Press Release May 8, 2013

 LetterheadGCSO                                           Press Release

May 8, 2013

Gallatin County Coroner

 On May 7, 2013, at approximately 6:15 PM, the Deputy Coroner on call was dispatched  to Church Avenue in Bozeman.   A 13-year-old male had located a deceased male in the Sourdough Creek.  The deceased was subsequently identified as 58-year-old Kevin Guptill of Bozeman.  Next-of-kin was located and notified early this morning, and the medical examination conducted this afternoon at the crime lab in Missoula has determined the cause of death as drowning.

Montana Law Enforcement Torch Run

Montana Law Enforcement Torch Run®

Press Release

 For Immediate Release                                                                                                  Contact:  Deputy Mike Van Meter 582-2100

Law Enforcement Carry the Torch for Special OlympicsMontana

Montana Law Enforcement Officers and their friends have hit the streets, highways and byways of Montana.  In addition to fulfilling their duties of enforcing speed limits, maintaining order and keeping our state safe, they are fulfilling another type of duty. They are carrying the torch for Special Olympics Montana.

 Hundreds will carry the Flame of Hope 2,000 miles to the State Summer Games Opening Ceremonies in Billings.  The arrival of the Torch Run on Friday May 10th, 2013 and the Final Leg and lighting of the cauldron on Wednesday May 15th, 2013 will officially begin the games.

 Lt. Jack Allen (Great Falls Police Department) the statewide Law Enforcement Torch Run Director stated, “The athlete’s work is inspiring for us and we see it as an honor to help raise awareness and support for Special Olympics Montana.”

 The Torch Run has made stops in numerous towns throughout the state including Scobey, Medicine Lake, Kalispell, Billings, Glasgow, Malta, Butte, Boulder, Anaconda, Cut Bank, Havre and Lewistown.  The torch will be arriving in Bozeman on Friday May 10th, 2013.

 Several law enforcement agencies are participating in the run into Bozeman including the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, Gallatin County Detention Center, Bozeman PD, Belgrade PD, Three Forks PD, Gallatin Airport Authority, MSU PD, Fish Wildlife and Parks, Montana Highway Patrol and Montana Army National Guard.

 “Once our officers get involved they are hooked,” said Allen. “It’s a mutually satisfying experience where we create special relationships that are genuine and long-term.”

 The Torch Run in Montanabegan in 1985. Each year, local Montana Law Enforcement Officers raise several thousand dollars for Special Olympics Montana athletes.  In 2008, the Montana LETR raised over $350,000 for local athletes and was awarded 4th highest per capita in the world.

 Join us this year as we welcome the Torch Run to Bozeman on Friday May 10th, 2013 and join us again on Wednesday May 15th, 2013 for the Final Leg into Rimrock Auto Arena at Metra Park, Billings to light the cauldron for the opening ceremonies for the state summer games.

Learn about Gallatin County’s Weather

GCEM Media Release

Release Number: 130506-01
For Immediate Release
Contact: Patrick Lonergan, 406-582-2350

Learn About Gallatin County’s Weather

Bozeman, MT – The community is encouraged to come join Gallatin County and the National Weather Service on Thursday to learn about weather in our area through the SKYWARN program.  The SKYWARN program is designed to teach people about hazardous weather conditions that are common in their area to enhance public recognition of dangerous situations.  Individuals who attend SKYWARN training will be taught how to recognize weather events and how to pass what they see onto the National Weather Service, providing valuable eyes on the ground.  The information learned is valuable to anyone, regardless of their plans to pass what they see on to the National Weather Service.

SKYWARN Training – Learn about our local weather
May 9th, 6:30-9:30 pm
No Cost – Just Show Up
Gallatin County Coordination Center
219 East Tamarack
Bozeman, MT 59715

Visit for more information on the SKYWARN Program.

Play It Safe This Cinco de Mayo!

    Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office and Bozeman Police Department

 Working to Reduce Drunk Driving Crashes, Fatalities


BOZEMAN, MT   As party-goers celebrate Cinco de Mayo with sombreros, mariachi music and authentic cuisine, many will also indulge with their favorite margarita or tequila, and then, unfortunately, choose to get behind the wheel.  That’s why this year the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office and Bozeman Police Department  are joining with others across the state and nation to encourage everyone to plan ahead this Cinco de Mayo and to never drink and drive. 

 “With Cinco de Mayo celebrations on the rise across the country, alcohol-impaired crashes, injuries and fatalities will also rise,” said Sheriff Brian Gootkin.  “But buzzed driving is drunk driving, and is never safe or acceptable. So folks should plan ahead now to avoid the temptation on the big day.”

 From 2007 to 2011, 38 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities that occurred each year around May 5th involved impaired drivers or motorcycle operators with blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) of .08 and above, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

 During the 2011 Cinco de Mayo holiday alone, 35 percent of motor vehicle fatalities involved an alcohol-impaired driver or motorcycle operator with a BAC of .08 and above. A disturbing 80 percent of the alcohol impaired fatalities involved a driver or motorcycle operator with nearly twice the legal limit of .15.

 Bozeman PD Captain McManis said that people can still enjoy the holiday and celebrations without putting their lives or the lives of other innocent victims on the line. 

 “When people start celebrating, they often aren’t thinking of how they will get home from the restaurant or a friend’s house, and they don’t realize how much they’ve had to drink and make a bad choice that ends in tragic consequences,” said Captain McManis.   “That’s why we are reminding folks to play it safe and plan ahead.”

 Statistics show 31 percent of traffic fatalities in 2011 involved an impaired driver.  But death or injury are not the only consequences from impaired driving. When caught and arrested, violators often face jail time, loss of their driver’s license and it could cost up to $10,000 in legal fees, fines, and result in higher insurance rates.

  “You should always designate a sober driver before the party begins,” said Sheriff Gootkin. “But, if you don’t plan ahead, and you’ve been drinking, please do not get behind the wheel.   There are plenty of other alternatives that will keep you and others safe and out of trouble.” 

 Party-goers can call a friend or cab, use public transportation.  The Late Night Streamline Bus schedule can be found at  

 Sheriff Gootkin and Captain McManis said officers will be on the look-out for impaired drivers during Cinco de Mayo, and those who are caught drinking and driving will be arrested.   

 “We want to make sure that everyone lives to see, and enjoy, Seis de Mayo,” said Gootkin and McManis.  “So we’re working hard to remind everyone that Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving and to never get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol.” 





 CONTACT:   Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin (406) 582-2125


                  Bozeman Police Dept. Patrol Captain Dave McManis (406)-582-2000


False Search and Rescue Donation Calls

The Sheriff’s Office has received several calls recently about phone solicitation purporting to be for Search and Rescue.  Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue does not solicit money by phone or any other method.  It is funded by tax revenue and donations made by persons directly to the Sheriff’s Office for Search and Rescue.  Any phone call or other solicitation for Gallatin County Search and Rescue should be considered disengenious.   ####

Skier injured at Bridger Bowl

On April 18, 2013, Gallatin County Dispatch was notified by Park County 911 that they received a call from an injured skier located at Bridger Bowl. The skier a 21 year old member of the MSU ski team crashed while skiing the Colter Shute at Bridger Bowl. The skier was injured after hitting a rock outcropping and was unable to move due to a possible broken leg.  Since Bridger Bowl is closed, for the season Sheriff’s Search and Rescue was called upon. Several Search and Rescue members were on the mountain at the time of the call and were able to quickly reach the skier who was taken off the mountain with the assistance of Bridger Bowl Employees. The full extent of injuries are unknown at this time, the patient was transported to BDH for further treatment.

Sheriff Gootkin stated that often calls to 911 on the east side of the Bridgers are routed to Livingston 911 becasue of the location of the cell towers that area available.  For that reason it is important that you are able to give the dispatcher your location as accurately as possible.  #####

Four Corners Burglary


At approximately 11:00 A.M. this morning The Gallatin County 911 Dispatch Center received a report of a Burglary in progress at 2591 Magenta Road in the Four Corners area. 

Gallatin County Sheriff’s Deputies and the Montana Highway Patrol responded to the area.  Responding Emergency Personnel apprehended one juvenile male, who is in custody.  The investigation is ongoing.  Please contact Sheriff Gootkin with any further questions.

Brian M. Gootkin

Sheriff Brian M. Gootkin
Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office
615 South 16th
Bozeman, MT  59715
(406) 582-2125
Fax    582-2126

Spring Fire Season? – Fire Danger is High!

After two wildland fires in the Fort Ellis Fire Service Area in the past week, fire officials are urging residents to be more aware of the potential for fires to start and spread rapidly. According to Mike Cech, Chief of the Fort Ellis Fire Department, it is common to have wildland fires in the early spring.

“People normally think about the danger of wildland fires later in the summer, after things dry out. The spring can be just as bad because of the dead vegetation left after the winter. This spring seems to be especially bad because of the general lack of moisture”, Chief Cech said.

Although open burning has been allowed since the beginning of March, residents can really help their local volunteer departments by being extra cautious or by waiting until after vegetation greens-up when planning controlled burns. Residents are also reminded that burn permits are required for outside open burning.

Gallatin County Burn Permits can be obtained at


Crime Spree

On April 1, 2013, the Belgrade Police Department and the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office began to receive reports of vehicles and businesses in the River Rock, Frontage Road West and Belgrade areas being vandalized with a pellet gun.  Both LE agencies mobilized additional patrols.  On April 3, 2013, the Belgrade Police and Gallatin County Sheriff worked collectively and three males were taken into custody for Felony Criminal Mischief.  Jonathan R. Lopez, Alexander Cantu, and Jacob Toledo are currently being held on $5000 bond each at the Gallatin County Detention Center.  To date there are well over 100 victims and damage estimates are in the tens of thousands.  If anyone needs to report damage please contact their respective law enforcement agency contact below.


Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office / Detective Dane Vranish   582-2121

Belgrade Police Department / Detective Division                  388-4262



Brian M. Gootkin

Sheriff Brian M. Gootkin
Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office
615 South 16th
Bozeman, MT  59715
(406) 582-2125
Fax    582-2126

Law Enforcement Seeking Information on Crime Spree

(Belgrade, Mt.) Belgrade Police and the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office are seeking information on the following incident;

On the evening hours of Monday April 1, 2013 and the early morning hours of April 2,  over one hundred and ten vehicles in the River Rock, Frontage Road West and Belgrade areas were shot with a Beebe or pellet gun.  Gallatin County Deputies so far have taken over fifty calls reporting damage and the Belgrade Police Department have taken over sixty complaints.  It is estimated that the value of the damage caused to these vehicles may reach as high as $20,000.  The photos of the suspect vehicle are included with this release.  It appears the vehicle may be a Reddish/Maroon Subaru hatchback or similar vehicle.  All of the lights on the rear of the vehicle appear to be working including the license plate light and a brake light in the upper rear window.        

Anyone with information should call the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Dispatch at 582-2100 option #2 or the Belgrade Police Department at 388-4262 or can remain annonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 586-1131.  Callers may be eligable for a cash reward.