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Baker County Deputy, OSP Trooper Receive National TOP COPS Award
Sheriff Mitch Southwick
Baker County Sheriff's Office
Office: (541) 523-6415
Lieutenant Randy Scorby
Oregon State Police - Baker City
Office: (541) 523-5848

Photograph links valid for 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police (John Walsh congratulating Senior Trooper Hawkins)  Note: A photograph of Sergeant Ash is available on the 12-17-2007 news release link.
The National Association of Police Organizations recently recognized an Oregon State Police trooper and Baker County deputy with a TOP COPS award during their annual event in Washington, D.C.
On Monday, May 12, 2008, John Walsh, host of America's Most Wanted television show, presented the TOP COPS Honorable Mention award to OSP Fish and Wildlife Senior Trooper Chris Hawkins for recognition of his role in saving a 76-year-old woman that had been lost in the Wallowa Mountains for nearly two weeks. Baker County Sheriff's Office Sergeant Travis Ash was also presented the award, but unfortunately was not able to make the trip.
Since NAPO launched the awards program in 1994, the TOP COPS Awards have paid tribute to outstanding law enforcement officers across the country for actions above and beyond the call of duty. TOP COPS awardees are nominated by their fellow officers for outstanding service during the preceding calendar year, and then an Awards Selection Committee comprised of national law enforcement representatives chooses one TOP COPS case from each state and U.S. territory. The cases are then ranked and the top ten case winners are flown to Washington, DC for the awards ceremony.
In late August, early September a 76-year old woman became separate from her husband while they attempted to walk out of the Eagle Creek area of the Wallowa Mountains in Baker County after their vehicle got stuck on a Forest Service Road. Her husband was picked up by hunters and they returned to the stuck vehicle to find her but she was not there. She was reported missing to Baker County Sheriff's Office that day and was the subject of an extensive search by Baker County Search & Rescue for several days.

On September 6, 2007, Sergeant Ash, who was assigned to the missing person investigation, decided to make a final return to the area to locate the woman. He contacted Senior Trooper Hawkins at his residence that morning asking for help. They began their search, looking for signs of birds in the area that might indicate the presence of a body. Hearing but not seeing bird activity, they walked toward the bottom of the creek drainage and found her alive, lying in the brush.

Additional Search & Rescue and medical personnel responded to remove her from the area where she mostly likely would have died if not found by the officers. The woman was transported to an area hospital and has since recovered and returned to her family.
A link to more information regarding the original incident is available on the OSP website at: