A Team Event

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The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office and its Mounted Patrol will be teaming up with the Fish and Game, Madison County, and Jefferson County patrolling river and fishing accesses this upcoming weekend.

Deputies and Fish and Game Wardens will be on the rivers in rafts and the Mounted Patrol will also be present on the rivers and around the areas to ensure the safety of recreationists.

We hope you have a safe and happy Fourth of July weekend.

4th of July Holiday Safety and DUI Notice

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                          4th of July DUI Patrols are active in the Gallatin Valley          

                                   Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over June 27 through July 8


Across Montana, travelers will be on the road headed to Independence Day celebrations. Family cookouts, camping, fireworks, and parades are just some of the many activities happening this weekend, many of which involve consuming alcoholic beverages.

“We know many folks will be drinking,” said, Belgrade Chief of Police E. J. Clark. “We also know some folks will be tempted to drink then drive. That is why Sheriff Brian Gootkin wants everyone to know, “All Gallatin County Law Enforcement Agencies will have extra patrols out working together to discourage these bad choices.”

The Bozeman, Belgrade, Manhattan, West Yellowstone and Montana State University Police Departments, as well as the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, Montana Highway Patrol are deploying additional patrols focused on impaired driving enforcement during the days surrounding the Fourth of July. These agencies are joining law enforcement across Montana and the nation in the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” DUI crackdown.

Bozeman Chief of Police Steve Crawford states, “This is about prevention, preventing impaired driving in the first place and saving lives”. MSU Chief of Police Robert Putzke says, “It’s also about apprehension. If you drive impaired, you will be arrested.”

Captain Mark Wilfore of the Montana Highway Patrol reports that alcohol-related crash deaths and injuries have helped Independence Day be labeled as “the most dangerous holiday of the year” by the National Safety Council.

Chief Dennis Hengel of the Manhattan Police Department requests that the public do their part by calling 911 to report an impaired driver. “Citizens can help by asking their friends and family to rely on a driver who hasn’t been drinking” advises West Yellowstone Police Chief Scott Newell.

All Gallatin County Law Enforcement recommends these tips for a safe and fun holiday:

  • Designate a sober driver– before the fun begins


  • Offer fun and tasty alternatives to alcoholic beverages
  • Don’t mix drinking with long hours in the sun
  • Have a plan for people to get home safely
  • Promote safe and sober driving among the young adults in your family
  • Prevent alcohol use by minors
  • Always make sure everyone is buckled up—your best defense against a drunk driver.


We are unified in our efforts for a safe 4th of July Holiday. Please be safe during all your celebrations.


Extra traffic safety patrols are funded by the Montana Department of Transportation. This and other enforcement and education campaigns are combined under Vision Zero, the shared vision for zero deaths and zero serious injuries on Montana roadways. Contact Charity Watt, Montana Department of Transportation 406-444-3439, cwatt@mt.gov


Fugitive Chad Williams Taken into Custody


(Bozeman, Mont.) At 10:15 Chad Earl Williams was taken into custody without injury.  Negotiators from the city county special response team were able to convince him to exit the residence.  He will be transported to the Gallatin County Detention Center where the warrant from Missoula will be served.  He will then make an initial appearance in Justice Court and eventually be transported back to Missoula.   Video Courtesy of the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office and available at https://youtu.be/I0aukC2OWhw


Fugitive on Yerger Dr Update


(Bozeman, Mont.)

At about 3:50 am, dispatch received a tip that a man wanted out of Missoula County was in the Bozeman area.  Gallatin County Deputies and Officers with the Bozeman Police Department verified that there is a Petition to Revoke arrest warrant with an original offense of Attempted Deliberate Homicide for;

Chad Earl Williams.  

Law enforcement responded to 406 Yerger Drive and were able to remove a total of five people from the residence leaving Williams alone.  Witnesses confirmed that Williams is armed with a 9mm pistol.  The City/County Special Response team responded to assist with evacuations and to set up a perimeter.  Yerger Drive is a small county neighborhood that is surrounded by the city of Bozeman.  Negotiators have been speaking with Williams since 6:30 am.  Law enforcement will remain in place until Williams is taken into custody.  If there are any pertinent updates, Sheriff Gootkin will notify the press via www.GallatinMedia.org

Yerger Drive Law Enforcment Incident


(Bozeman, Mont.) The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office assisted by the Bozeman Police Department are currently conducting operations in the Yerger Drive area.  Yerger Drive runs north off of Main Street in Bozeman near the West Main Town Pump.  At risk residents are being contacted and asked to evacuate.  No business or streets except Yerger are closed to public access.

Bad Day for Califoria

(Gallatin County, Mont.)
 On June 23, 2016 at 3:32 p.m., the West Yellowstone Police Department dispatch center received a 911 call regarding a 13 year old male from Palo Alto, CA had fallen off a horse. The young man sustained a head and neck injury, also losing consciousness for a brief time. He was currently conscious, breathing, and alert with little recollection of the fall from his horse. The incident happened approximately 3 miles west of the Bacon Rind Trailhead located near mile marker 23 on Gallatin Rd.

 Personnel from the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office coordinated a rescue utilizing a SAR team from Yellowstone National Park who were in the area training on horseback. Due to the remote location, access to the patient was only accessible via hiking, horseback, or helicopter. Because of the nature of the injuries, an Air Idaho rescue helicopter was dispatched to the scene as well.

 While the horseback teams were in route to the scene, the rescue helicopter was able to safely land and make contact with the patient. After initial treatment on the ground, the patient was placed in the helicopter and transported to the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. 

 At about 4:30 Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Crews were sent to South Cottonwood Trail for an injured 58 year old female hiker from California. She had sustained a broken ankle 3.2 miles up the trail. Rescue Volunteers used a wheeled liter to bring her back to the trail head. 

 Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin would like to thank the Search & Rescue personnel with Yellowstone National Park and Air Idaho for their assistance in this event. It takes many dedicated volunteers and personnel throughout the year to successfully complete rescue events, and partnerships with other agencies are often essential to the successful and timely completion of these rescues.


Great One Rescue

(Gallatin County, Mont.) Today at 9:27 Sheriff’s Search and Rescue was dispatched to the North Bridgers in a couloir know as a Great One. A 23 year old Bozeman women fell 600 feet while skiing the popular snow field near Sacajawea Peak. She sustained arm leg and head injuries. Because of it’s remote and steep technical terrain specially trained rescuers were flown into the area, had to climb to the patient and prep her for a helicopter extraction. There are no places to land a helicopter anywhere near the patient. She was transferred from the rescue helicopter to Reach Air medical helicopter and flown to the hospital. Sheriff Gootkin says “We are fortunate to have such dedicated and skilled volunteers and some of the best mountain helicopter pilots in the world. Additionally  if you get hurt on The Great One expect that it is going to take some time to get help and get you out of there. In this case the weather was good and we had all the right resources available and it took three hours.”  Video courtesy of the Sheriff’s Office. 

Fairy Lake Body Identified

(Gallatin County, Mont.) On June 17th, 2016 at 11:14 A.M., law enforcement officers responded to the Fairy Lake area where a stolen vehicle had been discovered by Forest Service Law Enforcement.  A male was found inside the vehicle, deceased from an apparent self inflicted gunshot wound. The male was later identified as Larry Rak, Jr.  The death is being further investigated by Sheriff’s Detectives and Deputy Coroners.