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Deputy Aaron Harris

Yellowstone County Sheriff's deputy Aaron Harris, left, is presented with the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award from George Blackard of the American Legion Andrew Pearson Post 117 during a ceremony at the Yellowstone County Sheriff's office Friday.

The American Legion Andrew Pearson Post 117 awarded a local deputy with its law enforcement honor on Friday, as well as an additional recognition.

"We added a little bit to your law enforcement of the year award," said George Blackard, law enforcement committee chairman for the Legion post.

Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office Deputy Aaron Harris received the post's law enforcement officer of the year award as well as the American Legion medal.

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Deputy Aaron Harris

Yellowstone County Sheriff's deputy Aaron Harris, with his wife Kellan and their three-week-old daughter Quinn, look at the certificate after Harris was presented with the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award from the American Legion Andrew Pearson Post 117 during a ceremony at the Yellowstone County Sheriff's office Friday.

Harris, a four-year deputy with the sheriff's office, is a member of the Tactical Response Team and is a field training officer. A recommendation letter from Sgt. Robert Lester highlighted Harris' work on DUI and drug enforcement.

The letter also noted three lives potentially saved by Harris, a certified paramedic, while on duty. In one case, Harris stabilized a young child choking on a toy. In another, Harris guided another deputy over the radio to apply a tourniquet to a man who was severely bleeding.

In a third case, Harris was among the first on the scene of a shooting, where he stopped a man's blood loss from a gunshot wound in the neck.

"Had he not performed these quick actions on all three mentioned dates, these folks could quite possibly be dead," Lester said in his letter.

Harris graduated from high school in Laurel and went on to finish college at Montana State University Billings. He was a paramedic for years before joining the sheriff's office.

As Blackard noted, Harris has spent his working life in public service.

"The service you provide is something that not many people do," he said.

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General Assignment Reporter

Reporter for The Billings Gazette.