WEST YELLOWSTONE, Mont. -

In the height of its busy tourist season, the town of West Yellowstone is left without a police chief since Chief Gordon Berger was fired. Only two officers are left, and the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office is picking up the slack.

"Right now, we're covering more than half of their shifts, and that's a huge strain on our office, so we're sending deputies down there on a daily basis, practically," explained Sheriff Brian Gootkin.

The extra work has been going on for about three weeks; it could take four months longer.

Gootkin explained the trickle-down effect of the situation, taxing resources throughout the entire county.

NBC Montana went to West Yellowstone to see how the city is dealing with the situation. The police department wouldn't talk and residents are staying tight-lipped, too.

Most of the West Yellowstone residents NBC Montana spoke to said the situation with Berger is very touchy, and since everyone knows everyone in town, they didn't feel comfortable giving their opinions.

"It's a small town and people have known Chief Berger for a long time, and they want to support him," explained Tex Dunlap, a seasonal worker who has lived in town for only a month.

He was the only person of the 10 residents we approached willing to go on camera. Dunlap said that's understandable.

"They live here and know him, and don't want to show anything pro or con, so I would agree with them that it would be a tough job to get on camera and say anything," Dunlap said.

But taxpayers will be paying the sheriff's overtime bill, and right now the city has no idea how much it will be.

"I think people should be able to speak out about it with the Sheriff's Department coming in here, and it's only going to cost the people of West Yellowstone more money," Dunlap observed.

As for Gootkin, he hopes they will find a replacement soon for the sake of the Sheriff's Office, and the taxpayers.

"I hope that it's done correctly and quickly," he said.