Spring Run-off Eats Kayaks


The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind everyone to please use extra caution while enjoying rivers and streams during the high water and spring run-off period. Our rivers and streams are running very fast with increased volume that can hide dangerous obstructions from view. If you lose a boat or kayak, please contact the Sheriff’s Office immediately so they don’t activate Search and Rescue to look for you.

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Meagher County Dam Failure

GCEM Media Release






Release:  180511-01
Contact:  Patrick Lonergan, (406) 582-2395

Meagher County Dam Failure

Maudlow, MT – A dam on an irrigation reservoir located just South of US12 in Meagher County has breached.  This will affect the water levels in the Sixteenmile Creek area of Gallatin County.  People in the area should use caution and closely monitor bridges and culverts.  It is encouraged to avoid driving and walking in flooded water as it can unexpectedly wash people and vehicles away.  Residents are also encouraged to avoid being in locations that could be cutoff by damaged roads.

Non-residents are encouraged to stay away from the Sixteenmile Creek area.

Questions on the dam failure should be directed to Meagher County.


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Badger Creek Dam Failure

This is a message from Gallatin County Emergency Management for the residents along Sixteenmile Creek. The Badger Creek Dam in Meagher County near US 12 has breached and significantly increased the water discharge. Badger Creek becomes Battle Creek and empties into Sixteenmile Creek just upriver from Sixteen. People in the area should watch for a significant increase in waterflow based on what Meagher County is reporting. This may affect bridges and culverts in the area. Please use caution in flooded areas as the amount of water can often be deceiving and quickly sweep vehicles and people away. In an emergency, call 911.

This message was posted automatically from the Community Notification System.

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Drug Take Back Event A Success

May 07, 2018
Contact: DEA Public Affairs
(202) 307-7977

DEA brings in record number of unused pills during 15th annual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Federal, state and local partners collect close to one million pounds across the country

(WASHINGTON) – Americans nationwide did their part to drop off a record number of unused, unwanted or expired prescription medications during the DEA’s 15th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, at close to 6,000 sites across the country. Together with a record-setting amount of local, state and federal partners, DEA collected and destroyed close to one million pounds—nearly 475 tons—of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs, making it the most successful event in DEA history.

This brings the total amount of prescription drugs collected by DEA since the fall of 2010 to 9,964,714 pounds, or 4,982 tons.

“Today we are facing the worst drug crisis in American history, with one American dying of a drug overdose every nine minutes,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “An unprecedented crisis like this one demands an unprecedented response–and that’s why President Trump has made this issue a priority for this administration. DEA’s National Drug Take Back Days are important opportunities for people to turn in unwanted and potentially addictive drugs with no questions asked. These Take Back Days continue to break records, with the latest taking nearly 1 million pounds of prescription drugs off of our streets. And so I want to thank DEA and especially every American who participated in this event. I have no doubt it will help keep drugs out of the wrong hands and stop the spread of addiction.”

“National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is a day for every American, in every community across the country, to come together and do his or her part to fight the opioid crisis – simply by disposing of unwanted prescription medications from their medicine cabinets,” said DEA Acting Administrator Robert W. Patterson. “This event – our 15th – brings us together with local, state and federal partners to fight the abuse of prescription drugs that is fueling the nation’s opioid epidemic.”

Now in its 9th year, National Prescription Drug Take Back Day events continue to remove ever-higher amounts of opioids and other medicines from the nation’s homes, where they could be stolen and abused by family members and visitors, including children and teens.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

DEA launched its prescription drug take back program when both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration advised the public that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—posed potential safety and health hazards.

Helping people to dispose of potentially harmful prescription drugs is just one way DEA is working to reduce the addiction and overdose deaths plaguing this country due to opioid medications.

Complete results for DEA’s spring Take Back Day are available at https://takebackday.dea.gov/. DEA’s next Prescription Drug Take Back Day is October 27, 2018.

In addition to the year-round “take back” locations found at the DEA link above, Prescription Drug Take Back boxes are in place at these locations: 


Authorized Collection Box Sites  

Belgrade Police Department*

91 E. Central Avenue

Belgrade, MT  59714

Bozeman Police Department*

121 N. Rouse Avenue

Bozeman, MT  59715

Helena Police Department & Lewis and Clark Sheriff

221 Breckenridge

Helena, MT  59601

Law & Justice Center

615 South 16th

Bozeman, MT  59715

Manhattan Police Department*

120 W. Main

Manhattan, MT  59741

Park County Sheriff

414 E. Callender St., Suite 2

Livingston, MT  59047

Town of West Yellowstone*

124 Yellowstone Ave.

West Yellowstone, MT 59759

*Prescription Drug Take-Back box

funded by Elks National Beacon Grant,

and placed by Bozeman Elks Lodge #463.

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Press Briefing Tuesday Before Montana Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony

(Gallatin County, Mont) The Montana Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony is tomorrow at 1:00 at the Commons. Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin, Bozeman Police Chief Steve Crawford, Montana Highway Patrol Colonel Tom Butler, and Attorney General Tim Fox will be available to talk to reporters 12:30-12:45, before the ceremony. Location will depend on the weather.

Contact: Deborah McAtee, GCSO, 406-600-3476

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Montana Law Enforcement Memorial Schedule

(Gallatin County, Mont) The Montana Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony is Tuesday. In the morning, there will be a procession through the memorial sites for Deputy Mason Moore and Trooper David Dalaittre and then through Three Forks. There will be traffic delays along US 287 from I-90 to MT Highway 2 and through Three Forks back to I-90, 10:30-11:00. There will be honor guards posted at both memorials 10:00-11:00. The public is invited to line the route at 10:30 and to visit the memorial sites throughout the day to honor Deputy Moore and Trooper Delaittre.

The ceremony will be held at the Commons at Baxter and Love, starting with the honor guard entrance at 1:00. The public is invited to join local and state law enforcement for the ceremony to honor those who have served, continue to serve, and most importantly those who lost their lives serving their community, as well as their survivors. Anyone coming for the ceremony is asked to enter the parking lot from Baxter Lane. There will be heavy law enforcement presence and traffic delays around the Commons 12:00-3:00.

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Montana Law Enforcement Torch Run


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 arrival of the Torch Run on Monday May 7th, 2018 and the Final Leg and lighting of the cauldron on Wednesday May 16th, 2018 will officially begin the games.


The Torch Run has made stops in numerous towns throughout the state including Scobey, Medicine Lake, Kalispell, Billings, Glasgow, Malta, Butte, Boulder, Anaconda, Cut Bank, Havre and Lewistown.  The torch will be arriving in Bozeman on Monday May 7th, 2018.


Several law enforcement agencies are participating in the run through Bozeman including the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, Gallatin County Detention Center, Bozeman PD, Belgrade PD, 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 and was awarded 4th highest per capita in the world.


Please join us at the Bozeman Public Library this Monday, 08 May from 0840 to 0900 for the official passing of the Torch from Park County to Gallatin County, a word from our Special Olympics athletes and then 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 milesRoute: 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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Body of Missing Doctor Found

Saturday, April 28, Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue recovered the remains of Dr. Patrick J. Fitzpatrick, of Bismarck, ND. His vehicle was discovered stuck in a field south of Willow Creek on July 4, 2015.  At that time searchers combed the area for four days, using ground crews, search dogs, helicopters, airplanes, and drones, but were unable to find him. The public provided multiple leads and sightings over the next few months, all of which were followed up by Sheriff’s Investigators.  The Sheriff’s Office, with Search and Rescue volunteers continued to analyze data and develop new search plans.  In March 2017, a large ground search intensively covered the drainages north of the vehicle including using SAR divers to search Willow Creek and a nearby pond but nothing was found.

Last month, SAR deputies and search managers tried again. With no progress on any of the leads, they reviewed what had been done and thought about what else they could try. Last Saturday, 26 searchers, 8 dogs, and several GCSO deputies covered that area. A bloodhound found Dr. Fitzpatrick’s remains approximately a mile east of his vehicle on a rolling hillside, in a spot that hid it from view from any distance.

Sheriff Gootkin said, “We are pleased that we could bring Dr. Fitzpatrick’s family some closure.  The state medical examiner’s office will perform the examination of the remains but at this time, there is no indication of foul play.  Missing person investigations are very difficult.  We used every tool we had and even used some technology from Bridger Aerospace without success but we never gave up.  Hundreds of man hours were expended on this case and I want to thank the Search and Rescue volunteers for their dedication.”

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Scam Calls

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office has received a number of complaints from citizens regarding a scam that is occurring within Gallatin County. The caller informs the person who answers that they have criminal charges pending and to send money for these charges to be dropped. The scammer informs the person to call 646-396-9043 to arrange payment.  These callers are intimidating, convincing, and persistent. Please do not respond to their requests.

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Residents Encouraged to Prepare for Spring Flooding

GCEM Media Release

Release:  180424-01
Contact:  Patrick Lonergan, (406) 582-2395

Residents Encouraged to Prepare for Spring Flooding

Bozeman, MT – Residents in Gallatin County are encouraged to develop a plan on how they will protect their property in case they are affected by spring flooding.  As Gallatin County approaches our usual spring flood season, several contributing factors exist that could lead to flooding affecting homes and property.  As Patrick Lonergan, Gallatin County Emergency Manager explains, “We won’t know for sure if we will be adversely affected by flooding beforehand, however we have several contributing factors primed to support extensive flooding.  We have had significant moisture in the valley floors that is now melted, but the soil in many places appears to be saturated with limited capacity to absorb more water.  This means most new water will flow across the surface of the ground seeking someplace to go.  Additionally, we have a large amount of water contained in the mountain snowpack that we saw the first sign of melting last week.  These are both contributing factors that can lead to flooding that affects our community.”

The part that is unknown is how quickly the mountain snowpack will melt.  The Gallatin Valley typically sees flood impacts when we get a quick temperature change to very hot weather that also keep the night time mountain temperatures above freezing allowing the snowpack to melt continuously.  When this is compounded with significant rainfall like we often see in late spring, the mountain snow pack often overwhelms the small tributaries carrying the water to the main stem rivers and we see flooding.  “The question that we don’t know is how quickly the mountain snow pack will melt, and unfortunately we won’t know that until shortly before those weather patterns occur.  However we know the risk factors exists and now is a good time for people to prepare,” according to Patrick Lonergan.

People in areas near any sort of waterway are encouraged to spend a little time and develop a plan on how they will protect their property should they be affected by flooding.  Waiting until you see flooding begin will almost certainly put you behind the curve in protecting yourselves.  The difference between high water that you’re watching and a flooding situation that is affecting you is a very fine line which often changes very quickly with the highest water levels occurring in the middle of the night.

Unfortunately people are often caught off guard when their property seems fine one moment and they return home, or get up in the morning, and discover their property is flooded.  Officials highly encourage people around waterways to closely keep a watch during high waters and monitor the current weather.  Everyone is highly encouraged to register in the Community Notification System so officials can provide geographic warnings when we see a wide spread issue developing.  A couple minutes spent registering the addresses you care about and how you want to be alerted will help emergency officials ensure they can provide timely warnings directly to those who are affected.  Learn more and register at https://www.readygallatin.com/community-notification-system.



Time spent beforehand developing a plan on what you would need to do to stop or divert water, what needs to be moved to prevent damage, and where you will obtain supplies is often time well spent.  As Patrick Lonergan explains, “If you think you are going to be affected by flooding, you should act now.  Once flooding occurs, the damage is already done and it is often challenging to limit further damage.”

Information on utilizing sand bags, or plastic wrapped bales, for diverting water is available at https://www.readygallatin.com/flooding.  The best source for bulk sand bags is Bozeman Brick and Tile on Jackrabbit.  We also encourage property owners to keep an eye on waterways to keep them clear of debris allowing as much water as possible to stay in the waterway.  This includes ditches and culverts that often cause issues when they get plugged.

Models Courtesy of the National Weather Service.


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