Career Advancement

At the Dayton Police Department, Officers have many opportunities to specialize and develop within a chosen career path, and there are plenty of chances to promote into a supervisory position.


While entry level officers are assigned to patrol duty, the Dayton Police Department maintains a broad range of specialized units that will allow you to tailor your career to a specific area of interest:

  • SWAT*
  • Forensic Services Unit
  • Bomb Squad*
  • Crime Prevention and Analysis
  • Hostage Negotiation Team*
  • Canine Handler
  • Bike Patrol*
  • Motorcycle Unit
  • Crash Reconstruction Unit
  • Community Problem Response Team (CPRT)
  • Special Investigations/Detective Bureau
    • Homicide
    • Financial Crimes
    • Vice
    • Narcotics
    • Special Victims Unit
    • Division Detectives
    • Metal Theft

*Not full-time units. Duties are done concurrently to regular assignments.


Several options are available for those interested in advancing through the ranks. The ranks of Sergeant and Lieutenant are attained by way of a competitive Civil Service promotional examination. Persons in these positions are covered by a Bargaining Unit contract.  The ranks above Lieutenant are made by appointment, and are not part of the collective bargaining process.

Officers and Detectives are eligible to take the Sergeant’s exam after five years of consecutive accredited service as a sworn Dayton Police Officer. Those with an Associate, Bachelor or Post Graduate degree will receive additional percentage points on promotional examinations. Our rank structure is:

  • Chief of Police
  • Assistant Chief of Police
  • Major
  • Lieutenant
  • Sergeant
  • Officer/Detective