Missing Youth Found Safe


James Harlan Garwood, the 14-year-old male who had been reported missing on December 15, 2013, was located and returned home by Gallatin County Sheriff’s Deputies on December 19th.  The youth was located as a result of a tip from a citizen who recognized the boy from the photos and description released earlier this week. 


The Sheriff’s Office would like to thank all those who called in with tips and information regarding this matter. 






December 18, 2013


The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office is looking for assistance in locating a missing juvenile male.  James Harlan Garwood, 14 years of age, was last seen at his residence at 196 Mountain Lion Trail, Bozeman, Montana, on December 15, 2013, at approximately 4:00 p.m.  James is described as 5’1” tall; 98-100 pounds; longer, shaggy, light brown hair; and brown eyes.  He also walks with a limp on his right side.  James was last seen wearing a red pullover hoodie with a grizzly that says “Cali Lov” on it, and black jeans with holes in them.  A number of James’ friends have been contacted and at this time have not reported seeing him. 

 Anyone with information regarding this missing youth is asked to contact the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office at 406-582-2121 or Gallatin County Dispatch at 406-582-2100 ext. 2.

James Garwood1James Garwood_edited-1


August/Labor Day Crackdown


Local Law Enforcement Joins National Crackdown

To Reduce Drunk Driving Fatalities

‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ Campaign Will Target Drunk Drivers

 [Bozeman, Gallatin County, Montana] – From mid-August through Labor Day, local law enforcement will be out in force as part of the annual nationwide “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” crackdown on drunk driving.   The crackdown, which will include high-visibility enforcement throughout Gallatin County will run from August 16 through September 2, 2013.

The effective nationwide drunk driving crackdown will include high-visibility enforcement, high-profile events, and will be supported by national paid advertising, creating a comprehensive campaign to curb drunk driving in August and through the Labor Day holiday weekend.

Gallatin County Sheriff Gootkin and Bozeman Police Department Patrol Captain McManis said their deputies and officers will be aggressively looking for drunk drivers during the crackdown and will arrest anyone caught driving drunk.

Although it is illegal in all 50 States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to drive drunk (having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher), far too many people across the nation get behind the wheel after consuming too much alcohol.  The latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration underscore the serious nature of the nation’s continuing drunk driving epidemic.

 “Every year, about one third of all motor vehicle traffic deaths involve one or more drunk drivers or motorcycle operators,” said  Sheriff Gootkin.  “In 2011 9,878 people died in crashes involving drunk drivers.  That works out to approximately one drunk driving fatality every 53 minutes.”

 Captain McManis added that holidays such as the Labor Day holiday are particularly dangerous.

 During the Labor Day weekend in 2011, a total of 138 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes involving drivers or motorcycle riders with BACs of .08 g/dL or higher.  Of those fatalities, 83 percent occurred during early evening and overnight, from 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.

 Drunk driving takes a particularly heavy toll among young drivers.  Among 18- to 34-year-old drivers killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes during the 2011 Labor Day weekend, 42 percent were alcohol-impaired.

 “Research has shown that high-visibility enforcement like the ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign reduces drunk driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent.  By joining this nationwide effort, we will make Bozeman and Gallatin County’s roadways safer for everyone throughout the Labor Day period,” said Captain McManis.

 “We want to remind everyone that getting behind the wheel drunk is a terrible idea.  Unfortunately, not only does drinking impair your ability to operate a vehicle safely, it also impairs your judgment and good sense about whether you can, or should drive.  If you have any doubt about your sobriety, do not get behind the wheel.  If you do chose to drive impaired, you will be arrested.  No warnings. No excuses,” Sheriff Gootkin said.

 Captain McManis and Sheriff Gootkin both noted that being arrested for driving drunk brings a wide range of negative consequences into one’s life.  Drunk drivers face jail time, loss of their driver licenses, and steep financial consequences such as higher insurance rates, attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work, and the potential loss of job. When family, friends and co-workers find out, violators also often face tremendous personal embarrassment.

 “Driving drunk is simply not worth the risk. So don’t take the chance. Remember, we will be out in force and we will be watching, so ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,’” said Captain McManis.

 For more information, visit the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Campaign Headquarters at www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov.


Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin (406) 582-2125    

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



Tire Spikes Found in Landmark Subdivision



The Sheriff’s Office has recently received several reports of homemade tire spiking devices found on the roadways in the Landmark Subdivision. On at least two occasions a motorist has run over the spikes resulting in deflated vehicle tires.  If you have any information relating to these spikes or knowledge of who may be responsible for leaving them in the roadways, please contact the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office at 582-2100, ext. 2, or
Crimestoppers at 586-1131.  The photo below is an example of one of the homemade spikes recovered from Landmark. 



Tire spike



Press Release — June 26, 2012

On June 25th, 2013 at approximately 1600 hours, the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to Three Forks for a reported victim with a gunshot wound to the leg. Investigators were able to determine that this individual did not suffer from a gunshot wound. The individual was either unable or unwilling to describe how he received the minor injury to his leg. The case has been closed pending further information.



Added Patrols are Out to Deter Impaired Driving


[Bozeman, Gallatin County, Montana]— The Fourth of July is one of the deadliest holidays of the year due to alcohol-impaired driving crashes so the Bozeman Police Department and Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office will be stepping up traffic patrols to help keep travelers safe.  “The 4th of July is a time to celebrate,” said Deputy Chief McLane, “but celebrate smartly and make this a holiday to remember for all the right reasons, not the wrong ones.” 

 “Too many people die each year due to those who choose to drive impaired, so our officers will be out in full force this Fourth of July showing zero tolerance for impaired drivers,” said  Deputy Chief McLane.  “This is a time of year with many parties and celebrating, but there is nothing to celebrate if you get a DUI, crash your vehicle, or injure or kill someone.”

 “The Fourth may be one of the nation’s most popular holidays, but, unfortunately, it’s also one of the most dangerous in terms of alcohol-related fatalities,” Sheriff Gootkin said.  “Too many people think they can get behind the wheel because they’ve only had a few drinks and just have a ‘buzz’ on.  The truth is you don’t have to be falling down drunk to be a menace to yourself and everyone around you on the highways.  Remember: buzzed driving is drunk driving.”

 Sheriff Gootkin and Deputy Chief McLane also offer these reminders for safety:

  • Designate a Driver. Before the fun begins know who is your sober driver. 
  • Buckle Up.  Every trip, every time – even for short distances.
  • Arrange for a Pick Up.  The designated driver doesn’t have to be at the party, as long as he/she is willing to drop off and pick up party goers.
  • Keep Ride Options on Speed Dial.  Be it a taxi, friend, neighbor, or parent, have that go-to number programed in your phone.
  • Use A Ride Home Program. 
  • Plan Your Own Ride Program.  As a party host, have a plan with taxis or designated drivers to get your guests home safely.
  • Plan to Spend the Night.  Crashing on a couch is better than crashing a car. If you’re going to a house party, why not spend the night?
  • Call a Taxi.

  “We’d rather everyone make the choice to have a sober driver than to risk a DUI or worse,” said Sheriff Gootkin. 

 The additional patrols are funded by the Montana Department of Transportation Selective Traffic Enforcement Programs (STEP) grants. 


Sheriff Brian Gootkin                                               Deputy Chief Rich McLane

Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office                           Bozeman Police Department

406-582-2125                                                               406-582-2000

brian.gootkin@gallatin.mt.gov                            rmclane@bozeman.net


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.





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

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 www.streamlinebus.com/routes-schedulesweekday-serviceweekday-service/latenight-service/  

 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