Montana deputy received national honor for saving baby

WASHINGTON, D.C. – They risk their lives every day to protect our communities– law enforcement officers, deputies and troopers.

On Tuesday, one member of the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office received national recognition for saving a baby buried alive in the woods outside Lolo.

Deputy Ross Jessop was among 19 men and women to receive the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service in Policing in front of a packed crowd during a ceremony at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.

Jessop and U.S. Forest Service Officer Nick Scholz teamed up to find the five-month-old baby boy in the early morning hours of July 8, 2018.

The search began after a reported disturbance at Lolo Hot Springs led to information a baby was missing.

Jessop and Scholz searched for the infant in more than a million acres of forest.

They drove along dirt roads, brought in a four-wheeler, and eventually looked on foot when they heard a faint cry and found the boy laying face down in the ground alive and uninjured.

It’s a story that captured state and national attention at the time. 

In a video message sent to ABC FOX Montana, U.S. Steve Daines applauded Jessop’s dedication and instincts.

“I’m very proud of Deputy Ross Jessop for receiving this very high honor from United States Attorney General Barr for his tremendous effort in making our community safer,” Sen. Daines (R-MT) said. “Deputy Jessop, thank you for all you’ve done for Missoula, for Montana and congratulations on this tremendous award.”

Jessop also received the ‘Life Saving Award’ on Peace Officers Memorial Day in May.