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                  




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

Spring Skier Rescued from the Northern Bridgers


(Bozeman, Mont.)  Tuesday at 12:14 p.m. the Livingston 911 center relayed a Back Country Rescue Call to Gallatin County.  A 27 year old male skier had collapsed during a climb near Ainger Lake (named for Fred Ainger a Forest Service Ranger in the Bridgers from 1906-1950) in the northern Bridger Mountains 8 miles north of the Bridger Bowl Ski Area.  Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Units were dispatched to the area by ground and started into the lake by foot and specialized ATVs.   By 1:11 p.m., after finding a safe route through the clouds, a paramedic from Summit Air Ambulance was able to reach the patient.  After moving him to the landing zone he was on his way to the hospital by 1:38 p.m.  One of the party of 3 skiers had medical training and they were able to get cell service to make the 911 call. 

Sheriff Gootkin stated that going into the back country with a partner(s) and a method of commuication can mean the difference between surviving and not.  Late season skiing brings risks that should be accounted for when you plan on going out.  File photo courtesy of Sheriff’s Office. #####

rescuers loading for rescue in Hollywood Bowl

Local Media Encouraged to Utilize WEA PSAs

GCEM Media Release

Contact:  Patrick Lonergan, (406) 582-2395

Bozeman, MT – The Federal Emergency Management Agency has released a series of public service announcements explaining the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) messages.  The relatively new WEA alerts have been activated several times in the past couple months in Montana for AMBER Alerts catching many people off guard.  Gallatin County Emergency Management is encouraging local media outlets to utilize the Ad Council PSAs to help educate our community on this new technology. The PSAs are available on the Ad Council website at  For more information on WEA here in Gallatin County, please visit our blog at

Victim of Suicide Identified


In the early morning hours of Wednesday, May 29, Wade Christiansen was stopped by a Bozeman Police Officer for a traffic offense.  He ultimately exited the vehicle he was driving with a handgun and fatally shot himself.  The death was investigated by the Gallatin County Coroner’s Office.  Despite the incident being videotaped by more than one officer on scene, the suicide determination was corroborated by a forensic examination at the State Crime Lab.

Stolen Vehicle


  On May 23rd, at approximately 0800 hours, Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a stolen vehicle from a business located near Hulbert road and Jackrabbit. The vehicle was located on Rocky Mountain Road in the northern portion of Gallatin County. A pursuit of the vehicle ensued and ultimately the stolen vehicle left the roadway and drove across an area where patrol cars were unable to follow.

  A second vehicle was reported stolen at a residence near this location and a pursuit ensued again. This time the vehicle drove off the East Frontage road near Belgrade, over the railroad tracks and onto Interstate 90. Once again the deputies pursuing the vehicle were unable to follow given the barriers between them and the vehicle.

  At approximately 0930 hours, the Sheriff’s Office responded to Business Hub road. The second stolen vehicle was located in the area and it was determined that a third vehicle had been stolen.

  The Sheriff’s Office is looking for a White GMC extended cab truck with a diamond plate tool box in the back. The Montana centennial license plate number is BAP 270. If anyone sees this vehicle, do not approach but contact the Gallatin County Sheriff’s office at 582-2100 or call 911.