In Memory of Deputy Sheriff Jacob Otto Allmendinger
On Saturday, October 19, 2019, the citizens of Montana were heartbroken to hear of the tragic accident that took the life of a local Gallatin County Deputy. Deputy Sheriff Jacob Otto Allmendinger, badge 677, was struck and killed by his patrol car. Allmendinger was 31 years old.
A surprising statistic for law enforcement is that before COVID19, automobile accidents were consistently the number one cause for line of duty deaths among officers. So anytime you see emergency responders, you should slow and change to the furthest lane.
Deputy Allmendinger and another Gallatin County deputy responded to a welfare check call on a stranded motorist. The individual stranded was near Fairy Lake Road in the Bridger Mountain Range. As they approached the area where they needed to look for the motorist, the Tahoe they were in started to slide backward on the thick ice. As the truck began sliding, Deputy Allmendinger exited the patrol vehicle and became trapped underneath it.
Deputy Jacob Allmendinger served his community as a sworn officer, a position he considered for many years and had recently achieved. Allmendinger had served over two years with the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office. For eight years previously, Allmendinger served as a county dispatcher and a search and rescue volunteer.
Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, Montana
Allmendinger served with his local, Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office. The agency was initiated in 1865 and is responsible for enforcing local, state, and federal laws in Gallatin County, Montana. Outside of the general law enforcement duties, officers participate in Search and Rescue, Office of the Coroner, Criminal Investigations, and Court Security.
Detention officers help with jail security, detention, and prisoner transportation. The agency also provides services for animal control in the 2,517 square miles for which the office is responsible. The GCSO has a total force of 59 sworn deputies who enforce the law, investigate, provide support services and operate the Missouri River Drug Task Force.
Deputy Sheriff Jacob Otto Allmendinger leaves behind his wife, three children, and parents. Unfortunately, the tragedy shortchanged the dreams and goals of Allmendinger to serve his community and make the world a better place for his children. Honor guards from the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office and surrounding support communities will provide the ceremony service to demonstrate the community’s gratitude for his sacrifice. Deputy Allmendinger died on the night of his wife’s birthday.
Deputy Sheriff Brian Taylor, also Jacob’s brother-in-law, shared all the kindness the family had received in the year following the loss. “She just got a blanket sent to her in the mail, a shadowbox that someone in Florida made for her, a high school student down there made for her; another retired law enforcement officer dropped off a rocking horse that he made for the youngest. He always strived to do the best that he could at everything that he did, wouldn’t take second place over anything. I’d usually take second place to Jake in most everything we did.”
Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin is heartbroken for the family, but especially the children. “You’ve got these three young, young kids that will never have their dad, and as a father, it’s tough. It hurts.”
Jason Jarrett, a former teammate of Allmendinger’s on the Search and Rescue Team, talked of officers’ dangers. “It’s a sad reminder that this is a dangerous business. There are very few jobs where you count on your desk-mate to save your life. And it creates more of a family environment. We don’t consider ourselves necessarily coworkers; we are family.”