Scam Calls Circulating

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office has received multiple calls regarding an ongoing scam. The scammer identifies himself as a Lieutenant with the Sheriff’s Office and informs people they have missed jury duty or that they have come across paperwork that needs to be resolved. In both cases, they request the person call 406-924-9989 to resolve the matter. This is a scam and we would like to remind everyone that the Sheriff’s office will not request money.


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Long Day and Night for Census Worker

(Gallatin County, Mont.)

On the morning of November 14, 2017, the Bozeman Police Dept. took a missing person report of a 69 year old female who was a day overdue from her census duties. She told a co-worker that she would be doing demographic surveys north of Belgrade, possibly in the Dry Creek, Blacktail, Maudlow, and/or Rocky Mountain Road areas. Co-workers and family had not been able to reach her by phone and were concerned for her safety. Deputies knew the described areas to be remote, rural areas of Gallatin County, and requested that Search and Rescue personnel be deployed to help look for the female and her vehicle.

SAR resources were paged at approximately 1:45, and began to search roads in the Dry Creek and Rocky Mountain Road areas. A Search and Rescue Deputy met a volunteer rescuer in the Sixteen Mile Creek area when, at 3:00, they stopped a truck coming down the road from further up the Sixteen Mile Road. The missing census worker was with the driver, and was found to be fairly thirsty, but in good health and spirits.

The female reported that she got stuck in deep snow on the unmaintained road at approximately 3:20 on Monday the 13th. She did not have cell service, and decided to stay with her vehicle until someone came by. The female had some food and extra clothing and a sleeping bag, and was able to stay fairly comfortable while she waited through the night. She was preparing to spend another night when the male came upon her vehicle and gave her a ride. The deputy transported the female back to her residence after making sure co-workers and family were notified that she was ok.

Sheriff Gootkin notes that the female did several things right, including traveling with items to help during an emergency, and staying with her vehicle instead of trying to hike out in unfamiliar country. Moving away from vehicles or other last known points makes things more challenging for rescuers, and a vehicle can serve as adequate shelter during inclement weather.

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Its Ski Season

(Gallatin County, Mont.)  Just because the ski hills are not open yet does not mean there is no skiing.  Recent snow fall has lured skiers into the mountains and with that comes the occasional rescue.  Today at about 5:30 P.M. a 19 year old MSU student fell after a jump at Bridger Bowl Ski area breaking his lower leg.  Sheriff’s Search and Rescue units were dispatched along with the Bridger Canyon Fire Department and AMR ambulance at 6:00 P.M. after someone found him and made their way to cell service to call 911.  Rescuers used snowmobiles and a rescue sled to transport him the rest of the way down the mountain to a waiting ambulance.

Sheriff Gootkin reminds us that early season skiing carries extra risk.  “Even if you are on a ski area there is no avalanche control or ski patrol until they open later this month.  You have to take that into account and spend the time to get educated and be prepared for emergencies.  Ski with a  partner, carry avalanche gear and emergency supplies.”

Photo courtesy of the Sheriff’s Office.  Volunteer Rescuers cleaning up and getting ready for the next call after the rescue at Bridger Bowl.


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Gallatin County Completes Annual Flood Mitigation Update

Gallatin County is a participant in FEMA’s Community Rating System (CRS) Program. This program offers landowners in County jurisdictional areas a discount on their flood insurance premiums dependent on an evaluation and scoring of the County’s floodplain management program. Gallatin County is currently categorized as a Class 8 community which provides up to a 10% discount on flood insurance policies through the National Flood Insurance Program. One of the activities that Gallatin County is currently receiving CRS credit for is the maintenance of the Gallatin County Hazard Mitigation Plan (adopted by FEMA on September 18, 2012). To continue to receive credit for the Hazard Mitigation Plan we are required to prepare an annual progress report on the flood-related portions of the Hazard Mitigation Plan and provide copies of that update to the County Commission and the media. A progress report was completed in October of 2016, so this progress report covers activities completed over the last year.

To continue to receive credit for the Hazard Mitigation Plan we are required to prepare an annual progress report on the flood-related portions of the Hazard Mitigation Plan and provide copies of that update to the County Commission and the media.

The attached progress report was approved by the All Hazards All Disciplines (AHAD) Group at its October 26, 2017 meeting.

Questions can be directed to the Gallatin County Planning Department.

Download report at:


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Little Bear Rescue

On 11-04-17 at about 8:00 PM, the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office received a call advising of a vehicle, which had slid off the dirt road and was in a precarious position up Little Bear Road. The caller said he had found the occupied vehicle partly off the road with about a 15-20 foot drop off below them. The occupants did not want to get out of the vehicle in fear of the car going over the edge.

Due to the non-specific directions and the need to get help on scene quickly, the Gallatin County Search and Rescue was activated with a Gallatin County Deputy acting as incident coordinator.

As it turns out the vehicle was located not very far up Little Bear Road.  Search and Rescue personnel were able to secure the vehicle and assist the four occupants to safety.  A tow truck was also requested, and upon arrival pulled the vehicle safely back onto the road.

Sheriff Gootkin would like to remind everyone, when going out into the backcountry, whether in a vehicle or by foot always remember how ice can affect the activity your involved in. Please be extra cautious in these icy times of the year.

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National Take-Back Initiateve




Upcoming Take-Back Day

Saturday, October 28, 2017

615 S. 16th Ave.

Law & Justice Center

Bozeman, MT

10:00 am – 2:00 pm


Missouri River Drug Task Force is partnering with the Community-Coalition On Drug Awareness, the Elks Drug Awareness Program, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for another National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day which will take place on Saturday, October 28, 2017. This is a great opportunity for those who missed the previous events, or who have subsequently accumulated unwanted, unused prescription drugs, to safely dispose of those medications.











In its 13 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 8.1 million pounds—more than 4,050 tons—of pills!

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The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office has received multiple calls from citizens who state they were contacted by the IRS and told to call 701-428-8115 or a warrant was going to be placed on them. This is a scam and you should not do anything they are asking you to do.  

The Sheriff’s Office has also been made aware of another scam. In this scam, people who are looking for rental homes are contacted and asked to provide personal information. The rentals are actually homes for sale in the local area, but they are not for rent. This is also a scam.

Please do not provide your personal information to any individual or organization unless you have fully researched their legitimacy.


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Gallatin River Ranch Rescue

On Sunday, October 15th, 2017, around 6:00 pm, the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Division, the Gallatin River Ranch Fire Department, and an American Medical Response (AMR) ambulance responded to a backcountry rescue.  A 76-year-old Texas man most likely fell on a steep slope above the Gallatin River north of Manhattan.  The man ended up below some cliffs on a difficult to access stretch of the river.  The man had a head wound and was disoriented.  Various personal effects were scattered around the area.

A ground crew of rescuers accessed the man by hiking down steep, rough terrain.  Another crew launched a search and rescue boat from a nearby fishing access.  Due to the nature of the man’s injuries and an anticipated length of time to reach definitive medical treatment, responding EMS personnel requested a medical helicopter transport the man to the hospital.  Rescuers had to stomp down chest high grass next to the river to create a suitable landing zone for the helicopter.  A Reach Medical Helicopter was eventually able to land and fly the patient to Bozeman Health Hospital.

Sheriff Gootkin would like to remind people to enjoy outdoor activities with at least one partner.  If you have to go alone, tell someone where you are going and when to expect you back.  You can run into trouble close to home the same as you can in the remote backcountry.

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California Wildfires Illustrate Challenges in Mass Notifications

GCEM Media Release

Release: 171014-01
Contact:  Patrick Lonergan, (406) 599-7881

California Wildfires Illustrate Challenges in Mass Notifications

Bozeman, MT – Wildfires burning in Sonoma County, California have reinforced a good practice concerning emergency notifications for use here in Gallatin County.  Providing fast, accurate and clear emergency messages during emergencies is often a complicated process that officials here in Gallatin County spend a lot of time preparing for.  As reported by the Route Fifty on October 12th, Sonoma County officials debated the use of a federal system known as Wireless Emergency Alerts to notify individuals affected by the emerging wildfires. Sonoma officials ultimately decided not to use the system largely due to the inability to target only those people affected by the fires.

“Many people have the impression that officials can send emergency messages to anyone, but the reality is that we can’t do that in practice,” stated Patrick Lonergan, Gallatin County Emergency Manager.  Mr. Lonergan added, “Wireless Emergency Alerts will be a great tool in the future, but today it is significantly hindered in several key area.  For example, using the Wireless Emergency Alert System we would have to send a message to every cell phone in Gallatin County even if the emergency only affected West Yellowstone.  To compound this, the messages are limited to 90 characters and can not include website URLs.”  These limitations make the system challenging to utilize and still provide a clear message while identifying who the message applies to.

Lonergan points out that the best way to ensure those in Gallatin County to receive emergency notifications when something affects you is to register in the Community Notification System at  The Community Notification System is utilized by all public safety agencies within Gallatin County and allows these officials to target messages geographically to those who are actually affected by the incident.  According to Lonergan, “When an emergency occurs we want to provide clear information quickly to those who are actually affected.  The last thing we want to do is inadvertently worry people who are not affected or not send a clear message that people understand.  The reality is that we need our community to register at to ensure we can quickly notify the right people using the methods they prefer.”


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Montana is Earthquake Country, Take a Moment to Prepare

GCEM Media ReleaseRelease:  171011-01
Contact:  Patrick Lonergan, (406) 582-2395

Montana is Earthquake Country, Take a Moment to Prepare

Bozeman, MT – Montana has been reminded this year about being one of the more seismically active states in the country and October 19 is dedicated to reminding us about that reality.  At 10:19 am on October 19th a nationwide earthquake drill called the Great Montana Shakeout will occur.  Everyone in Gallatin County is encouraged to spend a couple minutes next Thursday with their co-workers, family and friends to practice “Drop, Cover and Hold On” and review their emergency plans.

Facilitation material is available for a wide variety of organization types to support you at

Montana Earthquake Video

Great Montana Shakeout Flyer


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