DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The Dayton Police Department is expanding its Cold Case Unit to reexamine unsolved violent crimes and help bring victims’ families long-awaited justice.

“Kind of want to make the point that cold case doesn’t mean it’s at its end. Obviously these are all viable cases. They’re just more long-term investigations,” says Lt. Jason Hall of the Dayton Police Department.

Three full-time Dayton Police detectives will be dedicated to the Cold Case Unit. They’ll be using genealogy, DNA and other forensics to revisit old cases. They’re focusing not just on long-term murder investigations, they’re also looking into open sexual assault cases.

“We’re going through all of these cases, murders and sexual assaults. We’re putting them in like an Excel spreadsheet with what evidence that we have so we actually know what cases that we have that are actually workable,” says Major Brian Johns of the Dayton Police Department.

Major Johns and Lt. Hall are leading the charge overseeing the squad. “We’re talking about long-term investigations. We’re talking about older cases. But they’re every bit as important today as they are when they occurred,” says Lt. Hall.

Previously one detective was assigned to all of Dayton’s cold cases. “She did great work and solved great cases, but we always felt that we needed to do more with that,” says Major Johns.

When she retired from her position, the expansion of manpower was a necessity. In addition to the three detectives tackling a large caseload, DPD has also partnered with the University of Dayton. Three UD interns will help comb through a mountain of information.

“Not only will they actually go through some of these old reports and help us get things organized and catalogued, but it never hurts to have fresh eyes on an old case,” says Major Johns.

In addition to new blood, some seasoned eyes will be part of the team giving cases another look. “We’re also bringing back retired homicide detectives and other detectives that work for the Dayton Police Department,” says Major Johns.

“Obviously the more workable cases will rise to the top and then we will filter down through,” says Lt. Hall.

The unit will also have a monthly podcast that will launch in January 2022 to highlight old crimes and bring them back into the spotlight. “Just to try to bring closure to those folks who don’t have closure, it means a lot to us and to them as well,” says Major Johns.

Major Johns and Lt. Hall will be meeting with the unit on a weekly basis to update cases and leads.

Anyone with information about a case can call Crime Stoppers or the Dayton Police Cold Case Unit at (937) 333-7109.