I-TEAM: The Return of Violent Crime in Dayton

DAYTON — We are seeing a surge in violent crime, especially when it comes to gun-related violence in Dayton.

News Center 7′s Mike Campbell launched an I-Team Investigation to uncover the numbers and what community members say about those numbers and what police are doing to try and turn the tide of these rising violent crime numbers.

The I-Team wanted to dig into the rising violent crime numbers and show you the areas where you might see more problems, what we found is likely to happen in any neighborhood and in any part of the city.

Many people living in Dayton are seeing the rise in violent crime first-hand. Crime scene tape in their neighborhoods, and police looking for those responsible for a gun-related crime. One incident led to a homicide on September 25 on West First Street.

A 21-year-old man was killed there. A 19-year-old man was arrested and charged with the crime.

There was also an incident where shots were fired around the Levitt Pavilion in broad daylight.

Dayton Police Assistant Chief Eric Henderson said, “These are guns in the hands of people they should not be.”

Henderson said some of the reason for rising gun violence numbers is juveniles and young adults.

“We’ve seen an increase in that the last few years,” Henderson said.

But that’s not the only reason for these alarming numbers. Three categories of violent crime are significantly up with higher numbers year to date than in all of 2022.

There have been 33 homicides now versus 26 in 2022. There have been 485 aggravated assaults this year compared to 438 in 2022. Police said shootings into habitations, the term police use for when someone fires a shot into someone’s home, are up to 130 for this year compared to 95 in 2022.

“It’s why we are focused on what we are doing, gun reduction initiatives,” Henderson said.

He said the department has seized more than 800 guns so far in 2023. Dayton Police are also tracking crime patterns.

The I-Team dug into a community crime map that Dayton Police and many other departments use to enter their information. It’s a way to let the public know what they are finding.

News Center 7′s Mike Campbell decided to enter just homicides and felonious or aggravated assaults for the last month in the city. The crime map showed 44 crimes, spread across the city and downtown, where 41 of them were assaults and three were homicides.

Chonnie Enoch said, “I think maybe it’s the city, the kid’s parents. I don’t know what it is but I hope it gets under control because it’s a mess.”

Dayton Police said they are using technology, gathering intelligence, and working with state and federal partners to change things.

However, the best partners they have are community members who are willing to provide information to stop dangerous crimes.

“I know sometimes the community is fearful, the community that is most fearful is often the community impacted the most,” Henderson said.

If you see something, police want you to say something, safely. You can call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 937-222-STOP or called Dayton Police at 937-333-COPS.