Summer View Lane Shooting

Bozeman Police Chief Steve Crawford speaks at a press conference in 2019. (Chronicle file)

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Bozeman’s police chief announced Wednesday that he is leaving his post.

Police Chief Steve Crawford has accepted a position with the Montana Department of Justice to head the narcotics bureau within the state’s division of criminal investigations, according to a news release sent Wednesday afternoon.

Crawford’s last day on the job is Sept. 10.

Deputy chief Jim Veltkamp will serve as the interim chief until the city hires a replacement for Crawford.

Crawford said in the release that he has greatly valued the opportunities to give back to the city as police chief and in other roles. He said he was proud of the accomplishments of the people in the department, and where the agency is positioned moving ahead.

“From the newest officer to the interim chief, you will find no finer group of professionals that will continue to serve our community and keep it the safest large city,” Crawford said, “and whom I’m very proud to have served with.”

He said he looks forward to continuing to serve people in Montana.

Crawford was appointed police chief in 2015. He started his career in Bozeman in 1994, serving in many assignments and areas within the agency, according to the release.

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Freddy Monares can be reached at or at 406-582-2630.

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