Afternoon Update on Eustis Fire

IMG_0248.JPG(Gallatin County, Mont.)  The Eustis fire continues to be confined to the Broadwater County side of the Missouri River.  Residents in the Clarkston area are currently under NO warnings or evacuation notices.  The fire is listed as 6,300 acres.  Extreme fire weather is still predicted for the rest of the afternoon and evening.  The DNRC incident management team has a pubic information function active and can be accessed with the information below.

Public Information line: 402-804-8755 or


Bozeman Woman Killed in I-90 Crash

IMG_0248.JPG(Gallatin County, Mont.) Sheriff/Coroner Brain Gootkin identified the female victim in a crash this morning as Melveen Kahealani Worcester, age 39 of Bozeman.  The crash was reported at 9:48 A.M. near mile post 319 west bound on I-90 in the area of Bozeman Pass.

The Sheriff’s Office is assisting the Montana Highway Patrol in the investigation.


Ridge Run Wrecks One

IMG_0248.JPG(Gallatin County, Mont.)  Sheriff’s Search and Rescue was dispatched to the 31st annual Wind Drinkers Ridge Run this morning at 10:08.   SAR volunteers were on Bridger Ridge supporting the race when they received word of an injured runner.   A 35 year old Coeur d’Alene, Idaho man sustained a serious lower leg injury and was unable to walk.  The man and his party made it to Ross pass where they were met by a SAR helicopter and transported off the mountain.


Eustis Fire and the Clarkston Community

IMG_0248-0.JPG(Gallatin County, Mont.)  The Eustis Fire that was reported yesterday is still burning in Broadwater County west of the Missouri River.  The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office is in direct contact with the Incident Commander from DNRC and the Clarkston Fire Department.  As a precaution and based on the extreme fire weather forecast Deputies are in the Clarkston area reviewing and updating plans for protecting the community.  As of 1:30 P.M. on Saturday no warnings or evacuations are in effect.  Because fire is unpredictable and can move fast Sheriff Gootkin stated “We hope that all residents take advantage of the Gallatin County Alert Registration site”.  This site allows the public to have whatever phone they use be in a data base tied to an address or area.  This allows emergency responders to notify residents in the quickest means of any emergency that may effect them.  To register your phone(s) go to click on community resources and then public warning.




New chaplains being sworn in by Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.

WHEN: Friday, August 14, 2015 at 5:30pm

WHERE: Community room at the detention center, 605 S. 16th Ave., Bozeman, MT 59715

WHO: Public is invited.

For the past twenty-five years Gallatin County has been served by a single chaplain. The chaplain corps has been expanded to better serve the growing law enforcement and first responder communities and their families, and the people of Gallatin County.

These chaplains serve at professional standards giving strength and compassion to others.

A chaplain is a person of faith, holding credentials in their denomination and approved by their denominational leadership for chaplaincy service. The chaplains give their service to the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement, and first responder agencies at no charge. The chaplains’ responsibilities are to assist law enforcement and the broader first responder community and their families, upon request, in matters within the chaplain’s professional realm. The chaplains have been trained, at their own expense, in: ministry, ethics, cultural competence, crisis, ministry to crisis victims, ministry to department personnel and their families, ceremonies and events, stress management, incident command system, on scene operations, substance abuse, suicide intervention, post-vention and assessment, death notification, line of duty death and serious injury, chaplain preparedness, and chaplain safety. A chaplain understands the emotional and physical risks involved in their service and serve at the direction of the sheriff.

Chaplains 1

Left to right: Chaplain Randy Jones, Chaplain Kathi Gregoire, Chaplain David Young, Chaplain Tim Dolan, Lead Chaplain Warren Hiebert. Not pictured: William Johnson

This Friday there will be three new chaplains sworn in and two more will be sworn in later in September. The new chaplains are: Tim Dolan, Kathi Gregoire, Randy Jones, William Johnson, and David Young. Warren Hiebert will continue to serve as lead chaplain. We invite everyone to come and meet their new chaplains.

Sheriff Releases GCSO Staffing Analysis by the National Sheriff’s Association

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office contracted with the National Sheriff’s Association (NSA) to perform a staffing analysis of the sworn deputy portion of the Office.  Professionals with extensive law enforcement backgrounds collected data, visited Gallatin County, and interviewed many different people from numerous entities.  The analysis includes an operational audit, Law and Justice Center report along with staffing recommendations.  Using this information, the Sheriff requested three Deputy Sheriff positions during this budget process.  We were told that the County could not fund that request and that our best opportunity to receive funding would be to apply for the federal COPS grant program.  We will not have the results from the COPS grant application until after the budget process is complete.  The number of Gallatin County tax funded deputy positions in 2015 are fewer than the number of Gallatin County tax funded deputies in 2007, even though we have consistently been one of the fastest growing counties in the region.  We have attached the report from NSA and the Sheriff’s Office will be providing the Commissioners with a rough draft strategic plan at the budget meeting on Wednesday, August 12, 2015.  If you have any questions or would like to speak with the Sheriff tomorrow morning, please call Tracey at 582-2125 to schedule a time.  Report on Manpower_Staffing Needs of the Sheriffs Office in Gallatin County Montana – FINAL 5-13-15 Gallatin County Montana Courts Review of Court Security Operation – FINAL 5-13-15


Churchill Vehicle Fatality Identified

On August 5th, 2015 at approximately 1:15 am, the Gallatin County Coroner’s office responded to a fatality accident on Churchill Road. The deceased has been identified as 31 year-old James Joseph Rozon Jr. of Belgrade. The cause of the accident is still under investigation by the Montana Highway Patrol.


Backcountry Rescue Hyalite Canyon


On August 4, 2015, at approximately 1144 hours, the Gallatin County 9-1-1 Dispatch Center received a call that a male adult had been involved in a mountain biking accident in Hyalite Canyon and needed assistance. An adult male called to report that he and his friend had been riding near the Lick Creek trail parking area when they became separated. The reporting party rode back up the gated Forest Service road and located his friend lying in the road; he was unconscious and was having labored breathing. The male rode back down to their vehicle, and then drove down Hyalite Canyon to where he had cell service and called for help.

 Gallatin County Search and Rescue was paged to respond, along with Rae-Sourdough Fire Department, AMR Ambulance, and Summit Air Ambulance. A Gallatin County Sheriff’s Deputy Search and Rescue Coordinator, and a Forest Service LEO responded as well.

The Summit Air Ambulance was able to land on the road in the area of the bike crash. Emergency vehicles were able to make their way up the road. 

At approximately 1227 hours they located the victim who was peddling down towards the main road. The 58 year-old male was assessed and found to have a head injury, and the Bozeman Deaconess Hospital trauma team was activated. The male was stabilized and packaged for transport. At approximately 1249 hours, the Summit air ambulance left the scene and took the male to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital for further evaluation and treatment.

 When interviewed later, the male was conscious and alert, but did not recall specific details about his crash. Specific details about his condition were unavailable.

 Sheriff Gootkin would like to take this opportunity to remind Gallatin County residents and visitors that these two gentlemen are good examples of doing things correctly: they were not recreating alone, they were wearing helmets, and they each had cell phones and other appropriate equipment. Their preparedness allowed for a swift response by rescuers, and very timely transport of the patient to definitive medical care.