Durango Police Department
Phone: (970) 764-7504
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, November 30, 2022
Durango, CO: With more than 100 flights in its first year, the Durango Police Department’s drone unit rounds out 2022 by aiding La Plata County Sheriff’s Office deputies in the arrest of 48-year-old Ronnie James on Monday, who is suspected of aggravated motor vehicle theft and vehicular eluding.
A speeding vehicle headed south on U.S. Highway 550 and refused to pull over. The driver exited the vehicle in the 1000 block of Hermosa Creek Road and fled on foot after deputies stopped the vehicle with spike strips.
Officers Dan Kellermeyer with the drone unit arrived on scene to aid the deputies, and within three minutes of taking flight the drone unit identified the suspect through thermal imaging, just 30 yards away. With Kellermeyer’s help deputies were able to quickly apprehend the suspect who was hiding in some thick brush.
“This is another excellent example of mutual teamwork between law enforcement agencies,” said Durango Police Chief Bob Brammer. “It’s also a reminder that residents need to lock their cars and secure keys to help prevent these types of crimes.”
The DPD drone unit was created in January and has been instrumental in assisting with crash investigations, missing persons, search and rescue, hazardous spills, disaster response, and locating violent offenders. The drone unit has been so successful that two additional drones were added during 2022. \
“It’s a great piece of technology that serves the whole community very well. We want to be engaged with the community on how the drone works and how we’re utilizing it here at the police department,” said Kellermeyer.
To view the drone footage, go to the city’s Youtube channel