DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The Dayton Police Department is six months into a major reorganization.

Chief Kamran Afzal wanted to streamline operations and put a greater emphasis on community relations. In June 2022, DPD began restructuring the force.

“I think from system perspective, obviously, we like the fact that we have clear delineation of duties at divisional level. So, investigation is supposed to just do investigation. Before administration was part of it, the academy was part of it,” Chief Afzal explained.

The plan created new divisions, including a community services division which focuses on training and community engagement. It also moved personnel from the investigative unit to the patrol division to get more officers out in the community and provide more time to decompress between calls.

Chief Afzal said during the restructuring, the department has also been dealing with staffing challenges.

“I think we have identified our staffing is an issue even before this. And I think things have not been improved. And that’s not just for us, that’s nationwide,” Chief Afzal said.

While Chief Afzal is encouraged by the progress of the restructuring so far, he knows there is more work to be done. He said DPD will be creating its own strategic plan in 2023.

“We’re looking at what occurred last year or 2022, and what are the things that we have in our control to address, and kind of address it that way and see what changes we we’re going to make,” Chief Afzal said.

Chief Afzal said his officers remain committed to reducing crime in 2023, like cracking down on the recent spike in car thefts and making the roads safer. He also hopes the department will continue to make connections within the community and build trust.

“When your loved one is harmed, you’re helping that loved one. When you tell us, ‘Hey, this is what I know,’ right? People that think, ‘well, you’re helping the police.’ You’re helping the police, but you’re really helping that loved one that unfortunately, either passes away from harmful action or is injured because of harmful actions,” Chief Afzal said.

Full Interview with Chief Afzal