Holiday Law Enforcement Message




Increased Law Enforcement on Patrol During the Holiday Season
Celebrate Safely – Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over
Gallatin County, Dec. 04, 2019 – The holiday season should be filled with family and friends, not fines and fatalities. All of the law enforcement agencies in Gallatin County, along with the Montana Department of Transportation, encourages everyone to drive sober or find a sober ride.
Increased patrols in Gallatin County will begin during the weeks leading up to Christmas and lasting through the new year holiday to keep Montana’s roads free of impaired drivers. In Gallatin County we take a team approach to providing safety for the public we serve. We work together on special events, saturation patrols and education.
Your Gallatin County law enforcement leaders want you to know that “Driving while drunk is deadly and can have serious consequences for everyone involved.” “We in law enforcement are committed to keeping Montanans safe, and that means we have a zero-tolerance policy for drunk driving. It’s simple — don’t drink and drive ever.”
Approximately one-third of all traffic crash fatalities in the U.S. involve drunk drivers1 and Montana’s numbers are not good compared with other states. Montana has one of the highest rates in the nation for alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2018, with over 40% of the traffic fatalities attributed to alcohol-impaired driving.

Consequences of drunk driving include a DUI on your record, a revoked driver’s license, mandatory classes, possible jail time, probation, and up to $10,000 in fines.
Download NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app, Uber, or Lyft prior to leaving home so you are prepared. Designate a sober driver. Ask someone to call you a ride. If you drive impaired, you will be pulled over.

Report suspected impaired drivers by dialing 911, and always wear your seat belt, as it continues to be the best defense against impaired drivers.

Have a safe and memorable Holiday Season.

Chief Steve Crawford – Bozeman Police Dept.
Chief Dennis Hengel – Manhattan Police Dept.
Chief E. J. Clark Jr. – Belgrade Police Dept.
Chief Frank Parrish – Montana State University Police Dept.
Sheriff Brian Gootkin – Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office
Chief Scott Newell – West Yellowstone Police Dept.
Chief Bill Dove – Bozeman – Yellowstone Airport Police Dept.
Captain Mark Wilfore – Montana Highway Patrol

This is a Vision Zero message from 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 Janet Kenny, Montana Department of Transportation, 406-444-7417             or

Posted in Media Release | Comments Off on Holiday Law Enforcement Message

Emergency Beacon False Alarm

(Gallatin County, Mont) On December 4, 2019 at 10:52 a.m., Gallatin County Dispatch received a notification that an emergency beacon had been activated in the Hyalite area. GPS coordinates showed the beacon to be in the area of a popular ice climbing destination called The Fat One. The beacon was registered to an experienced mountaineer, a 52-year-old woman from the Seattle area. Family members were contacted and were able to provide information on where the woman was climbing, what routes she was planning on taking, who she was climbing with, and the vehicle they drove to the trailhead.

Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue responded to the call. Because the call occurred in the backcountry and the condition of the woman was unknown, ski teams and helicopters were deployed in an effort to quickly locate the woman and her climbing partner, a 69-year-old man. SAR members located the woman’s vehicle at the Grotto Falls trailhead.

At 1:10 p.m., the climber and her partner were located. Both parties were in good health and spirits. The climber said that the SOS button on the beacon had accidentally been pushed. She didn’t notice emergency confirmation messages to her beacon until well after SAR had been deployed and pushed the cancellation button shortly before the parties were located.

The Sheriff’s Office would like to encourage everyone to take steps prior to going into the backcountry that will help us locate you in case of emergency. In this case, the subjects had notified family members of exactly where they would be, what they were driving, who was in their party, and the experience level of party members. Providing this information to someone is a huge help if we need to come looking for you in an emergency situation.

Photo courtesy of Gallatin County Sheriff’s OfficeHelicopter in parking lot

Posted in Media Release | Comments Off on Emergency Beacon False Alarm

Overdue Hunter Found

(Gallatin County, Mont.) On November 30, 2019 at 3:45 pm, Gallatin County Dispatch received a call for an overdue hunter. The hunter, a 47-year-old local man, had planned on meeting up with another hunter but didn’t show up. Attempts to contact the hunter by phone were unsuccessful. Based on the falling temperatures and the rugged terrain, Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue was called out to conduct a search for the hunter. When deputies arrived on scene, the reporting party had left her truck to look for the overdue hunter. SAR volunteers, including a search dog, quickly located the reporting party and brought her back to the truck.

The search was in the area of Headwaters State Park and the Trident cement plant, along the train tracks. Just before 7 pm, Montana Rail Link notified dispatch that a train engineer had spotted a man near the tracks at the bottom of the Clarkston Hill. Deputies responded and located the overdue hunter. The man was in good spirits and was given a ride to his residence to meet with the reporting party.

When you are in the backcountry, be prepared to stay out overnight should the conditions worsen. If you report a missing person, please stay with your vehicle until we arrive so we don’t have to search for multiple people.

Posted in Media Release | Comments Off on Overdue Hunter Found

Media Center Issues Resolved

We appear to have resolved the issues with Gallatin Media Center.  Sorry for the inconvenience.

Posted in Media Release | Comments Off on Media Center Issues Resolved

System Test 2

This is a test for Gallatin Media Center.  Please disregard.

Posted in Media Release | Comments Off on System Test 2

System Test

This is a test of the Gallatin Media Center.  We are experiencing some technical issues.  Sorry for the inconvenience while we troubleshoot, please disregard this message.

Posted in Media Release | Comments Off on System Test

Media Center Repairs

GCEM Media Release

Good Afternoon,

Over the past day Gallatin Media Center has had some issues as we worked to resolve an issue with one of our vendors.  In the mean time, you may have seen an odd email come through the system today as we worked to isolate the issue.  We believe the issue has bee resolved and the system is completely online now.


Gallatin County EM

Posted in Media Release | Comments Off on Media Center Repairs

Gallatin Media Center

GCEM Media Release

Good Afternoon,

Over the past day Gallatin Media Center has had some issues as we worked to resolve an issue with one of our vendors.  In the mean time, you may have seen an odd email come through the system today as we worked to isolate the issue.  We believe the issue has bee resolved and the system is completely online now.


Gallatin County EM

Posted in Media Release | Comments Off on Gallatin Media Center

West Yellowstone Ski Camp Accidents

(Gallatin County, Mont.)  At 3:15 pm yesterday, the Fremont County (ID) Sheriff’s Office dispatch received a 911 call for 67-year-old man from Montana who had fallen while crosscountry skiing.  Fremont County passed the information on to Gallatin County due to the location of the injured party. The man was skiing on the South Plateau trail approximately 7 miles southwest of West Yellowstone and suffered a severe upper leg injury.  At the same time, a 60-year-old woman from Idaho had fallen in a separate incident and injured her hip. Both skiers were part of the 3000+ skiers who are attending the annual West Yellowstone Fall Ski Camp event this weekend. The event was moved from the usual Rendezvous trails to the South Plateau in order to find snow and conditions are fast and icy.

Personnel from the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue in West Yellowstone, Hebgen Basin Fire Department, and Yellowstone National Park responded and met the injured parties near the scene of the accident. The skiers had been moved from the crash scene to a nearby parking lot by volunteers working the ski camp. The injured skiers were initially treated on scene by Hebgen Basin EMS personnel.  The woman was then transported to Madison Memorial Hospital in Rexburg using an ambulance and crew from Yellowstone National Park. The man, with a possible femur fracture, was transported down the mountain and turned over to Air Methods EMS personnel for air transport to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.

Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin would like to thank all of the rescue organizations that came together to execute a successful backcountry rescue of these two individuals. Race organizers with good communication devices and basic medical equipment were also a big part of this rescue.

Posted in Media Release | Comments Off on West Yellowstone Ski Camp Accidents

Storm Castle Search Successful

(Gallatin County, Mont.) Not all Search and Rescue calls involve remote mountain peaks; in many areas of Gallatin County, backcountry starts when you leave the highway. At 5 pm Friday, Dispatch received a report that a 47-year-old Bozeman man and his 7-year-old son were overdue from a quick trip down Gallatin Canyon to scout access to hunting spots. His last contact with his wife was around 11:30, just before he left cell service, and they were due home by 1:00. The man had told his wife where he was headed, so deputies were able to immediately start checking trailheads for his vehicle. Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue was called to assist deputies at 7 pm and multiple teams were sent to search every major hunting access from Big Sky north to Hyalite. The man and son were found, cold but safe, up Storm Castle, where their car had slid off the road, at 9 pm. They had stayed with the vehicle for shelter, which was safer and made it easier for searchers to find them. They were safe at home by 11 pm.

Posted in Media Release | Comments Off on Storm Castle Search Successful