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Gallatin County’s new sheriff

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PHOTO COURTESY OF THE GALLATIN MEDIA CENTER

County Commission appoints Dan Springer in unanimous vote

GALLATIN MEDIA CENTER

BOZEMAN – In a unanimous vote on the morning of Tuesday, Feb. 23, the Gallatin County Commission appointed Dan Springer as the next sheriff of Gallatin County. 

“I’ve worked with Dan for a lot of years,” said Commissioner Joe Skinner. “I think he has a tremendous amount of potential to lead this office. I have always been really supportive of him doing this and I have no hesitancy of him coming into this office.”

Commissioner Zach Brown commended Springer’s service to the community, through both his years in the sheriff’s office as well as outside as a youth sports coach and a volunteer.

“This is a great opportunity to build a working relationship, to tackle tough topics and conversations together,” Brown said. “I really look forward to working with you.”

Chairman Scott MacFarlane said the process to fill the vacant sheriff position was easy and straightforward due to the unanimous support from sheriff’s office staff and the community.

“It speaks to how healthy our law enforcement culture is here,” MacFarlane said. “This [appointment] is just a continuation of that positive culture we have.”

Springer has been with the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office since 1996. During that time he has served as a patrol deputy, K9 officer, school resource officer, sergeant of the patrol and detective divisions, member and commander of the Special Response Team, commander of the Detention Center and the Missouri River Drug Task Force, chief deputy coroner and as Gallatin County Undersheriff since 2012. Springer was appointed as interim sheriff to replace former Sheriff Brian Gootkin, who left the office at the end of 2020. 

“I thank the commission for trusting me this with responsibility,” Springer said. “This office means a lot to me. It makes me proud to even be considered for this position. I make a promise to this community that we will continue to provide the exceptional service they expect of us.”

Springer told commissioners during a public interview last week that the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office is highly regarded around the state, but maintains a responsibility to the citizens to continue improving. He looks forward to continuing to improve many of the current initiatives and projects of the sheriff’s office – such as the Community Crisis Co-Responder program, school resource deputy program, Crisis Intervention Team Montana program, the Public Safety Academy, and others. 

Moving forward, Springer said he would also like to work on implementing new initiatives and changes, such as creating new internal training for deputies, creating a domestic violence investigative unit, creating a Regional Training Center at the sheriff’s new building on Jackrabbit Lane, and others.

A priority will also be the health and wellness of Springer’s approximately 140 employees, he said. That includes providing better tools and knowledge to do their jobs, continue and improve on training available, helping them get opportunities to gain empathy, compassion and knowledge, and keep hiring remarkable individuals. 

As per state law, when there is a vacancy in an elected county office, the Board of County Commissioners appoints a replacement to finish out the term. Springer will serve the remainder of Gootkin’s term, which expires on Dec. 31, 2022.

The next election for Gallatin County Sheriff will be November of 2022.

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