Sunday Area Closure

(Gallatin County, Mont.) Sunday May 12, 2019 Leverich Canyon trail head and connecting trails are again closed to the public to assist Sheriff’s Search and Rescue on a missing person search.  Sheriff Gootkin and the Custer Gallatin National Forest appreciate the public understanding the need to minimize contamination of the area so that search dogs can be used to best effect.

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Area Closure

(Gallatin County, Mont.) Leverich Canyon south of Bozeman and connecting trails are closed today while Sheriff’s Search and Rescue searches the area for a missing person.

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Missing Butte Man Found Deceased in Missouri River

(Gallatin County, Mont.)

Sunday morning, May 5, Broadwater County Sheriff’s Deputies, Broadwater Search and Rescue along with Gallatin County Sheriff’s Investigators and Coroner responded to a body in the Missouri River at Toston Dam.  Search and Rescue recovered 73-year-old Ronald Lowny of Butte who was reported missing April 10th.  Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue had been searching the area of Drouillard Fishing Access near Three Forks in Gallatin County since his vehicle was found there on April 14th.  The Coroner determined cause of death to be drowning.

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Garnet Mountain Rescue

On May 2nd 2019 at 8:17am, the Gallatin County Dispatch Center received a call from a man who reported that he and three friends were stranded in the area of the Garnet Mountain Fire Lookout Tower.

All four hikers were 19 years old and from Idaho. The group had hiked to the Lookout Tower, where they encountered deep snow and became fatigued. One of the female members of the group had suffered a pulled muscle in her hip. The group was dressed for the warmer weather of the Valley and were unprepared for spring’s treacherous hiking conditions in the mountains. They had minimal clothing and gear to protect themselves from the elements.

A Gallatin County Sheriff’s deputy and members of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue responded to the Rat Lake Trailhead to begin the rescue mission. Snowmobiles and a tracked four-wheeler were used to navigate the trail to the Lookout Tower. Search and Rescue members located the group of hikers at 11:24am. They were transported to safety and did not need medical attention. Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin applauds the young man for calling for help before this situation became worse.

Photo courtesy of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office

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Local Law Enforcement Carries the Torch for Special Olympics Montana

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 Great Falls. The Torch Run has made stops in numerous towns throughout the state The torch will be arriving in Bozeman on Tuesday May 7th, 2018. The Final Leg and lighting of the cauldron in Great Falls on Wednesday May 15th, 2019 will officially begin the games.

Several law enforcement agencies are participating in the run through Bozeman including the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, Gallatin County Detention Center, Bozeman Police Department, Belgrade Police Department, Airport Police, and Montana Highway Patrol.  The Torch Run is also receiving significant support from the fire departments as we run through the towns.

The Torch Run in Montana began 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, the 4th highest per capita in the world.

Please join us at the Bozeman Public Library this Tuesday, May 7th 8:40 – 9:00 to watch the official passing of the Torch from Park County to Gallatin County, and to cheer on our local law enforcement and Special Olympics supporters as they run and bike the Torch from Bozeman to Three Forks.

Timeline for the torch’s travel through Gallatin County:

Leg 1 – Running Leg through Bozeman (Bozeman Library to City Brew N. 19th Ave) – 3.7 miles. Route: Main Street to s. 19th Ave – Time: 9:00 – 9:40

Leg 2 – Running Leg from N. 19th Ave. City Brew to Belgrade Town & Country – 9.6 mile. Route: E. Valley Center Rd to Alaska Rd to E. Northern Pacific Ave to E Madison Ave. – Time: 9:50 – 11:20

Leg 3 – Running Leg through Belgrade (Town & Country loop through town) – 1.0 mile. Route: Jackrabbit Rd to Main St to Broadway St to W Madison St. – Time: 11:30 – 11:45

Leg 4 – Biking Leg from Belgrade Town & Country) to Manhattan (Thriftway) – 12.7 miles. Route: Jackrabbit Rd. to Amsterdam Rd to Churchill Rd into Manhattan – Time: 12:05 – 1:15

Leg 5 – Running Leg Loop through Manhattan – 1.0 mile. Route: Broadway St to Altenbrand Ave to Dry Creek to 5th St to Railroad St to Broadway – Time: 1:25 – 1:35

Leg 6 – Biking Leg Manhattan (Thriftway) to Three Forks (Frontage & Talc Rd.) – 11.1 miles. Route: Broadway St to Frontage Road to Talc Rd – Time: 1:45 – 2:55

Leg 7 – Running Leg through Three Forks to David’s Memorial – Distance: 3.0 miles. Route: Frontage Road to 2nd Ave E. to E. Ash St to Main St to Frontage Rd. – Time: 3:05 – 3:35

**All times are approximate**


Media Contact: GCSO Sgt. Dan McDonough 406-404-4614

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Coroner Identification

(Gallatin County, Mont.) The Sheriff/Coroner identified the person who died this morning at Jackrabbit and Cameron Bridge as 67 year old Robert A Melson of Belgrade.  The death was the result of a medical condition and not the vehicle crash that followed.

The identification of the person killed Wednesday on I-90 will not been released until relatives can be contacted.

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I-90 Westbound Closed Airport to Belgrade

I-90 westbound between Airport exit and Belgrade exit is closed while Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office and Montana Highway Patrol investigate a serious-injury crash.

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Click It or Ticket




Contact: Gallatin County Law Enforcement Executives

Click It or Ticket kicks off summer Law Enforcement in Full Force

Gallatin County, May 01, 2019 – The beginning of the summer travel season is upon us with Memorial Day right around the corner. Your Gallatin County law enforcement is partnering with the Montana Highway Patrol and increasing patrols from May 20 to     June 2 as part of the national Click It or Ticket campaign to educate the public on proper seat belt use and crack down on motorists who fail to buckle up.

In Montana, the summer months mark the deadliest time of the year, with 45 percent of all fatal crashes happening between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Almost twice as many fatal crashes take place during the summer than other times of the year. In 2017, of the people who died in vehicle crashes, 58 percent were unrestrained and nearly 65 percent of these people were ejected from the vehicle. Many of these fatalities could have been prevented by wearing a seat belt.

In Gallatin County, Law Enforcement agencies are working together to keep the streets and highways safe for everyone. We believe that “There is no excuse for not wearing a seat belt. Just as we want to go home to our friends and families at the end of the day, we want all Montanans to make it to their destination safely.” As your Law Enforcement leaders, we would like to stress to everyone that, “We respond to too many crashes where serious, life-changing injuries and deaths are shattering families. It can happen to you. Montana has made progress in reducing fatal crashes over the last five years, but we can do better.”

Driving is not an individual activity. You share the road with other motorists and must take precautions for your safety and the safety of your passengers. It is every driver’s responsibility. As you are out enjoying your summer travel, whether across town
or across the state, Click It or Ticket!

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) 444-7471, or

Captain Mark Wilfore          Chief Denis Hengel          Chief Frank Parish                     Montana Highway Patrol    Manhattan Police Dept.   MSU Police Dept.

Chief E. J. Clark Jr.                Sheriff Brian Gootkin         Chief Steve Crawford             Belgrade Police Dept.           Gallatin County Sheriff        Bozeman Police Dept.

Chief Scott Newell                         Chief Bill Dove                                                                           West Yellowstone Police Dept.   Bozeman/Yellowstone Public Safety






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Late Night for Bozeman Hiker

(Bozeman, Mont.)

On April 25, 2019, at 8:45 pm, the Gallatin County 911 Center received a call about a lost hiker. The caller reported that his 17-year-old son had gone hiking on Sypes Canyon Trail, left the trail and had become lost and stranded in deep snow. The son had water and was well prepared to spend the night if needed. Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue responded to the trailhead to search for him. Because the hiker had a cell phone with battery back-up and knew how to use his GPS app, he was able to text his grid coordinates to searchers and Reach Air Medical Services confirmed the location of the hiker. SAR members hiked into the area and assisted the hiker back to the trailhead by 1:30 this morning.

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Butte Man Missing

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue is currently searching for a 73-year-old Butte man. Ronald Lowny’s vehicle was located at the Drouillard Fishing Access site on the Jefferson River near Three Forks, and is believed to have been there since April 10th. Lowny was not reported as a missing person, as he has no current family in the area. Butte/Silverbow deputies located a friend of Lowny’s, who stated that he had made suicidal statements when they last spoke.

If you have any information on Lowny’s location after April 10, please call Butte/Silverbow Sheriff’s Office at 406-497-6200.

Photo courtesy of the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.

Ronald Lowny

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