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.




JUNE 25, 2013 River Rescue
LOCATION:        Jefferson River
REPORTED:        1346 hrs
EXTRICATED:    1755 hrs
Three local individuals from Whitehall were canoeing on the Jefferson River. As they approached the Iron Rod Bridge (approximately ten miles north of Twin Bridges) the canoe wrapped itself around one of the bridge pillars, entrapping a female in her mid twenties between the pillar and the canoe. Two of the canoe occupants escaped and assisted in getting the trapped individual into a position where she could breath. The victim was trapped solidly in the river with the canoe wrapped around her leg, pinning her to the bridge pillar.
The victim was Kelly Keller from the Whitehall area. She was trapped in the water for approximately 4 1/2 hours. She was eventually extracted from the river and Summit Air Ambulance transported her to Bozeman Deaconess. It was reported that she was conscious and in good condition.
Responding agencies included:
Madison County Sheriff’s Office
Madison County SAR
Madison County 911 Center
Twin Bridges QRU
Twin Bridges Fire Department
Ruby Valley Ambulance
Beaverhead Co Swift Water Rescue Team
Gallatin Co Dive / River Rescue Team
Summit Air Ambulance
DSC_2141 DSC_2148 DSC_2136 DSC_2144 DSC_2163 DSC_2146 DSC_2137 DSC_2151 DSC_2166 DSC_2149 

Press release from Madison County Sheriff

This is a photo of the river rescue on the Jefferson River today outside of Twin Bridges (10 miles north). This canoeist was trapped between her canoe and the bridge pillar for nearly 4 1/2 hours. She is in apparent good condition and is being transported via Summit Air Ambulance to a hospital for treatment.

Photo Courtesy of Gallatin Co. Sheriff’s Office

Time call received  1346
Time extricated from the river 1755

The following agencies took part in the rescue

Madison Co Sheriff’s Office  &  SAR
Incident IC Chris Mumme Madison co DES 1
Madison Co 911 Communication Center
Gallatin Co Dive / River Rescue Team
Beaverhead Co Swift Water Rescue
Madison Co SAR
Twin Bridges QRU
Summit Air Ambulance
Ruby Valley Ambulance


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




On Friday, June 21st, 2013, the Sheriff’s Office  Search and Rescue responded to a backcountry search and rescue in a remote part of the of the Spanish Peaks in the Lee Metcalf Wilderness.  Around 12:12 pm, the Gallatin County dispatch center received a 911 call from a 52 year old male who was hiking alone in the Jerome Rocks Lakes area.  The man became lost after the trail he was hiking on became covered in snow.  The weather took a turn for the worse when it began to snow heavily in the area.

​The man climbed a nearby peak to get cell phone reception and called for help.  Due to the remoteness of the area, the uncertain location of the man, and environmental and possible medical factors, search and rescue members responded to the scene in a helicopter.  Rescuers quickly located the man, loaded him on the helicopter, and transported him to the Bozeman area.  The man was transported to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital by an AMR ambulance for evaluation.

​The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind the public to always carry a means of communication when enjoying the backcountry of southwest Montana.  Call for help early when you run into trouble.  Both of these factors contributed to a successful rescue in this event.


Big Sky Press Release


On June 12, 2013, the Big Sky Resort Tax Board (BSRTB) voted to fund an additional Big Sky resident deputy sheriff.  The approved amount was for $ 288,201.  This position will be specifically assigned as a part time School Resource Deputy for Ophir school and a part time Detective.  The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the members of the BSRTB and citizens that supported this effort.  Here is the breakdown of funding sources for the six Big Sky positions.


Gallatin County – 2

Madison County – 2

Big Sky Resort Tax – 2


Brian M. Gootkin

Sheriff Brian M. Gootkin
Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office
615 South 16th
Bozeman, MT  59715
(406) 582-2125
Fax    582-2126


Taser Training


The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office is hosting a training for Taser instructors. On Friday, June 14th, we would like to invite any member of the media to observe the scenario portion of the training. This will be conducted between 1:00pm and 3:00pm at the Gallatin County Detention Center.

MEDIA INVITATION: Bozeman Interagency Fire Media Day

Members of the Bozeman-area fire management community would like to invite the media to discuss the upcoming fire season, seasonal weather forecasts, fire information and fire management policy, and how the agencies and the media can better serve each other as we move into another fire season.

Representatives from the National Weather Service, Gallatin County, Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, Park County, the State of Montana, the National Park Service, and the U.S. Forest Service will be on hand to present information and answer questions.

Topics include: social media platforms and other sources of information during incidents, agency jurisdictions and interagency cooperation, fire restrictions, safety equipment media need to visit a fire, how firefighters are preparing for this season, what the public can do to prepare, as well as an opportunity for media to deploy a fire shelter, try on a pack vest, and interview fire managers.

The media day will take place from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm on Friday, June 28 at the U.S. Forest Service Bozeman Ranger District office, 3710 Fallon Street, Suite C.

Please RSVP with me if you would like to participate so we can plan accordingly, and don’t hesitate to call with any questions.

Thanks, Patrick

Patrick Lair
Acting Public Affairs Officer
Custer and Gallatin National Forests
Office (406) 587-6703