A recent item from The Durango Herald’s police blotter stated: “At 4:58 p.m., an inmate was being violent at the La Plata County jail. Police made an arrest.” Arresting an arrestee. Interesting. Where did they take him? – Rick
About 40 years ago, a similar question was explored by cinematic tour de force.
We’re talking about the esteemed social documentary “National Lampoon’s Animal House.”
Recall the timeless scene in which the college’s uptight dean demands his preppy sycophant shut down the unruly, perpetually partying Delta fraternity.
Informed that the frat is already on probation, the dean sneers and exclaims, “then as of this moment, they’re on Double SECRET Probation!”
So maybe that’s the strategy for disorderly miscreants acting up during involuntary stays at the La Plata Ramada. Would Double Secret Probation be a useful tool for local law enforcement?
For clarification, we checked in with our good friend Cmdr. Ray Shupe, spokesman with the Durango Police Department.
Ray is open to all kids of creative programs for corrections. Double Secret Probation is not one of them.
“When an inmate becomes out of control, we’ll re-arrest and add additional charges,” Ray said matter of factly.
The Durango Police frequently handle calls to the county jail, Ray added. That’s because the jail, a county facility, is located in the city limits and within the jurisdiction of the DPD.
“We frequently respond to situations when there’s an assault on jail staff.”
Where do they take an arrestee who has been re-arrested? That’s up to the folks at the county jail.
“We can respond to altercations at the jail, but the county officers are in charge of the procedures and administration,” Ray said. “But it’s typical to segregate inmates who become violent.”
Action Line has been to jail. Once. And it’s not what you think.
It was an informative tour for community members who went inside, checked out the facilities, ate a bite of lunch (the same fare as inmates received) and left, appreciating freedom and those who protect it.
The county jail was clean, orderly but utterly lacking in feng shui.
You can see how an arrestee would put the “cuss” in custody and the “boo” in calaboose.
But Double Secret Probation can’t stop a food fight, let alone a dangerous outburst in the Bodo Park hoosegow.
HHHRather than a Mea Culpa, it’s time for an Action Line Accolade for our good friend and loyal reader Ann Bond.
Congratulations! Today is Ann’s second Monday of retirement.
After tirelessly toiling in broadcast journalism, Ann made a mid-career pivot to an even more thankless job as a public servant.
Since 1988, she’s been a San Juan National Forest’s public affairs specialist, a job requiring five stellar qualities not in the job description: grace, aplomb, perspective, accessibility and humor.
The consummate communicator, Ann could make a simple trash-pickup project seem utterly thrilling.
Likewise, when conflagrations were raging in the forest or idiots were doing unspeakable harm to public lands, Ann’s calm and fact-based briefings served as a reminder that great people do good work.
Raise your cup of coffee to Ann. Here’s to not having to take one more call from Action Line ever again!
Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request anonymity if you explain why “pokey” is another word for jail, but doing the “hokey pokey” is what it’s all about.An earlier version of this column gave an incorrect title for Cmdr. Ray Shupe with the Durango Police Department.