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.