Dayton pushes police and fire recruiting

Published: Monday, March 18, 2013 @ 12:00 AM
Updated: Monday, March 18, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

With a Justice Department-mandated hiring freeze behind it, the city of Dayton has 24 firefighter recruits headed for academy training in April, a third police recruit class going to the academy in June, and another police test scheduled for June 8 to create a new pool of candidates for the next two years.

Dayton’s police and fire ranks shrank when the city was unable to hire for more than two years because of a court settlement regarding racial discrimination in civil service testing.

While it was unable to hire firefighters, the city hired dozens of civilian paramedics to handle EMS work, while moving dual-trained firefighters away from EMS duty.

Dayton Civil Service Chief Examiner Maurice Evans said Dayton has a pool of 54 eligible candidates for the fire academy.

“If the budget and the demand commands it, we’ll have another class ready to go (after the first 24),” Evans said.

Meanwhile, Dayton Police Department officials say waves of new officers will just help them keep up with retirements. Major Mark Ecton said over 10 years, Dayton’s police staffing dropped from about 500 officers to 330.

“We’re just making up for people who retire,” Ecton said. “We’re not making any real strides in getting up to the strength level we would like, which is on the other side of 360.”

This summer’s third police class will exhaust the city’s eligible candidate list, so Dayton is now advertising its next police test, which will be held June 8. Interested candidates – U.S. citizens between 20 and 34 years old who have a high school diploma or GED – must apply by April 19, either at jobs.daytonohio.gov, or by calling (937) 333-2300.

“We’re trying in our current recruiting campaign to attract applicants that will help us build the best possible police force, with an emphasis on increasing the number of African-Americans and other ethnic minority officers, so the department better reflects the Dayton community,” Ecton said.

Evans told city commissioners last week that 37 percent of early applicants were either of a minority race or female.

Dayton police officer Terry Perdue, a member of the newest class to hit the street, and one of the faces of Dayton’s recruiting effort, urged those interested in taking the test to start studying now.

“If you come out of high school at 18, work a job until you’re 20 or 21, then go to take the test … you haven’t studied in three years, and it will put you at a disadvantage,” he said.

Evans said felony convictions will disqualify people from serving as police. But Perdue said that some who have made mistakes can still make it as a police officer.

“They’re not looking for perfect people,” Perdue said. “They’re looking for a person who has the right morals, and is going to be honest on the job.”

Father’s dying wish fulfilled as his 7 daughters stage wedding ceremony

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 9:09 AM

Wedding dresses.
Miquel Benitez/WireImage
Wedding dresses.(Miquel Benitez/WireImage)

Seven brides for one dying father.

An Ohio man was granted his final wish shortly before he died from brain cancer, as he got to give away his seven daughters in a bridal ceremony.

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William L. “Willie” Shelton died on Oct. 16 at the age of 44. Only one of his daughters is married, but all seven of them decided to create a ceremony so the former U.S. Army sergeant could experience the thrill of seeing all of them in wedding dresses, WJW reported.

“The one constant was always, ‘I want to see my girls grow up, and I want to walk them down the aisle,’” Shelton’s wife, Cheryl Shelton, told WJW.

Willie Shelton’s hospice center, along with a photographer and hair stylist, helped put the daughters’ plan into action within a few days.

"We had this idea we put together in three days,” Cheryl Shelton told WJW. “We got all the wedding gowns for the girls and hospice helped us out a great deal with some of the planning.”


The father was told that he would be giving away his daughter, Emily Flinn, who was renewing her vows with her husband, Tyler Flinn.

“We got married at a courthouse, so there wasn't the formality to it where he could actually give me away,” Emily Flinn said.

“He had no clue that this was going on and everybody got dressed, so I said, ‘She is going to have all the girls be the bridesmaids and everything for her.’ Little did he know that they were all going to be brides,” Cheryl Shelton told WJW.

Three days later, with Willie Shelton wearing his dress uniform in a backyard ceremony, each of his daughters came out of the house, one at a time, all in wedding gowns.

“He looked a little confused, and then it was just great to see everybody,” Flinn told WJW.

“This was very touching for him, and it was a dream that we could fulfill to the best or the closest we could possibly do,” Cheryl Shelton said.

Willie Shelton was helped out of his wheelchair and stood with his daughters during the ceremony, WJW reported.

“I always assumed that my dad would be there to walk me down the aisle, and when the possibility was there that he wasn't going to be able to -- this was everything,” Lindsey Shelton told WJW

Less than two weeks after the ceremony, Willie Shelton passed away -- but his daughters will carry his memory with them.

All seven daughters will receive a locket in which they will have a photo of their father with them in a wedding dress.

The words, "A father's love never ends," will be engraved on the back.

Florida man arrested after bombs, ammo, school maps found in home

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 9:55 PM

Bombs, Ammo, School Maps Found In Florida Home, Man Arrested

A Florida man was arrested after homemade bombs, an AK-47 assault rifle, ammunition and school maps were discovered inside his bedroom. 

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said in a news conference Thursday that deputies were set to search the home Randall Drake, 24, of Dunedin, Florida, shared with his parents for a child pornography investigation.

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During a search of Drake’s bedroom on Wednesday, authorities said detectives found explosives and numerous firearms in a locked closet, The Associated Press reported.

The weapons included the following:

  • An AK-47 rifle with a 60-round clip
  • A .308-caliber rifle
  • A .50-caliber pistol
  • A 12-gauge shotgun
  • Numerous other handguns
  • About 15 knives
  • A baseball bat with protruding nails in it 
  • A crossbow
  • Brass knuckles
  • A container of gunpowder
  • More than 2,300 rounds of ammunition
  • Three incendiary devices
  • A homemade silencer
  • Tactical vests

Detectives also said they found a map and aerial images of an elementary and middle school in Tampa, Florida, as well as the Hillsborough County Water Treatment Plant. According to deputies, journals and a handwritten letter that talked about revenge were also discovered.

In this undated photo released by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, a weapons cache is shown in the home of Randall Drake.(Pinellas County Sheriff's Office via AP/AP)

Gualtieri said his office is trying to figure out why Drake had the incendiary devices and what he was going to do with them.

Drake has since posted $20,000 bond. He faces two charges of unlawfully making, possessing or attempting to make a destructive device.

Ex-Gators quarterback Chris Leak loses teaching license after allegedly asking student to touch his genitals

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 10:23 PM
Updated: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 8:32 AM

File photo. (Photo by A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/WireImage
File photo. (Photo by A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images)(Al Messerschmidt/WireImage)

former Florida Gators quarterback did not contest allegations that he asked an underage student to touch him inappropriately.

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Edgewater High School football coach and Art Recovery teacher Chris Leak, who played quarterback at the University of Florida just before Tim Tebow, voluntarily surrendered his Florida Educator’s Certificate amid allegations that, around Sept. 5, 2016, he received a massage from a 15-year-old female student and asked the student to touch his penis, according to an order filed by the Florida Education Practices Commission on Tuesday. 

Leak allegedly was wearing only a towel when he received the massage.

As a condition of the voluntary surrender of his certificate, Leak will never have the certificate reinstated and will not be allowed to apply for a new one. He also chooses “not to contest any of the allegations or charges” levied against him in the Administrative Complaint, according to documents.

“My client voluntarily talked with the police and denied the allegations,” said Leak’s lawyer, Tim Jansen. “No charges were filed and the investigation was closed last year. He has no plans to teach in the future. He maintains his innocence.” 

Dayton thief drops T-bone steaks down his shorts

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 4:37 AM

Police are searching for a man who dropped three T-bone steaks down his shorts.

Officers were dispatched at 8:40 p.m. Friday to Groceryland, 1451 Troy St. in Dayton to a report of a theft.

The store manager told police he was walking down the meat aisle when he became suspicious by the behavior of a man talking to another customer. The manager later saw the man run out the front entrance. He ran after him, but lost sight of him after he went behind the store, according to a Dayton police report.

The manager showed police surveillance video footage, which shows the thief grab three T-bone steaks, which each cost between $10 and $20. Then, in a different aisle, the suspect places the steaks down his shorts, the report stated.

No arrests have been made.