Durango’s Snowdown was originally conceived in 1979 to bring something fun and festive to Colorado’s long winter, and while the annual event still fulfills that mission, it also brings a lot of work for local law enforcement.
Cmdr. Ray Shupe said through the entirety of Snowdown, which runs Wednesday through Sunday, Durango police handled 513 calls. Of those, 251 were dispatched calls for service and 262 were officer-initiated, meaning an officer created the incident number without receiving a call.
During this year’s Snowdown, there were five arrests for drunken driving. In one of those instances, a single vehicle crashed into a snowbank on north College Drive. No injuries were reported.
Also, Durango police responded to 22 calls for disorderly conduct, leading to 3 arrests/citations.
In all, Durango police made 18 arrests, though not all of those can be attributed to Snowdown revelers, Shupe said.
But, for comparison, Shupe said the weekend prior to Snowdown, Durango Police received a total of 408 calls – 200 dispatched calls for service and 218 officer-initiated. There were only two DUIs. And police dealt with only six disorderly calls that lead to one arrest/citation.
“It was a busy weekend for us, but we know it’s coming and we staff for it,” Shupe said.
On Monday, Durango Police posted to its Facebook page a “weekend recap” of some of the nefarious activity during Durango’s winter event:
On Friday night, “a very drunk male with a facial injury and a knife was contacted outside of a bar downtown. He was relieved of the knife, but was combative when officers tried to assist him. He was taken to the La Plata County Jail.”“A very drunk/high male with a serious eye injury was contacted in front of a liquor store in Durango. He became combative in the ambulance.”On Saturday afternoon, “officers were busy taking lost property reports from the previous evening.”On Saturday night, “officers responded to multiple intoxicated fueled disturbances and medical calls.”Every Snowdown, the Durango Police Department readjusts its schedules for staff to have more officers on duty during times of high call volume. This year, swing shift officers stayed late to deal with bar patrons.
“This is a reminder that even though Snowdown is an extremely fun and popular event that many people look forward to attending every year, consuming too much alcohol can detract from the overall meaning and purpose of Snowdown,” Durango police wrote in its post. “So let’s have fun, but please be responsible.”
Colorado State Patrol Capt. Adrian Driscoll said the Snowdown weekend was “very uneventful” for Colorado State Patrol troopers. There were no major or significant crashes from Wednesday to Sunday, he said.
In a normal weekend, CSP will make three to five DUI arrests. Over Snowdown, CSP put more troopers out overnight, so the number of people arrested increased a little, but not by much. Official numbers would be available Friday, he said.
“It was a very uneventful weekend, which was nice,” Driscoll said.
The La Plata County Sheriff’s Office did not return multiple calls seeking comment.