By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News
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California-based PursuitSAFETY, aimed at reducing injuries and deaths caused by police vehicle pursuits, will bestow its fourth annual “Safer Way Award” on Cpl. David Dombrowski and Sgt. Glen Roggenbuck at the Oct. 28 International Association of Chiefs of Police convention in Orlando, Fla.
“The Port Angeles Police Department is very proud of Sgt. Roggenbuck and Cpl. Dombrowski, and pleased that PursuitSAFETY choose to recognize both the officers and area law enforcement,” Deputy Police Chief Brian Smith said in a statement.
Dombrowski and Roggenbuck are being honored for their role in the arrest of Daniel W. Markishtum, 30, at a home in the 400 block of Sixth Street at about 2 p.m. Sept. 25, 2009, Smith said.
Markishtum was wanted for a federal probation violation and was believed to be in the Sixth Street home, Smith said.
Officers thought Markishtum, if he escaped, was likely to lead police on a chase in his sport utility vehicle, which was parked behind the house, Smith said.
Port Angeles police, Clallam County sheriff's deputies, Sequim police, U.S. Border Patrol agents and State Patrol troopers surrounded the house, Smith said, with Roggenbuck leading as incident commander.
Roggenbuck ensured that all exits from the home were blocked by patrol cars and that spike strips were placed behind the SUV, Smith said.
Dombrowski, a trained crisis negotiator, spoke with Markishtum from outside and convinced him to come out without a struggle, Smith said.
Markishtum stepped out on the porch with his hands behind his head after a 10-minute standoff.
“They carefully planned the operation to prevent a pursuit being triggered by it, and that's so important,” said Ellen Tucker, a media relations associate with PursuitSAFETY.
Smith said representatives of the nonprofit contacted the department in January and asked whether the department would be interested in nominating Roggenbuck and Dombrowski for the award.
Smith said he and Police Chief Terry Gallagher were glad to nominate the two officers.
“That kind of tactical planning is the stuff we appreciate and are glad to recognize,” Smith said.
Roggenbuck said Wednesday he was surprised to learn he was being recognized for his work when Smith told him last week.
“It's always nice to see the work of law enforcement be recognized,” Roggenbuck said.
Roggenbuck, who has served on the Port Angeles department since 1987, said Markishtum's arrest that day was a good example of the sort of interagency teamwork local law enforcement often uses.
“I think we do that really well here, and this is an example of working well together,” Roggenbuck said.
Dombrowski, who has been with the department since 1999, could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
The Safer Way award “recognizes officers and law enforcement departments/agencies that set into motion innovative ways to avoid police pursuits and yet bring about the apprehension of the suspects,” according to PursuitSAFETY's website.
Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen contributed to this report.