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Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl Retires After 13 Years Of Service

Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl announces his retirement at a podium in the Dayton City Commissioner Chambers. An American Sign Language interpreter and City Manager Shelley Dickstein stand by him, listening. Biehl served 13 years and will officially retire in July.
Mawa Iqbal
Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl announces his retirement Tuesday afternoon. Biehl served 13 years in Dayton and plans to use his retirement for "self-care."

Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl announced his retirement on Tuesday after 13 years of service.

Biehl will officially retire in July. While the city searches for his replacement in the coming months, Lt. Col. Matt Carper will serve as interim chief.

“I've been blessed to work with exceptional men and women in blue who have met these challenges with grit, determination, professionalism and a deep commitment to public service,” Biehl said.

Biehl worked as an assistant police chief in Cincinnati before coming to Dayton in 2008. He was also the executive director of Cincinnati’s Community Police Partnering Center, a nonprofit group aimed at building relationships between the community and police.

Mayor Nan Whaley lauded Biehl’s leadership throughout his time, especially through some of Dayton’s most challenging moments.

“Chief Biehl came to lead the police at a time of low confidence in the department, both internally and externally,” Whaley said. “And what I saw was that he had transformed [the department] into a real asset to the community.”

Biehl says he was in awe at how Dayton residents came together when tackling these challenges, like police reform and the COVID-19 pandemic.

I thought, wow, something's different about the Dayton community,” Biehl said. “Over the years I've seen a community willing and able to get under the same roof and have difficult conversations addressing challenging social issues and to make progress addressing them.”

The city will hire a national firm to help lead the search. They will also have a Selection Oversight Committee made up of city leaders and members from the police reform working groups.

City Manager Shelley Dickstein says feedback from the community will be crucial. The recommendations that came out of the police reform working group focused on recruitment will help steer the search.

“The ideal candidate will continue to build on the priority work already started by the Dayton City Commission and community through the police reform initiative to ensure implementation of the recommendations and to advance police community relations,” Dickstein said.

They hope to name a new chief by October.

Mawa Iqbal is a reporter for WYSO. Before coming to WYSO, she interned at Kansas City PBS's digital magazine, Flatland. There, her reporting focused on higher education and immigrant communities in the Kansas City area. She studied radio journalism at Mizzou, where she also worked for their local NPR-affiliate station as a reporter.