GALLATIN MEDIA CENTER
GALLATIN COUNTY – Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin has been nominated by Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte to serve as the next director of the Montana Department of Corrections. He retired from his post as Gallatin County Sheriff on Thursday, Dec. 31.
“I will miss serving the people of Gallatin County as Sheriff and our Sheriff’s Office family,” Gootkin said. “I am honored and excited to be nominated by Gov. Gianforte to be part of such an incredible team!”
Gootkin has served as Gallatin County Sheriff since 2012 when he was appointed by the County Commission to replace former Sheriff Jim Cashell. He was then re-elected three times.
Gootkin has been with the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office since 1993. He has served as a patrol deputy, detective with the Missouri River Drug Task Force, sergeant in Big Sky, jail administrator and undersheriff.
“I have really enjoyed working with Sheriff Gootkin and wish him all the success in the future,” said Commissioner Joe Skinner. “The state’s gain is definitely the county’s loss. Brian has always been honest, upfront and reasonable in his budget requests and established a good working relationship with the commissioners. His service to the county and his employees has been excellent and he will definitely be missed.”
“Sheriff Gootkin has served as an ambitious and tireless servant to the residents and visitors of Gallatin County,” said Gallatin County Commissioner Scott MacFarlane. “He has proved an unmatched willingness to address ever evolving law enforcement challenges and is responsible for driving common sense and compassionate changes in our Sheriff’s Office for the health and safety of all citizens. It is a testament to his career and leadership that the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office is the envy of counties throughout the region. Gov. Gianforte could not have identified a better individual to lead our state’s Department of Corrections. Sheriff Gootkin has our sincerest gratitude and will continue to have the support of Gallatin County as he tackles new challenges for our great state.”
The Gallatin County Commission will now work to pick a replacement to serve as sheriff for the remainder of Gootkin’s term, which ends at the end of 2022.
The Commission will appoint an interim sheriff. The position will then be advertised and open for applications. Following the application period, the top three applicants will be interviewed by Commissioners, who will then appoint a permanent replacement at a public meeting.
No dates for this process have been set. The county will update the public when more information is available.