Recent car chase sparks conversation for how agencies can improve

BOZEMAN – Tuesday evening a woman on probation out of Cascade County hijacked a car in Helena at gunpoint and then led law enforcement on a three-county high-speed pursuit.

Sidney Aimsback, 29, appeared in Gallatin County Justice Court Wednesday on a probation violation. Court documents say that she did not inform probation and parole about her address change when she moved to Butte.

At this time law enforcement is investigating the high-speed pursuit and say that Aimsback will face more charges. She is currently being held at the Gallatin County Detention Center on a $100,000 bond.

“If that person is running from us our initial thought is that person did something bad or is going to do something bad,” said Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin.

Officers knew Aimsback was armed, and that was one of the main reasons the agencies pursued. It is also why deputies continued the pursuit through a populated area like Three Forks.

“So, when they do stop them they are taking the person out at gunpoint they are making sure everyone is safe and if possible doing it in a safe area,” Gootkin said.

Even with all their training and resources, Gootkin said during Tuesday night’s pursuit, the agencies involved found an area where they could improve.

“Broadwater County can’t necessarily talk to our dispatch. Highway Patrol is talking to their dispatch in Helena, so it really does become a cluster, so that’s one of the things that we debriefed yesterday and talked about. One of the things we’re going to try and fix without local radio is that we’re integrated and all working together,” Gootkin said.

In addition to this radio fix, the sheriff’s office is looking into a way to make sure the public has adequate information during these types of pursuits to ensure their safety.

“So, we are working along with our DES person into doing social media immediate just to give an update even if it’s not done yet, just to give an update,” Gootkin said.

Finally, Gootkin added that people should make sure they are locking their vehicles to avoid car thefts.

Neither law enforcement or the suspect was injured in Tuesday’s pursuit.

MTN’s Morgan Davies