and one of the largest community colleges in the nation. Sinclair is acclaimed as one of the country's best community colleges. Sinclair was originally founded as the YMCA college in 1887. Dayton is also home to Miami-Jacob's College, the International School of Broadcasting, and the Dayton School of Medical Massage. Other schools just outside of Dayton that shape the educational landscape are Kettering College of Medical Arts in Kettering, DeVry University in Beavercreek (Dayton), and Clark State Community College in Springfield. Just outside of Dayton proper is the public Air Force Institute of Technology, which was founded in 1919 and serves as a graduate school for the United States Air Force. The Air Force Institute of Technology is located at the near by Wright Patterson Airforce Base.
Dayton has experienced an improving public safety environment since 2003, with crime declining in key categories according to FBI Uniform Crime Reports and Dayton Police Department data. City officials reported in January 2008 a decline of 6.1 percent in crime for 2007 when compared to 2006. From 2003 to 2007, crime decreased by 10.7 percent. Among violent crimes (homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault), Dayton saw a decline of 17.3 percent over the five years ending December 31, 2007. Targeted crimes in Dayton declined 39 percent over the five-year period. Despite these statiscal gains, Dayton is currently the 20th most dangerous city according to CQ Press rankings. A new police chief, Richard S. Biehl, joined the Dayton Police Department in January 2008. Biehl brought more than 25 years of law enforcement experience (with expertise in prevention and community policing) to Dayton following a career with the Cincinnati Police Department and the Community Police Partnering Center (where he served as Executive Director), also in Cincinnati.
Mayor Rhine McLin is a member of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition, a bipartisan group with a stated goal of "making the public safer by getting illegal guns off the streets." The Coalition is co-chaired by Boston, Massachusetts Mayor Thomas Menino and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Also notable, John Dillinger a famous bank robber during the early 1930s, was at one time captured and arrested by Dayton city police while visiting his girlfriend at a high-class boarding house in downtown Dayton.