GCSO Looking for a Suspect

(Gallatin County, Mont) Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a man who attempted to perform a quick change scam at a bank in Three Forks this afternoon. The man headed toward I-90 in a silver Honda minivan with Illinois license plate BN36726. Suspect may be traveling with a toddler in the vehicle. If you have seen the minivan or have information about the suspect, please contact GCSO at 582-2100.

Photos courtesy of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office

Arrest Made Following Late-Night Disturbance

(Gallatin County, Mont) Last night, Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office Deputies responded to a 911 call reporting a disturbance with a weapon in Clarkston, north of Three Forks. The initial call indicated there were two different altercations involving three individuals, all of whom reside in the area. Detectives investigating the incident found that one of the individuals, a 39-year-old male, confessed to firing multiple rounds from a pistol into the victim’s residence. There were no occupants in the residence at the time and fortunately no injuries during the altercation. The man was arrested for Criminal Endangerment, a felony, and is currently being held at the Gallatin County Detention Center while he waits to be seen in Justice Court.

Video Threat Investigated at Belgrade Schools

Schools in Belgrade were put under a shelter-in-place order while law enforcement investigated a video that threatened violence toward students. At 12:59 p.m., the Belgrade School District contacted Belgrade Police after it was reported that several students had produced a threatening video.

Officers quickly responded and apprehended several students they believe were involved with making the video.

Belgrade High School, Belgrade Middle School, and Saddle Peak and Heck Quaw elementary schools were all put under a shelter in place. That means the buildings were secure, students and staff were kept inside and no outside activities were allowed; butinside the schools, classes proceeded as normal.

Belgrade Police were assisted by the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, Montana Highway Patrol and the Bozeman Police Department.

Belgrade Police Chief EJ Clark said the school did the right thing in promptly reporting the incident to police. “We had a great response from everybody,” Clark said.

Clark said students and staff reacted well thanks to training that has been done between students, faculty and law enforcement. “We had a great response from everybody.”

“Our No. 1 mission was to keep kids safe and dispel rumors as best we could,” Belgrade Schools Superintendent Godfrey Saunders said.

Saunders said the school district appreciates the law enforcement response, as well as patience in getting information out. “We wanted to make sure we got the correct story out there at the right time.”

Students need to think about their actions and threats they make will be taken seriously by everyone, and the school and law enforcement will act accordingly, Clark and Saunders said.

Violent Offender Task Force Warrant Operation Media Event

In May 2019, members of local law enforcement, along with the US Marshals’ Montana Violent Offender Task Force, conducted Operation Spring Sweep.

This was a coordinated multi-agency operation to apprehend violent fugitives with the goal of reducing violent crime in Bozeman, Belgrade, and Livingston, as well as Gallatin and Park Counties.

Agencies that participated included:

  • Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF)
  • Belgrade Police Department
  • Billings Police Department
  • Bozeman Police Department
  • Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office
  • Livingston Police Department
  • Missouri River Drug Task Force (MRDTF)
  • Montana Department of Corrections (DOC)
  • Park County Sheriff’s Office
  • Stillwater County Sheriff’s Office
  • United States Marshals Service (USMS)
  • Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office

During the operation, sixty-three (63) cases were worked with fifty-two (52) being resolved either by arrest or other dispositions. Thirty-one (31) physical arrests of subjects either wanted on outstanding warrants or on new charges were made.

This operation has directly contributed to improved public safety through the joint efforts of the above-listed agencies.

On May 31, 2019 at 11:00 am, a joint media conference will be held at the Gallatin County Detention Center Community Room where representatives from agencies including Bozeman Police, Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office and the US Marshals Service will be available to provide further information on the results and impact of this operation.

Community Crisis Response Program Starts Up

(Gallatin County, Mont) Gallatin County law enforcement and mental health services are coming together to provide better services to individuals with mental health emergencies. Community Crisis Response is a collaborative program between Western Montana Mental Health Center, Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, Bozeman Police Department, and Belgrade Police Department that provides care for people experiencing a mental health emergency when and where they need it.

When a mental-health call comes into 911, a Community Based Therapist will respond with law enforcement and assess the individual in their home or workplace, providing crisis counseling and developing a safety plan or admitting them to Hope House. After the emergency, the therapist, a Community Support Specialist, and a Transition Coordinator will work together to help individuals get the services and support they need to reduce future crises. The goals of the program are to provide better care for people with mental health emergencies, reduce the number of emergencies, and free law enforcement to attend to other public safety calls sooner.

Western Montana Mental Health Center – Gallatin is managing the program. The Community Therapist was hired in January and the Community Support Specialist in May. The Sheriff’s Office is providing office space and a vehicle for the therapist. Michael Foust, Regional Director for Western, said, “This partnership is important for our community because it galvanizes a culture of caring for our neighbors that provides everyone with the care they need, when they need it, where they need it.”

Community Crisis Response Media Event

Sheriff Brian Gootkin, Bozeman Police Chief Steve Crawford, Belgrade Police Chief EJ Clark, and Michael Foust of Western Montana Mental Health Center will hold a press conference on the community’s new collaborative program to address mental health crises more effectively. It will be held at 11:00 on May 28, in Room 208 of the County Courthouse, 311 W. Main.

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Contact: Deborah McAtee 406-600-3476

Missing Man Located

(Gallatin County, Mont) Today, with the help of family and friends, the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office located Jon Keltner up Leverich Canyon. The Gallatin County Coroner has investigated the death and closed the investigation. The area will be open to the public this evening.

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

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**

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