Gallatin County commissioners appointed undersheriff Dan Springer on Monday to serve as interim sheriff until commissioners can pick a permanent replacement.

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Gallatin County’s interim sheriff Dan Springer is the sole applicant to take on the sheriff’s spot permanently.

Springer, who was appointed undersheriff in 2012 after being with the agency since 1996, has served as the interim sheriff since Brian Gootkin retired at the end of last year.

Gootkin was recently confirmed as Gov. Greg Gianforte’s pick to lead the Montana Department of Corrections.

Gallatin County commissioners will interview Springer on Wednesday at a public hearing at the county courthouse. The interview is scheduled to start at 2 p.m., and people can watch it online.

People can submit comment on the appointment by email at commission@gallatin.mt.gov. People can also deposit or mail comment to the Commission Office at 311 W. Main St. Room 306, Bozeman, Mt. 59715.

Commissioners will appoint the next sheriff at a meeting on Feb. 23. That person will remain in the position until the end of Gootkin’s term, set to expire at the end of 2022.

That person would then have to run for election to continue serving as the county’s top law enforcement official.

Before coming to the sheriff’s office in 1996, Springer attended Montana State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in education.

He then worked as a Yellowstone National Park ranger, working in the backcountry, front-country and as a boat ranger.

Springer has served in the sheriff’s office as a detective, a patrol deputy, a K9 officer, a school resource officer, a SWAT commander, commander for the Missouri River Drug Task Force and commander for the Gallatin County jail. In 2011, he graduated from the FBI’s national academy.

Gootkin appointed Springer as undersheriff in 2012.

Springer has said his experience gives him the understanding of how the system works here and how to continue running the office effectively. He said being familiar with the county and its residents is the most important characteristic for the next sheriff.

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Freddy Monares can be reached at fmonares@dailychronicle.com or at 406-582-2630.

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