Local Media Encouraged to Utilize WEA PSAs

GCEM Media Release

Contact:  Patrick Lonergan, (406) 582-2395

Bozeman, MT – The Federal Emergency Management Agency has released a series of public service announcements explaining the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) messages.  The relatively new WEA alerts have been activated several times in the past couple months in Montana for AMBER Alerts catching many people off guard.  Gallatin County Emergency Management is encouraging local media outlets to utilize the Ad Council PSAs to help educate our community on this new technology. The PSAs are available on the Ad Council website at http://bit.ly/11R0A6i.  For more information on WEA here in Gallatin County, please visit our blog at http://bit.ly/11mfJdY.

Victim of Suicide Identified


In the early morning hours of Wednesday, May 29, Wade Christiansen was stopped by a Bozeman Police Officer for a traffic offense.  He ultimately exited the vehicle he was driving with a handgun and fatally shot himself.  The death was investigated by the Gallatin County Coroner’s Office.  Despite the incident being videotaped by more than one officer on scene, the suicide determination was corroborated by a forensic examination at the State Crime Lab.

Stolen Vehicle


  On May 23rd, at approximately 0800 hours, Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a stolen vehicle from a business located near Hulbert road and Jackrabbit. The vehicle was located on Rocky Mountain Road in the northern portion of Gallatin County. A pursuit of the vehicle ensued and ultimately the stolen vehicle left the roadway and drove across an area where patrol cars were unable to follow.

  A second vehicle was reported stolen at a residence near this location and a pursuit ensued again. This time the vehicle drove off the East Frontage road near Belgrade, over the railroad tracks and onto Interstate 90. Once again the deputies pursuing the vehicle were unable to follow given the barriers between them and the vehicle.

  At approximately 0930 hours, the Sheriff’s Office responded to Business Hub road. The second stolen vehicle was located in the area and it was determined that a third vehicle had been stolen.

  The Sheriff’s Office is looking for a White GMC extended cab truck with a diamond plate tool box in the back. The Montana centennial license plate number is BAP 270. If anyone sees this vehicle, do not approach but contact the Gallatin County Sheriff’s office at 582-2100 or call 911.

A sad day in Belgrade

It’s a Sad Day in Belgrade,

Thursday evening May 16, 2013 Belgrade City Manager Joe Menicucci passed away in Billings after being hospitalized for several months.

After serving the City of Polson. Mr. Menicucci relocated to Belgrade in 1990 as City Manger of Belgrade, a position he held for almost 23 years.

His dedication, knowledge, and commitment to this community will be greatly missed.

Our prayers and thoughts are with his family and city staff.

Mayor Russ Nelson

Belgrade Police Warn of Phone Scam


Belgrade, MT- The Belgrade Police Department has received information about a scam in which the caller, claiming to be a representative of the Belgrade Police Department, is contacting citizens via telephone and attempting to solicit donations for the police department.  The Belgrade Police Department IS NOT soliciting donations for the department and when raising money for charitable organizations, such as the Special Olympics, does not do so by telephone.  This is a scam and any funds or personal information given to these callers will not benefit the police department or any other charitable causes. These calls are being placed through VoIP (spoofed telephone numbers) and to date, we have received reports of this activity from as far away as Great Falls, MT.

The Belgrade Police Department would like to urge citizens to use extreme caution when contacted by telephone solicitors. Please do not provide solicitors with any personal, bank account or credit card information. If you have any questions as to the validity of a call, obtain a return telephone number and name from the solicitor, and contact your local law enforcement agency.

Contact: Sgt. Dustin Lensing, Belgrade Police Department, 406-388-4262

Click It or Ticket to Boost Seat Belt Use – Day and Night

Press Release – for Immediate Release

May 17, 2013


Click It or Ticket to Boost Seat Belt Use – Day and Night

2013 High-Visibility Enforcement Campaign Begins May 20, 2013

 Bozeman, Gallatin County, Montana. As motorists take to the roads this Memorial Day holiday, the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office and Bozeman Police Department are urging everyone to buckle up.   Beginning May 20, 2013, law enforcement officials will be out in full force, taking part in the 2013 national Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement mobilization and cracking down on motorists who are not belted.

 “As we kick-off  the busy summer driving season it’s important that everyone buckles up every time they go out, both day and night – no excuses,” said Captain Dave McManis of the Bozeman Police Department, “Our officers are prepared to ticket anyone who is not wearing their seat belt – Click It or Ticket.

 According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 52 percent of the 21,253 passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2011 were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash. As noted, deaths involving seat belt nonuse are more prevalent at night than during the daytime.  According to NHTSA, 62 percent of the 10,135 passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2011 during the overnight hours of 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m. were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash. 

  “Seat belts save thousands of lives every year, but far too many motorists are still not buckling up, especially at night when the risk of getting in a crash is even greater,” said Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin. “We want everyone to have a safe summer, but it requires an important step on the part of motorists – clicking that seat belt.”

 In 2011, seat belts saved an estimated 11,949 lives nationwide according to NHTSA. While this year’s Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization runs from May 20 through June 2, officers are out enforcing seat belt laws year-round.

 For more on the national Click It or Ticket mobilization, please visit www.nhtsa.gov.



Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin (406) 582-212

Bozeman Police Dept. Patrol Captain Dave McManis (406)-582-2022



Accident Victim Identified



The Gallatin County Coroner’s Office has identified the victim of a single-vehicle accident which occurred in the early morning hours of Saturday, May 11, 2013, as  Arrow Flint Seifert, 26, of Manhattan.  Seifert died from blunt force trauma of the head.  The accident occurred at Mile Marker 8, Highway 205 west of Manhattan. The accident is under investigation by the Montana Highway Patrol.



Early Morning Wildland Fire


Press Release

For immediate release:

(For more information contact: Chief Mike Cech, 581-2816 or Assistant Chief Fred Cady 580-2582.)

Monday May 13, 2013

8:00 AM

The Fort Ellis Fire Department responded to a wildland fire along the railroad tracks two miles East of Bozeman this morning. Approximately five acres were burned but no structures were threatened during the 5 AM “working-wildland” call. The suspected cause was faulty equipment on a passing freight train.

Even though the temperature at the time of call was 50 degrees and the humidity 50%, fire officials called the fire behavior “moderate”. Fort Ellis Fire Chief Mike Cech states “This is an indication that even though we are starting to see our spring-time green-up, conditions are still very dry. There doesn’t seem to be any significant moisture in sight and residents need to be very careful when setting fires to clean up debris around their properties.”

The National Weather Service in Billings, MT is predicting critical fire conditions with high winds and hot temperatures for Monday with some cooling but still windy on Tuesday. Severe thunderstorms may result from a frontal passage today.

Gallatin County residents are reminded that they must purchase a burn permit and to check the weather forecast before burning. The Gallatin County burn permit web site is: http://burnpermits.mt.gov.




The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office has recently taken a report of a telephone scam wherein the caller stated that the individual had won a cash prize from Publisher’s Clearinghouse and requested them to send a sum of money to a bank in Mexico City in order to claim the cash “prize.”  After this initial call was received, a second call was made to the same number and the caller claimed to be an FBI Special Agent, allegedly calling to verify and legitimize the first call.  That call was followed by another call from a person claiming to be Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin also allegedly to provide legitimacy of the first call.  The caller ID indicated that call came from 406-582-2100, which, in fact, is the main number to the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.   On the surface, this may look legitimate but it is a scam. 


Sheriff Gootkin cautions anyone receiving a call similar to this to not fall victim to the scam.  If you have legitimately won a prize, you should not have to send money to claim it.  Do not give out any of your own personal information such as address, bank information, credit/debit card numbers, social security information, etc.  In some cases if you ask the caller for their name and number, they will disconnect the call.  


Because of the increasing numbers of these types of telephone scams and similar internet scams, and the multi-jurisdictional (local, state, federal, international) issues associated with them, it is very difficult to narrow the scope of an investigation down to one individual or a group of individuals responsible for the scams.  Therefore, Sheriff Gootkin again cautions citizens to use common sense and be vigilant in protecting your personal and financial information

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.