Gallatin Co. sheriff asks for more funding for security


BOZEMAN, Mont. - The Gallatin County Sheriff's Office will have an increased budget in the upcoming fiscal year to deal with safety concerns. The county's finance director, Ed Blackman, told NBC Montana he is increasing the sheriff's budget by more than $740,000. Blackman says Sheriff Brian Gootkin requested more than $900,000.

The increase comes after voters decided against building a new Law and Justice Center. Gootkin tells us the money will be used to make much needed security upgrades at the current building. That includes adding more cameras, metal detectors and regulating entrances. He says an increased budget would also pay for more security personnel for the Law and Justice Center.

"We've had judges threatened. We've discovered weapons in court rooms. Unfortunately, in the world that we live in now, we're just one horrible incident away from somebody getting hurt and we cannot allow that to happen," Gootkin said.

County commissioners are expected to approve a final budget on Tuesday. It will go into effect July 1.