It began after a six-month exhibition at Carillon Historical Park, “Patrolling the Streets of Dayton,” came to a close in November 2008.  As the captivating as the images, accounts (such as the story of Ptl. Thomas Dunlavey) and police artifacts are, these treasures of Dayton's past were returned to storage with the closing of the exhibit.  Disappointed by its temporary nature, many people expressed a desire to keep the history alive.  

One of the original architects of this Dayton Police History Exhibit, retired Dayton police sergeant Stephen Grismer, formed a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of Dayton police history.  The Constitution & Bylaws was written after which two active-duty Dayton police officers - Dennis Murphy and Timothy Kennaley - joined in the effort, becoming founding trustees.  

Dayton Police History Foundation, Inc. was chartered by the State of Ohio on January 1, 2010.  After a vote of the three founding trustees, four additional trustees were added to this new organization - Mary Oliver, Jimmy Mullins, Alex Heckman and Jack Barstow.

Our Mission 

Dayton Police History Foundation, Inc. (DPHF) is a state-chartered, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the preservation of the Dayton police history.   DPHF promotes the study  of Dayton law enforcement in as many ways as financially possible.  Its objective is to develop projects and programs designed to educate the public about Dayton's police past including, but not limited to, publishing historical accounts; giving presentations; producing  documentaries; and creating Dayton police history exhibits.  Small and large projects are constantly being considered and new exhibits are routinely under discussion.  Its primary organizational goal is to establish a permanent local police exhibit or museum facility featuring the proud and accomplished history of the Dayton police force and local law enforcement.

DPHF Board of Trustees

John A. ‘Jack’ Barstow
A graduate of the University of Notre Dame (1965) with a bachelor of science degree in business administration, Jack became a purchasing agent for the Standard Register Company (1965-1986). He followed his corporate career as a realtor for RE/MAX Alliance (1989-2012). Retirement has allowed Jack the freedom to volunteer his time as an interpreter for Dayton History at Carillon Historical Park. His interest in Dayton policing stems from being the grandson of Dayton’s longest-serving police chief, Rudolph Wurstner (1925-1949), whose career began in 1902 and was inducted to the Dayton Walk of Fame in 2012. Jack, a Chaminade High School alumnus (1961), has been on the DPHF Board of Trustees since inception in 2010.  Jack is presently the board chairman.

William ‘Alex’ Heckman
A graduate of the University of Dayton, Alex earned a baccalaureate in secondary education (2001) and then followed by attaining his master’s degree in public administration (2005). He is currently the director of education and museum operations for Dayton History at Carillon Historical Park. Alex is a member of the City of Dayton Landmark Commission and the Oakwood Historical Society Board of Trustees. Alex appears in documentaries and at public events related to Dayton’s rich past. His deep interest in local history can be attributed in part to being raised here. Alex, a Chaminade Julienne High School alumnus (1997), has been on the DPHF Board of Trustees since inception in 2010.

Dennis A. Murphy
Dennis is one of the three founding members of Dayton Police History Foundation, Inc. and has the distinction of serving as its first chairman. He is one of the two active-duty Dayton police officers on the DPHF Board of Trustees. Dennis began his police career in 2000 and worked patrol and investigative assignments. He is presently assigned as a homicide detective. Dennis’ interest in history is rooted in his Irish heritage and East Dayton upbringing. He is a graduate of Belmont High School (1992). Dennis was an illustrator for “Patrolling the Streets of Dayton,” the 2008 Dayton Police History Exhibit at Carillon Historical Park, and is a freelance artist specializing in comic illustration as a penciller.





Past Members of the Board

Mary L. Oliver
Mary is familiar to many in the local academic community as the curator for the Dayton History-NCR Archive Center and director of collections for Carillon Historical Park. Often called upon by researchers and newspaper reporters, Mary is the expert background source on an array of topics related to the area’s local history. She has a soft spot for law enforcement; her father was an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper. As a student at Wright State University, Mary majored in anthropology, minored in history and earned a bachelor of arts degree (1995). She continued her education at WSU where she then earned a master’s degree in history (1998). Mary has been a DPHF trustee since inception in 2010.

Mary left the board at the end of 2017 to take a position at Wittenberg University.


Stephen C. Grismer
Steve entered the Dayton Police Academy in 1976 and, after a 25-year law enforcement career (2002), has worked as a legal assistant in the employ of the local law firm, Doll, Jansen & Ford. A Chaminade High School graduate (1971), Steve attended the University of Dayton and majored in communications (journalism) and minored in criminal justice, earning his bachelor’s degree (1984). He is the author of the book “Drenched Uniforms and Battered Badges” and other writings on Dayton police history. He is the curator/historian for the Dayton Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 44. Steve established Dayton Police History Foundation, Inc. on January 1, 2010 and is currently an administrative trustee as secretary-treasurer.

James G. Mullins
As one of two active-duty Dayton police officers on the DPHF Board of Trustees, Jimmy began his police career in 1997 and has risen through the ranks to sergeant and lieutenant. He presently serves as the commander of the narcotics bureau. Jimmy was a standout athlete for Chaminade Julienne High School (1987), earning a football scholarship at Kent State University. During his four years at Kent State, he majored in criminal justice which was a stepping stone to his law enforcement career in Dayton. A 1999 inductee in the Chaminade Julienne Athletic Hall of Fame, Jimmy now mentors young people as the director of the Eagle Youth Wrestling Club at CJ. Jimmy has been a DPHF trustee since inception in 2010.

 










Past Members of the Board

Timothy D. Kennaley
Tim is a retired Dayton police officer having had a long and eventful career (1981-2014). During his 33 years of service, Tim was a member of the mounted patrol unit and the hostage negotiation team. His permanent assignment at the time of retirement was as special events coordinator. A past executive board member of Dayton Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 44, Tim created the lodge’s first website and is the webmaster for its current ‘members only’ site. At present, he is the editor of “The Aegis,” the Dayton FOP Lodge monthly newsletter. Tim is one of the three founding members of Dayton Police History Foundation, Inc. 

Tim left the board at the end of 2017 after taking on a position at DMS Ink.