Veteran Hamilton policeman retired after bust in Dayton prostitution sting

A former long-serving Hamilton police officer and supervisor was arrested and convicted of trying to buy sex in the city of Dayton, according to a police report and court records.

James C. Calhoun, 55, of Fairborn, was arrested on March 18 during an undercover police operation targeting online prostitution, a police report shows.

After his release that day, Calhoun, who had been on extended sick leave since February, notified Hamilton’s police department about what happened “and offered to retire immediately,” Police Chief Craig Bucheit told this media outlet. Bucheit said rather than allowing an immediate retirement, he decided to investigate what happened.

After investigating, Bucheit assessed Calhoun a 10-day suspension without pay, which cost Calhoun, whose pay rate was $45.36 per hour, $3,628.80. The fact Calhoun retired while under suspension also makes it highly unlikely another police agency will hire him, Bucheit said.

Calhoun responded to an online ad that featured several photos of a scantily clad woman, according to a Dayton police report.

Dear Johns: Dayton police warn suspected prostitution customers

Calhoun asked about availability and rates and agreed to meet at a decoy location, police said. Calhoun agreed to pay $80 for half of an hour of sexual activity.

Calhoun was charged with a third-degree misdemeanor of soliciting and for possessing criminal tools. In April, Calhoun pleaded guilty to an amended charge of loitering to engage in solicitation.

He was sentenced to one year of basic community control and was ordered to attend Johns’ School. His attorney, Jonathan Fox, declined to comment.

In 2015, Calhoun was promoted to sergeant from detective with the Hamilton Police Department. He had been a police officer for three decades. He was “regarded as a good officer, having been recognized and commended many times during his 30 years of service,” Bucheit said.

Calhoun is one of 11 men whose names and other identifying information have been posted to the "Buyer's Remorse" campaign website. The campaign seeks to combat prostitution by shaming men who buy sex in the city of Dayton by sending targeted ads highlighting their crimes to people in their communities.

RELATED: Convicted of buying sex? Dayton will tell your neighbors via Facebook.

Bucheit said during Hamilton’s internal police investigation, “Jim admitted to the charges against him, expressed remorse for his actions and the embarrassment he had caused, and for letting his family and community down. He acknowledged that in addition to his own medical issues he was struggling with emotional issues related to the sudden passing of his wife of 28 years in late 2016. He felt that in light of everything that was going on it was time for him to retire and try to move on with his life.”

Bucheit said given that the conduct was “reckless and inexcusable,” and despite his many years of good service with no prior discipline, he decided the incident “warranted a significant administrative sanction,” prompting the 10-day suspension without pay on March 27, with his retirement immediately following that, “ensuring he would never again wear the uniform of this department,” Bucheit said.

“As police officers, we are held to a higher standard due to the position of trust we seek and accept and violation of that trust warrants consequences beyond that of an ordinary citizen,” Bucheit said.

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