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Bozeman Police Department prepares for New Year's Eve

Patrol Captain Joe Swanson gives residents tips for staying safe this holiday.
Posted at 5:39 PM, Dec 29, 2023

BOZEMAN — This weekend may be a busy one for the Bozeman Police Department as it prepares to help the community ring in the new year safely.

"We especially take into account on New Year’s or New Year’s Eve, we do see people drinking more. We do also see people gathering more, so we might get some noise complaints; fireworks, certainly that comes up," says Patrol Captain Joe Swanson.

But Swanson says the department prepares its officers to handle any issue that may come up on the holiday.

"I think what we always are striving to do is sufficiently staff our shifts so that we have a number of officers to be proactive throughout the city, looking for traffic violations or other issues. Or just making non-enforcement contact with citizens," he says.

And before you go blowing off those midnight fireworks, the patrol captain reminds residents that in May of 2023 the Bozeman City Commission passed a new ordinance that banned the sale and discharge of fireworks within the city limits of Bozeman.

Swanson also recognizes that Bozeman has seen an increase in illicit drug use.

"Recently we’ve seen an uptick in fentanyl-related overdoses, and having officers—you know, ensuring that their equipment and medical equipment they do carry in their car is ready, serviceable, and available," Swanson says.

So, if you’re heading out to celebrate the new year, Swanson suggests some ways to keep yourself and others safe:

"Just having a plan before you leave home is the best advice we can give anyone. Travel in groups if you’re going to be walking on foot, have a charged cell phone ready to go, and dress for the temperatures. And certainly, if you feel like you’ve had too much to drink, do not get into your vehicle and drive. There are so many other options available here to keep yourself safe, as well as the rest of the motoring public."