Our Local Law Enforcement Facilities are Embarrassing
The Bozeman City Commissioners and the Gallatin County Commissioners are fighting right now about a new facility to house our local law enforcement. The voters said no to building a new Law & Justice Center two years ago, and now the city and the county can't seem to agree on partnering for a new one.
The city has decided to partner instead with the Bozeman Fire Department and they are hoping you will vote for their $36.9 million bond that will be on the ballot on November 6, 2018.
If you don't understand why Bozeman and Gallatin County need new facilities, please watch the video above that local photographer Jeff Krogstad posted this week. It shows the appalling and embarrassing conditions our local law enforcement personnel are forced to work in every day. They deserve better and quite frankly, so do we, as citizens.
The city is marketing their bond with the message "Keep Bozeman Safe," the underlying message being that if you vote down their bond, safety in the Bozeman area would be compromised.
Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin took exception to this, and posted recently on the Sheriff's Department Facebook page the following:
Keep Bozeman Safe?
As the Chief Law Enforcement Executive of the County, your safety (including the city of Bozeman) is my main responsibility. Two years ago the elected leaders of the city and county, along with the Bozeman Police Chief, told you that if your Sheriff’s Office and Police Department separated it would negatively affect your safety (which it will). Now the city is telling you in order to “Keep Bozeman Safe” you must vote to physically separate our agencies and replace the Sheriff’s Office with the Bozeman Fire Department? I cannot in clear conscience sit back and allow this “marketing” and “messaging” to go on without giving you my professional opinion. Simply put, separating police officers, deputy sheriffs, detectives, and command staff, and replacing us with firefighters who have very different duties and responsibilities does not make you safer, it actually does the opposite! If the project passes I will do everything possible to mitigate the damage, however if it fails I will take a lead role in getting both sides to the table and do the right thing. You deserve that!
Gallatin County Sheriff Brian M. Gootkin
Sherriff Gootkin will join Dave & Ally on the XL Morning Show Thursday morning at 7:15 a.m. to talk about this very issue.