Investigation into Death of Dog

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office has been investigating the death of a dog that was located near Trail Creek road, south of the interstate. A Necropsy was performed by a licensed Veterinarian. The natural deterioration of the body made it difficult to determine the exact cause of death. Some of the injuries are consistent with those possibly caused by a vehicle. Some reports have mentioned bullet wounds throughout the body. These reports have been identified as inaccurate. Many of the wounds seen on the pictures occurred post-mortem. There were no ligature marks on the underside of the neck, other areas of the neck were unable to be examined due to decomposition. The investigation has determined this was most likely an unfortunate accident and the investigation has been closed.  If someone has more information regarding this investigation, please contact the Sheriff’s Office at 582-2100


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Phone Scams

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office has been receiving an increasing number of calls from residents who are reporting phone scams.  It appears that someone is calling residents and telling them they have a “warrant” for failing to appear for jury duty.  The caller identifies himself as “Lt Williams”  of the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, badge number 2124 and asks for money to clear up the warrant.  Residents are reporting that the number 406-924-3299 is showing up on Caller ID.

The Sheriff would like to remind everyone to be aware and never give any personal or financial information over the phone to anyone that you did not call yourself.  This scam is one of the many scams that are popular and making their way through communities.  Other scams involve the IRS and delinquent payments, telling people that they have a loved one in jail and to send money to get them out of jail, emails stating that your computer has a virus and they give you a link to log onto and then they lock up your computer and take your personal information.  These are only a few of the scams that are popular.

If you receive any phone calls that you feel are suspicious, hang-up and call your local law enforcement.

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Spring Rescues Start


On April 22nd, 2016, at around 11:45 am, The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office received a call reporting a 77 year old female had fallen and broken her wrist while hiking.  The elderly woman was located at the top of Drinking Horse Mountain Trail in Bozeman and was reportedly bleeding and losing consciousness. Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, AMR and Bridger Fire Department  responded.

Search & Rescue Team Members coordinated a rescue plan and quickly negotiated the terrain to reach the patient at the summit.  She was medically treated and transported via wheeled litter to the base of the trailhead.  She was subsequently transported to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital for further care and is expected to fully recover.

Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin would like to remind hikers never hike alone and always carry a fully charged cell phone or GPS Spot Beacon. Sheriff Gootkin would also like to remind hikers to stay hydrated and bring food along with appropriate gear for the terrain and weather.


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GCSO Deputy Sheriff Hiring

JOB POSTING – February 25, 2016



JOB DESCRIPTION:  Perform a variety of Law Enforcement and Public Safety functions through teamwork and with the community of Gallatin County.

JOB REQUIREMENTS: Must be of legal status to work in the United States; minimum age – 18; Good driving record;  Possess or able to possess a Montana driver’s license; Good physical condition; Possess a Montana P.O.S.T. certification or be able to obtain within twelve (12) months of hire; High School Diploma or equivalent.  Ability to legally possess a firearm; Have no felony convictions; No domestic abuse convictions; Good verbal and written communication skills: React quickly and effectively to stressful situations:  Able to work nights, weekends and holidays; Knowledge and skills in operating computer systems; Clear and concise speech; Ability to handle several tasks simultaneously; Ability to perform essential functions of this position.  NOTE:  Employment is conditional on passing a written exam, physical fitness test, psychological exam, pre-employment physical and criminal background check.  Must successfully complete the Field Training Officer Program and obtain Montana P.O.S.T certification.  Personal conduct and behavior on duty as well as off duty must be such that it does not bring discredit upon the Sheriff’s Office or its members. This position requires a high level of problem-solving ability, self-initiative and the ability and willingness to work a majority of the time without direct supervision.

EDUCATION:    Possess a high school degree or equivalent.  Additional incentives are available for higher education.

TESTING INFORMATION:  Tentative testing and oral board dates are scheduled for the week of April 4, 2016.  All applicants must take or have completed Gallatin County Sheriff’s written exam and fitness test; or may stand on their previous Gallatin County Sheriff’s written scores if completed within the last six months and their previous Gallatin County physical fitness test if completed within the last 90 days. (submit previous scores by calling Sharon at (406) 582-2174).  Applications, resume and references must be turned into the Bozeman Job Service and received by 5:00 P.M. (MST) March 25, 2016 to be considered.  For updates and specific information, please refer to our website at 

For application consideration, the following documents are REQUIRED to be submitted to the Bozeman Job Service:  

  • POST Standard Application ●  Applicant Survey  ●  Resume and three (3) references

NOTE:  Incomplete application packets will not be considered.

Confirmation of accepted applications will be e-mailed and mailed the week of March 28, 2016.  Please include e-mail address and mailing address on the application.                                                                  

Gallatin County is an Equal Opportunity Employer:  Gallatin County does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability or marital status.                                                                    

Qualified applicants may be placed in a pool for up to 6 months for consideration of future openings. 

CLOSING DATE:                                March 25, 2016 – 5:00 P.M.

HIRING DATE:                                 SUMMER/FALL 2016    

CONTACT:                                           Sharon at (406) 582-2174;

JOB LOCATION: Position may be located at any of the offices (Bozeman, Big Sky,

West Yellowstone and/or Three Forks) all are located in Gallatin County, MT

SALARY: $4,050.37/month based on an hourly rate of $23.19 + Excellent Benefits Package and Incentives.

WORK HOURS: Hours for this position are varied – law enforcement requires 24 hour coverage, 7 days / week, every day of the year.

Job Service and Bozeman Chronicle

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Sheriff’s Office Public Safety Academy

GCSO Public Safety Academy

Ever wonder who keeps county residents safe, and how? If you have, the GCSO Public Safety Academy is a great way to answer your question. For ten weeks, one night a week, you can learn from the best in law enforcement, crisis intervention, search and rescue, and emergency medical services, for free.

The Public Safety Academy will lead you through how to make a traffic stop, judge which way a bullet entered, and perform hands-on CPR. You will be able to ride along with a GCSO deputy, sit beside a 9-1-1 dispatcher, and tour the Detention Center. You can try on the body armor worn by the Special Response team, learn about how undercover detectives track drug deals, climb inside an air ambulance, see how fast someone with a knife can be, and watch a K9 stop a bad guy. It is a great introduction to how public safety works in your community! 

The 5th Academy is held from 6PM-9PM every Tuesday from April 5 June 7, 2016. Any County resident 18 years and older is welcome to attend. To register, contact Lt Shane Frantz at or 582-2120.


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Fatal Crash on I-90 Sunday

img_0248-6.jpeg(Gallatin County, Mont.)  Sunday morning at 1:36 a single vehicle crash was discovered by a Sheriff’s Deputy on Patrol near mile post 286 outside of Manhattan.  One person was killed in the crash.  36 year old Gabriel Charles Schiers of Bozeman has been identified by the Coroner as the person killed.  The crash is under investigation by the Montana Highway Patrol.

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It Sounded Like a Good Plan at the Time


(Bozeman, Mont.) On 3/12/16 at about 7PM 911 Dispatch got a call from two male skiers .  The mid-thirty year old Belgrade area residents stated that they reserved the Fox Creek Cabin and went to ski in from South Cottonwood Trailhead. The trail was icy, so they turned around and drove to Langhor Creek in an attempt to access the cabin from the east. They reached a ridge line where they had cell service and called 911. They were unsure of their exact location. If they dropped down toward the cabin they would lose cell service and most likely not find the cabin in the dark. If they turned around, they felt like they would need help. One of the males was fatigued and it would have difficulty making the six mile return trip. Plus, there was a chance of further disorientation.

 Verizon was able to ping their cell phone and provide a general location. A helicopter from Reach Med used those coordinates to pinpoint their location from the air. Members of the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team reached them by snowmobile and transported them out.

 Sheriff Gootkin would like to remind skiers and hikers to be prepared with food, clothing and shelter in case they need  to spend the night out – even if staying at a Forest Service Cabin. A map, compass, and GPS are also essential items. Sheriff Gootkin would also like to thank the committed volunteers that make up Search and Rescue.


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Followup to Press Conference

img_0248-6.jpeg(Bozeman, Mont.) The following is text to support the interview Sheriff Gootkin gave this morning.

On March 11, 2016, at 5 pm, an unidentified person called Gallatin County 911. The caller immediately hung up. The dispatcher recognized the number as belonging to FWP Sergeant Joe Knarr. The dispatcher notified two Gallatin County Sheriff’s deputies who were responding Knarr’s residence, 341 Golden Trout Way, in Gallatin County. The deputies found that the house was locked.  Dispatch made several attempts to call Joe Knarr’s number, and his wife, FWP Warden Jen Knarr’s, number, but no one answered any of the calls. The deputy looked through a window and saw a person’s legs lying on the floor in the residence. The deputies then had to kick open the front door and entered the residence.  When the deputies entered into the dining room of the residence they immediately saw two bodies on the floor.  Joe Knarr and Jen Knarr were deceased, both having suffered gunshot wounds.  When the deputies looked elsewhere in the house, they found six month old Daniel Knarr.  They immediately removed Daniel and attempted resuscitation with a volunteer firefighter but were unsuccessful.

The investigation and evidence indicated that Jen Knarr walked behind Joe who was sitting in the dining room and shot him in the back of the head.  She then walked to Daniel and shot him in the chest.  This was when Jen called 911, hung up, sat down and shot herself.  Deputies recovered a Sig Sauer model 229 .40 caliber handgun. That weapon was issued to Jen Knarr by FWP as her duty weapon.  Three shell casings were found in the Knarr residence.  When Sheriff Brian Gootkin spoke with family members they all indicated that Jen had been battling postpartum depression.  All three individuals were transported to the State Medical Examiner’s Office for autopsies.  The investigation will continue.  If you have any questions contact Sheriff Gootkin at (406) 539-8824

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Fatality Crash on I-90 West of Belgrade


(Gallatin County, Mont.) On March 12th, 2016 at 00:27 A.M., Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office Coroners were called to a single vehicle fatality crash located on Interstate-90 at mile post 297 westbound just west of Belgrade. The sole occupant of the vehicle has been identified as 26 year-old Roxann Madison of Belgrade. Montana Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.


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Three People Dead East of Bozeman

img_0248-6.jpeg(Bozeman, Mont.) The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 hang up call East of Bozeman at 5:00 P.M. this evening.   Unfortunately Deputies have discovered three fatalities in a residence.  Sheriff’s Detectives are on scene and investigating.  The Sheriff’s Office is being assisted by Highway Patrol, City of Bozeman and Belgrade Police Department.  There is no evidence to suggest that there is any threat to the public.  Investigators will continue to work throughout the night.  Sheriff Gootkin will conduct a press conference tomorrow (Saturday) morning at 11:00 A.M. in the Detention Center Community Room.  We will not be able to answer any questions until that time.  #######

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