Jan 06

save the durango blotter

A combination of the New Years and bloggers with more holiday free time means one thing: an onslaught of top ten lists. And with this year rounding out the end end of a decade (I’m ignoring the 2009/2010 decade end debate for a second), the top ten lists have been especially prevalent. Your feed reader has probably been glowing with top ten goodness.

However, what I consider to be the best end-of-year list is: 1) most likely something you’ve never encountered and 2) potentially at risk of extinction in 2010.

Better than top ten best/worst movies, top ten tech trends, or even top ten divorce settlements… I’d like to introduce the Durango, Colorado (population 13,922) end-of-year police blotter report.

Unlike most larger-than-life, world-record-breaking, best-of top ten lists, the Durango Herald blotter round-up is full of slow-town, we-are-what-we-are charm. This is a Southwest town that entertains itself with winter belt sand races and where four-wheel drive Subarus may well enjoy the highest resale value in the country.

The Durango Herald publishes the police blotter each day and at the end of the year, they consolidate the entire list into their most noteworthy blotter events. According to my father who lives in Durango, this may be the final year of this annual tradition. He has informed me of a recent feud triggered by police deparment budget cuts between the Durango Police Department and the Durango Herald. The police department is no longer feeding daily reports to the Herald. To many in Durango, the blotter report is the highlight of the Durango Herald and with subscriptions at risk, the Herald has a lot at stake and is leading a protest.

You have to scan the blotter report in its entirety to appreciate its small-town charm. Loud dogs, drunken misunderstandings, and nosy neighbors seemed to irk Durango residents the most in 2009. However, these were my favorites that made me want to (temporarily) toss Silicon Valley aside and move to a place where the police spend their time responding to unruly Yahtzee players:

  • Jan. 5 6:47 p.m., A man and a woman were involved in an argument and an underwear-throwing contest in the lower 100 block of Pine Lane.
  • Jan. 7 5:23 a.m. A woman called 911 to report her television fell off a cabinet, and she needed someone to pick it up for her in the 800 block of Goeglein Gulch Road.
  • Feb. 15 5:58 p.m. A woman called 911 to request a priest to perform an exorcism on County Road 240.
  • March 13 3:47 p.m. A man reported finding a “living room” in his Dumpster in the 600 block of East Eighth Avenue.
  • March 29 11:36 a.m. A man in a city park was attempting to light a campfire in the 2900 block of East Third Avenue. Officers determined he was practicing his survival skills.
  • July 15 1:19 a.m. There was intermittent yelling in the 2500 block of Delwood Avenue. Police found people playing Yahtzee. They were asked to keep it down.
  • Aug. 22 7:04 a.m. A man had been sitting on a bench since 5:30 a.m. in the 200 block of East Park Avenue. Police responded and learned the man was doing tai chi.
  • Sept. 4 6:51 p.m. A man was pacing and sweating and acting strangely near the 200 block of Woodcrest Drive in Durango West I. He was wearing black pants and a black vest. A deputy responded and learned the man had been jogging and was wearing a weight vest.

Official 2009 Durango Herald Police Report >>

You can voice your support in the Durango Herald article comments section. Or, more likely, you can just take a moment to enjoy a glimpse into a town with a slower pace of life and a good sense of humor.