Hagerstown Police officers saluted for going above and beyond

King, Robison receive Combat Cross for roles in capture of murder suspect

King, Robison receive Combat Cross for roles in capture of murder suspect

May 15, 2008|By DAN DEARTH

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HAGERSTOWN -- Hagerstown Police Department Lt. Mike King said he would have preferred that the circumstances were different after he was awarded the Combat Cross during a ceremony Wednesday at police headquarters.

King received the award - the police department's highest honor - for his actions on the night of Dec. 19, 2007, when law enforcement agents from the city, county and state joined forces to apprehend Douglas Pryor.

Pryor was fleeing authorities who were looking for him in connection with the deaths of his ex-girlfriend and Smithsburg Police Officer Christopher Shane Nicholson.


"In retrospect, I wish the incident never occurred," King said. "Chris was a friend of everybody. He will be sadly missed."

King said he was sitting in the passenger seat of an armored vehicle when Pryor fired at his head. Fortunately, the blast was stopped by the bulletproof door, he said.

According to the citation, King ordered the armored vehicle's driver to ram Pryor's truck to keep Pryor from escaping.

"It didn't sink in until it was all over," King said. "We all worked as a team."

Hagerstown Police Department Sgt. James Robison also received the Combat Cross for his part in apprehending Pryor, who faces the death penalty if he is convicted on a first-degree murder charge in connection with Nicholson's death.

King and Robison were among the law enforcement officials from the city and Washington County who were recognized during the Hagerstown Police Department's Police Week Memorial Service.

Sheriff Douglas W. Mullendore said the event is held annually, but this year's ceremony was particularly somber because of Nicholson's death.

"It's unfortunate we lost an officer," Mullendore said. "That's something we never want to see happen. Sometimes, it takes something like this to realize all (that police officers do)."

The 50 or so officers who attended the ceremony draped their badges with black ribbons to remember fallen comrades, Mullendore said. They will continue to wear the ribbons until Police Week ends Saturday at midnight.

Hagerstown Police Chief Arthur Smith competed with noise from passing trains and traffic as he gave brief descriptions of the acts that the officers performed to receive their awards.

"Today is a good day to think about officers who have lost their lives," Smith said. "The awards are a sampling of what law enforcement officials do every day."

Officers honored

The following officers received awards Wednesday during the Hagerstown Police Department's Police Week Memorial Service.

· Combat Cross for the apprehension of Douglas Pryor - Lt. Mike King and Sgt. James Robison

· Unit citations for the apprehension of Douglas Pryor - King, Robison, Lt. Mark Holtzman, Lt. Mark Knight, Sgt. Jim Hurd, Sgt. Fred Wolford, Sgt. Curtis Wood, Sgt. Chad Woodring, Cpl. Mark Price, Deputy 1st Class Todd Crowder, Deputy 1st Class Mike Gladhill, Deputy 1st Class Bryan Glines, Deputy 1st Class Mike Palladino, Deputy 1st Class Dave Sanders, Officer Tom Bartles, Officer Jason Dietz, Officer Todd Dunkle, Officer Brian Hook, Officer John Lehman, Officer Wayne Zimmerer, Deputy Alan Matheny and Paramedic Mike Moorers

· Award of Merit 1st Degree for the apprehension of an armed drug dealer on Aug. 31 - Officer Eric Knode and Officer Nick Varner

· Award of Merit 1st Degree during a bank robbery on Nov. 24 - Officer Mitchell Filges

· Unit citations during a bank robbery on Nov. 24 - Filges, Woodring, Officer Gary Anderson, Officer Brian Barnhart, Officer Cliff Briggs, Officer Sean Flanagan, Officer Curtis Kelley, Officer Will Spigler, Police Communications Operator Wayne Bockstanz, Police Communications Operator Keller Haden and Police Communications Operator Lacey Reese

· Award of Merit 2nd Degree for disarming a mentally challenged juvenile without force on Oct. 17 - Officer Tom Kelley

· Certificate of Appreciation - Lt. Tim Wolford

· Certificate of Honor - Members of Citizens on Patrol

· Certificate of Honor for Valuable Service for handling a bloodhound - Douglas Lowry

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