Gallatin County Law Enforcement – Increase Patrols for St. Patrick’s Day


Increased Patrols Out for St. Patrick’s Day
Don’t Test Your Luck – Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

March 16, 2018 – Law Enforcement will be on alert in Gallatin County this St. Patrick’s Day weekend to crack down on impaired driving. The Montana Highway Patrol will also be out statewide patrolling to deter and detect drunk drivers.

In the U.S., one person dies in an alcohol-impaired vehicle crash every 50 minutes. On St. Patrick’s Day – one of the deadliest holidays on our nation’s roads – this rate only increases. During the 2012-2016 St. Patrick’s Day holiday period, 269 lives were lost in drunk-driving crashes.  

 Drunk driving isn’t just deadly, in all 50 states, it is illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher. In Montana, if you are pulled over and found to be impaired, you will receive a DUI, get your license revoked, and possibly receive jail time and up to $10,000 in fines. The consequences are more severe for repeat offenders.

Your Law Enforcement is working together and wish to ask, “If you’re planning on drinking this St. Patrick’s Day, plan ahead for sober transportation.” “It’s really that simple. Designating a sober driver can save you time, money, and possibly your life or the life of someone else.”

The high-risk period starts on Thursday and goes through the holiday weekend, and local enforcement agencies will have extra patrols out on the lookout for impaired drivers during the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations to prevent injuries and fatalities on the roadways.

The public can join in on this effort by ensuring sober transportation for all friends and family members and calling 911 to report any suspected drunk drivers on the road. In all situations, wearing your seat belt continues to be the best defense against impaired driving.

Increased traffic safety patrols are funded by the Montana Department of Transportation. This and other enforcement and educational campaigns are strategies to reach Vision Zero — zero deaths and zero serious injuries on Montana roadways. For more information about Vision Zero, contact Charity Watt, Montana Department of Transportation, 406-444-3439,

We ask that you have a safe and memorable St. Patrick’s Day.

Chief Dennis Hengel, Manhattan Police Dept.

Sheriff Brian Gootkin, Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office  

Chief Steve Crawford, Bozeman Police Dept.

Chief E. J. Clark Jr., Belgrade Police Dept.

Capt. Mark Wilfore, Montana Highway Patrol            

Chief Bill Dove, Bozeman/Yellowstone Airport Police                                                  

Chief Frank Parish Jr., Montana State University Police Dept.

 Chief Scott Newell, West Yellowstone Police Dept.

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Watch for Localized Flooding

Media Release: 180315-01

Contact: Patrick Lonergan, (406) 582-2395

Watch for Localized Flooding

Bozeman, MT – Residents are encouraged to closely monitor water runoff around their property in the coming days. The combination of frozen ground, significant precipitation and temperatures above freezing create a situation where localized flooding could easily cause issues for people. Gallatin County Emergency Manager Patrick Lonergan explains, “In situations like this it is common for was to accumulate in low lying areas and can often present problems for people’s homes located in geographical depression or with below grade entrances. We encourage everyone to take a quick look around heir property and if they see something that looks like it could cause trouble, fix it then before it causes damage.”

It’s very likely we will be in this similar situation for the next several days with above freezing temperatures in the day and additional precipitation expected.

Learn more about flooding in Gallatin County at


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ATV Injury North of Belgrade

(Gallatin County, Mont.) Tuesday at 3:00 PM Gallatin 911 received a report of a 54 year old Belgrade man with a dislocated hip near Skinner Road North of Belgrade. He had been riding a four wheeler when the injury occurred. The reporting party told dispatch that they did not believe anyone would be able to drive to their location so Sheriff’s Search and Rescue was dispatched with Central Valley Fire. The fire department was the first on scene and was able to get to the patient with the help of the reporting party’s vehicle.   Life Flight Medical helicopter was dispatched and landed near the patient. Search and Rescue volunteers used four wheelers to get to the patient and helped move him to the helicopter.

Sheriff Brian Gootkin would like to remind everyone to four-wheel, snowmobile and recreate with a partner.

Video courtesy of the Sheriffs Office

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Spring Break for Search and Rescue

(Gallatin County, Mont.)

This weekend marked the beginning of the end for snowmobile season in the South end of Gallatin County.  The festivities for Snowmobile Expo in West Yellowstone concluded with no rescue calls except for on the race track in town.  However, the beginning of spring break in the valley send Sheriff’s Search and Rescue on three calls over the weekend.  A missing person on Sixteen Mile Road Sunday, a reported injury in a Forest Service Cabin on Trail Creek Saturday night and a crashed snowmobile near Fairy Lake Saturday afternoon.  All three calls were completed with no complications.  The Fairy Lake call came in at 3:30 PM when Gallatin County 911 received a call from Park County stating that a woman who spoke limited English was lost or her child was lost.  The call was made on an unregistered cell phone so there was no number available for a call back or data that would tell dispatchers who the phone belonged to.  Location data from the phone call was between Hardscrabble and Sacajawea Peaks.  A Deputy was sent to the trailhead on Fairy Lake Rd and Sheriff’s Search and Rescue assets were activated to include Posse, Hasty, Heli, Search Dogs and HAMs.

At the trailhead contact was made with two women who said that a woman had come down to the trailhead on foot asking for help.  They understand that she had crashed her snowmobile and there were two more people (a male and a female) somewhere up the trail.  Two men in the party went up the trail on snowmobiles and met another group of snowmobilers who had seen the two missing people.

Members from the SAR Hasty Team skied up the trail and met the good Samaritans who had located the missing people.  The Hasty team did a quick medical assessment and then they were brought out to the trailhead along with the snowmobile that had been crashed.

While the language barrier made it difficult to put together; it sounds like the original party of four from Puerto Rico had gone up to do some skiing and snowboarding.  They had ridden up the trail to a place where they were going to ski.  The woman who called 911 dropped off her passengers and headed back on the snowmobile to pick up the fourth member of the party.  On the way back to the trailhead, she crashed her snowmobile and hiked back to the trailhead asking for help.  Some local residents out for a day of snowmobiling heard the calls for help and went to assist.

Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin said “The season isn’t over yet but I think we are through the busy time down south.  The Sheriff’s Search and Rescue in West Yellowstone Volunteers did a great job this winter.  Hopefully they can get a breather before the start of the summer tourist season.”

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Medical Call in Three Forks Brings Helicopter

(Three Forks, Mont.)

At about 5:18 PM this evening, Three Forks Ambulance, the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, and AMR responded to Front Street in Three Forks for an unresponsive adult male.

Emergency personnel were able to use life saving techniques to get the subjects heart beating. A helicopter from Life Flight responded and transported the man to the hospital for further treatment.

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Missing Person

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in locating, Danielle Diamond. On December 18, 2017, Danielle was reported as a missing person. Despite prior intermittent periods of communication, there has been an extended period of no contact. Danielle is described as 5’7”, 140 lbs. with brown hair. Danielle was last seen on December 1, 2017 in the Bozeman area. Danielle was last seen wearing brown sweatpants and a multi-colored beanie. Danielle is transient and does not have a vehicle or phone.

Please contact the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office at (406) 582-2100 ext. 2 with any information on her whereabouts.

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Injured Snowmobiler

Photo Courtesy of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office:


On March 7, 2018 at approximately 3:15 p.m., the West Yellowstone Police Department Dispatch received a 911 call from a snowmobiler reporting that his wife had been injured in a snowmobile crash. The couple from Harrisburg Pennsylvania had been snowmobiling together on a two-up snowmobile when the snowmobile left the trail and struck a tree. The caller’s 65 year-old wife was thrown from the snowmobile injuring her hip and possibly fracturing her collar bone.

Rescuers from the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue in West Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park, Hebgen Basin Fire Department and the U.S. Forest Service responded to assist with the rescue.

Rescuers located the pair using the GPS coordinates retrieved from the 911 call finding the injured female to be alert but in pain. They were able to quickly package the patient and begin transporting to the waiting ambulance. However, her injuries combined with the rough trail conditions made travel slow as they attempted to keep the snowmobiler comfortable. The rescue team met up with the Hebgen Basin Fire Department ambulance, which transported her to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital for evaluation.

Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin would like to remind snowmobilers to ride within their ability and always be on the lookout for changing trail conditions. Snowmobiles are capable of sudden maneuvers that can catch riders by surprise.

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Willow Creek School Training

On Monday, March 5, 2018 from 8:30am to 12:30pm instructors from the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office will be conducting training with the Willow Creek school staff at the school.  The session includes active shooter training, defensive tactics training, as well as additional information. 

This training is a continuation of prior training we offer in our rural school training program. The Sheriff’s Office has been conducting this type of training for the past several years.  

If you would like additional information please contact Training Captain Shane Frantz at 582-2120 or 580-4823.


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Scam Alert

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office has received a number of complaints from citizens regarding a scam that is occurring within Gallatin County. The caller informs the person who answers that they have criminal charges pending and to send money for these charges to be stopped. The Caller ID may indicate the phone number is 406-582-2125 or 406-582-2100.  Although this number is the number to the Sheriff’s Office, it is a scam.  Additionally, the caller may identify themselves as a member of the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office. These callers are intimidating and very convincing. These phone calls are not originating from our office. Please do not respond to their requests.


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Snowboarder Rescued near Bridger Bowl


(Gallatin County, Mont.)

Shortly after 12 PM on Tuesday, February 27, the Bridger Bowl Ski Patrol received a report of an 18 year old male snowboarder that had made a navigation error and ended up stuck at the top of a cliff on the west side of Saddle Peak.  Saddle Peak is outside of the Bridger Bowl Ski Area. The Burlington Vt. man’s friend went for help, and Sheriff’s Search and Rescuer skiers reached the site before 1 PM. They found him clinging to a tree at the top of an approximately 150 foot high cliff. The decision was made to set up a rope system and lower him to the bottom of the cliff.  By 1:30 he had been lowered and was escorted back to the ski hill by Bridger Bowl Ski Patrollers.  The man and was unfamiliar with the out-of-bounds route that he took. Fortunately, he was not injured.

Sheriff Gootkin would like to remind recreationists to familiarize themselves with the areas they intend to visit, and to bring appropriate equipment to ensure a safe and enjoyable day.


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