Gallatin County Treatment Court honoring participants with Christmas celebration

Gallatin County Treatment Court will be holding its annual Christmas celebration on Friday, Dec. 14.

The celebration is to honor the participants’ commitment to changing their lives.

Treatment Court starts at 9 a.m. in Gallatin County District Court Judge John Brown’s courtroom at the Law and Justice Center, located at 615 S. 16th Ave. in Bozeman.

“Treatment Court Christmas is a very special event. It is an opportunity to celebrate the ongoing success of our participants, some of whom have not celebrated Christmas in years,” said Judge Brown.

“Prior to Treatment Court, their lives revolved around drugs, alcohol, and jail. But this year, with the support of the Treatment Court team, our participants are clean and sober. They are employed, and they have stable residences. And they are free to experience the joy of the holidays with their friends and family,” he said.

At the Christmas celebration, the 23 current participants will receive gifts and treats provided by Friends of Treatment Court, a group that gives financial support to the program, as well as the Alumni Club, who are past Treatment Court graduates.

“This is a great example of the support to Treatment Court by the community,” said Gallatin County Commissioner Steve White. “Over the years, I have seen how the participants appreciate the Christmas celebration.”

Gallatin County Treatment Court was the first adult treatment court in the state and is now one of 31 drug courts across Montana.

Started in 1999, Treatment Court is an 18-month voluntary program that is an alternative sentencing for adult offenders whose crimes were motivated by substance abuse.

Participants receive treatment for chemical dependency and mental health issues. Among a number of things, participants are required to attend addictions counseling, mental health therapy and support groups, as well as submit to frequent drug and alcohol testing, report weekly to a case manager and perform community service.

The five core values of Treatment Court are honesty, integrity, responsibility, sobriety and service.

Brown also voiced his appreciation to the Gallatin County Commission.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Gallatin County commissioners for their continued support of the Treatment Court,” he said. “Their emotional and financial support is greatly appreciated.”

The program is managed by a team that includes:

Judge John Brown, Gallatin County District Court
Steve Ette, Director of Court Services
Eric Kitzmiller, Chief Deputy with Gallatin County Attorney’s Office
Kirsten Mull-Core, Attorney
Dr. Jim Murphey, Psychologist
Vicki Deboer, Clinical Supervisor with Alcohol and Drug Services of Gallatin County
Erin Diehl, Probation and Parole Officer for Montana Department of Corrections
Gen Stasiak, Misdemeanor Probation supervisor for Gallatin County

Media Contact:
Steve Ette, Treatment Court coordinator

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For Immediate Release

Increased Law Enforcement on Patrol During the Holiday Season

Celebrate Safely– Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, Now through the New Year

Gallatin County, Montana, December 10, 2018 – Increased law enforcement patrols in all areas of Gallatin County will begin during the weeks leading up to Christmas and lasting over the New Year to keep Montana’s roads free of impaired drivers. All of the local law enforcement agencies will be working together to encourage all drivers to drive sober this holiday or find a sober ride.

We want everyone to know: There is zero tolerance for impaired drivers in Gallatin County and Montana.  We would like to ask everyone to “Please, plan ahead, if you plan to drink, have sober transportation already organized for a safe trip home. If you do not plan on drink during the holidays, consider being designated driver to friends and loved ones. Just think of the lives you could save.

More celebrations happen this time of year than any other as families and friends travel to spend time with each other. Nationally, 885 people lost their lives in traffic crashes involving a drunk driver during the month of December 2017. In Montana, one tenth of the year’s impaired driving crashes happen in December. 

Montanans have successfully decreased the number of alcohol-related incidents around the holidays over the last two years. We know that we can reduce that number to zero if everyone does their part.

Consequences of impaired driving include a DUI, having your license revoked, possible jail time, and up to $10,000 in fines.

Download NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app, Uber, or Lyft prior to leaving home so you are prepared. Designate a sober driver. Ask someone to call you a ride. If you see a suspected impaired driver, report it by calling 911. 

Respectfully wishing everyone a Safe and Happy Holiday Season,

Chief E. J. Clark Jr., Belgrade Police Department                                                           Chief Steve Crawford, Bozeman Police Department                                                       Sheriff Brian Gootkin – Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office                                               Chief Dennis Hengel, Manhattan Police Department                                              Chief Scott Newell, West Yellowstone Police Department                                            Chief Frank Parrish, Montana State University Police Department                         Chief Bill Dove, Bozeman/Yellowstone Airport Public Safety                                     Captain Mark Wilfore, Montana Highway Patrol – District 7 Commander

This is a Vision Zero Message from the Montana Department of Transportation. This and other enforcement and educational campaigns are strategies to reach Vision Zero — zero deaths and zero serious injuries on Montana roadways. For more information about Vision Zero, contact Janet Kenny, Montana Department of Transportation, (406) 444-7417 or


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Two people killed in Bridger Canyon crash identified

Two people died following a head-on collision on Bridger Canyon Road near mile marker 15 on December 8, 2018.

Drivers of both vehicles, Deborah Jean Stratford, 65 of Bozeman, and Brett Randle Ferre,  41 of Bozeman, were pronounced dead on scene.

Montana Highway Patrol is investigating the incident.

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Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office deputies participating in Shop with a Cop

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office is partnering with area law enforcement for the annual Shop with a Cop event, taking place in Bozeman on Saturday, Dec. 8.

Eleven members of the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, including Sheriff Brian Gootkin, will be joined by officers from the Bozeman, Manhattan and Montana State University police departments to take kids shopping at Target.

Each kid receives $75 to buy presents for their families. The child’s parents also get $25 to buy gifts for the participating children as well.

After the deputies and officers are done shopping, they will gives the kids tours of their patrol cars. They will then drive to Bozeman City Hall where law enforcement will help the kids wrap their presents and all will be treated to a pizza party.

Money for the event is donated with the help of the Gallatin County Public Safety Foundation.

There will be two shopping shifts on Saturday. The first runs from 9 a.m. to noon and the second from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Shop with a Cop is a national event with law enforcement from around the country participating during the holiday season.

Donations for next year’s event will be collected at Target on Saturday.

Donations can also be mailed any time to the Gallatin County Public Safety Foundation, PO Box 3612, Bozeman MT 59772. Cash or checks made out to GCPSF are accepted.

Media contact:
Deputy Jackie Stewart

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Telephone Scam

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office has received numerous calls of a scam involving a caller identifying himself as Deputy or Detective Gilbert Lopez with the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office. He states that there is a warrant for your arrest due to missing a court date. The caller further states that bail or payment must be made by purchasing Google Play Cards, Green Dot Cards, etc. This is a scam. Do not respond to any requests. The scammer is aggressive, convincing, and persistent.

As a friendly reminder the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office does not contact people asking for money.

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving

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Two Arrested After Pursuit

(Gallatin County, MT) This morning, the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office arrested two people after a vehicle pursuit from Springhill to the north end of the County. Around 1 am, a Bozeman Police Officer located a vehicle associated with arrest warrants. A pursuit ensued, ending near Maudlow. The driver abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot. Nearby residents were alerted to be on the lookout for the driver. The passenger, Chelcie Watson, was charged with possession of dangerous drugs. At 7:00 this morning the driver, William Rogers, was found in a nearby basement and taken into custody without incident. Rogers was arrested for burglary and on warrants for drugs and an attempted homicide in Billings two days ago.


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Jail to Jobs Program


Bozeman – The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office and the local Montana Job Service have worked together for years helping inmates find jobs upon release.  Now, that partnership has been solidified with the creation of a new program called ‘Jail to Jobs’, led by Gallatin Co. Detention Center Program Director Jackie Keery and Teri Knutson with the Bozeman Job Service.  ‘Jails to Jobs’ matches employers with inmates looking for work.

Friday, six employers were brought into the jail to interview 8 inmates for a total of 16 interviews. Three inmates already have a good possibility of being hired!  In addition, some employers are interested in starting pre-apprentice programs in the Detention Center.

With unemployment in Gallatin County under 2%, many employers are having a difficult time filling open vacancies.  ‘Jails to Jobs’ helps employers find employees and helps inmates find work.  “Jails to Jobs is a win-win,” said Sheriff Brian Gootkin,”We want these people working, taking care of their families and being productive members of society.  We don’t want them back in jail, we want those beds for bad people that hurt innocent victims.  This will also hopefully help our local businesses as well.”

If you are an employer interested in this program, please contact Teri at teknutson@mt.govt   

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Media Alert: Mass Casualty Drill Tonight

Starting at 7:00 this evening, Fort Ellis Fire, Bozeman Fire, Hyalite Fire, AMR, Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, and Mount Ellis Academy will be running a live training drill on mass casualty events. The training scenario involves a bus carrying students on Bozeman Trail Road east of the Bear Canyon exit. Training includes extricating students and transporting them to the hospital, where Bozeman Health will train on handling a sudden large influx of patients. First responders will be using regular radio channels so anyone listening to a scanner may hear something about the scenario and mistake it for a real event.
Contact: Deborah McAtee, 406-600-3476

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Drug Take Back Event Saturday, October 27


On Saturday, October 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Law and Justice Center in Bozeman, 615 South 16th,  the Missouri River Drug Task Force will be partnering with the Alcohol & Drug Services of Gallatin County, Community-Coalition On Drug Awareness, Bozeman Elks Lodge #46, the Montana Elks Drug Awareness Program, Community Medical Services, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to offer the public its 16th opportunity in 7 years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Last spring Americans turned in 474.5 tons (949,046 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,800 sites operated by the DEA and over 4,600 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 15 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in almost 10 million pounds – more than 4,900 tons – of pills.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows year after year that the majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else’s medication being stolen from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines – flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash – both pose potential safety and health hazards.



For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the October 27 Take Back Day event, go to 

Year-round “Prescription Drug Take Back” boxes are in place at these locations: 


Authorized Collection Box Sites  

Belgrade Police Department*

91 E. Central Avenue

Belgrade, MT  59714

Bozeman Police Department*

121 N. Rouse Avenue

Bozeman, MT  59715

Highland Park Pharmacy

525 Highland Blvd.

Bozeman, MT  59715

Helena Police Department & Lewis and Clark Sheriff

221 Breckenridge

Helena, MT  59601

Law & Justice Center

615 South 16th

Bozeman, MT  59715

Manhattan Police Department*

120 W. Main

Manhattan, MT  59741

Park County Sheriff

414 E. Callender St., Suite 2

Livingston, MT  59047

Town of West Yellowstone*

124 Yellowstone Ave.

West Yellowstone, MT 59759


*Prescription Drug Take-Back box

funded by Elks National Beacon Grant,

and placed by Bozeman Elks Lodge #463.

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Scams Circulating Gallatin County

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office has received numerous calls of a scam involving an email message on the victim’s computers. The scam email states they have hacked your email account and are viewing and tracking the sites you are visiting. The scammer intimates that the sites you are accessing are pornography related. The scammer states that they will release this information to your contact list if you do not pay them a monetary amount in “bitcoins.”

These scammers are aggressive, convincing and persistent. This is a scam. Your computer has not been hacked. Stating that you have been hacked is a ploy for them to get your money. Do not respond and delete the email.


The IRS scam is also circulating. The caller states that you are delinquent in your taxes and warrant will be issued for you if you do not call them back at a number they provide. Upon calling the number, you are directed to purchase green dot cards or other gift cards as payment. Do not send any cards or money.

The Grandparent scam is also making its way around the county. The caller indicates they are your grandchild and they are in jail and need money for bail. You are directed to a “Financial” person who gives you instructions on the bail amount and how it is to be paid. Again, this is a scam. If you have any doubt that it may be your grandchild or a relative, verify with them or their parents.  Do not send any money or gift cards of any kind.

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