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City selects Deputy Chief Brice Current to lead Durango Police Department

Councilors to vote on formal approval April 16
Brice Current has been selected to lead the Durango Police Department. He takes over the chief position from Bob Brammer, who will become an assistant city manager. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)

The city of Durango has tapped Deputy Chief Brice Current to lead the Durango Police Department.

Current will replace Chief of Police Bob Brammer, who accepted an assistant city manager position with the city under City Manager José Madrigal’s leadership.

The city announced its decision Friday morning, two days after it held a forum at City Hall featuring the top five candidates for the job. The five finalists were selected from a pool of 70 candidates from across the United States as part of a monthslong search.

Current said his first action as chief will be to launch a SWOT – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats – analysis to ensure the police department’s vision aligns with the community’s wants and needs.

“Upholding values-based policing, centered on protecting the vulnerable and preventing crime through community-driven initiatives, will be the utmost priority,” he said.

At the forum, which consisted of a casual meet and greet with the candidates followed by a moderated question-and-answer session, Current spoke about his passion for building relationships within the community.

When candidates were asked what the Durango community can expect of them as chief of police, Current said he would work closely with the community to understand the diversity of opinions and values held by residents.

“If you’re a police department and you think you can actually drive crime down, then you’re arrogant and you’re wrong,” he said. “You can only do that with the community in partnership.”

He said the city, police department and community must be committed to the same goals as one team.


“It’s that collaboration and corroboration that really, really gets results,” he said. “... Everybody has different values. Everybody has different opinions. So it takes a lot of investment and a lot of work to work with your community. And you’ve got to listen to things and listen for truth (despite) that you may not share those same opinions.”

During the meet-and-greet with candidates, Current fielded residents’ questions about the unhoused and illegal camping around town, which appeared to be the primary topic on residents’ minds that evening.

On Friday, Brammer said each of the five candidates were “absolutely” qualified, but it was “clear cut amongst the groups that Brice was the guy.”

“I think it’s an outstanding decision,” he said of Current being selected. “It just exemplifies the work that we’ve done over the past four or five years. It validates the fact that we made a great decision four years ago when we brought Brice in. … He’s continued to evolve and progress and learn and develop and establish relationships with the community.”

Madrigal is responsible for hiring the police chief. But he considered input from the community forum on Wednesday as well as two other panels from his office and the police chief’s office on Thursday, Brammer said.

“I’m extremely proud of Brice and I think this community is going to be very happy with the decision,” he said. “It’s going to continue to elevate our organization.”

Durango City Council is scheduled to vote on whether to formally approve Current’s hiring at the April 16 City Council meeting. Assuming councilors give their approval, Brammer and Current would begin their new roles on April 17.

In a news release from the city, Madrigal said, “I am incredibly excited that both promotions are internal and continue to show the excellence of our staff.”

Current has been DPD’s deputy chief for nearly five years. Before moving to Durango, he worked for the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office in New Mexico for 19 years.

At the candidates forum, he said he started that job working in undercover narcotics and detective work.

He eventually transitioned into professional standards and internal affairs with the Sheriff’s Office.

“Trust is the fuel of any police department,” he said. “… Any community member out there basically needs to agree to be policed by the community.”

He added that culture drives everything, and DPD has a strong culture and it values working with the community.

“Taking on this role would be less daunting if the shoes to fill weren’t quite so big,” he said Friday. “I have a deep sense of humility as I am keenly aware of the responsibility entrusted to our department by the community.”

The other finalists included: Jeffrey Bert, chief of police for the city of Tomball, Texas; Ron Comacho, police chief for the city of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; Baric Crum, deputy chief for Farmington Police Department; and Jenn Diederich, former deputy chief for the city of Riverton, Utah.


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