Officers honored for going above and beyond

April 29, 1994|By Glenn Small | Glenn Small,Sun Staff Writer

Although they hadn't met until yesterday, Officers Frederick Carter and Brendan Gable have a lot in common. Both are 29, and have been on the Baltimore County police force for about eight years.

And, yesterday, the officers were named winners of The Baltimore Sun Police Officer of the Year awards at a luncheon ceremony at the Sheraton Hotel in Towson. They were chosen by a judging panel from among 56 nominated officers from 11 jurisdictions in Maryland.

The public service winner, Officer Carter, community relations officer for the Towson precinct, sponsored numerous programs aimed at helping children, including a Christmas Toy program that raised $5,000 and a police trading card project designed to foster good will between police and young people.

Officer Gable, who works patrol in the Wilkens precinct and who won in the law enforcement category, found himself in the middle of several major episodes in 1993. On one occasion, he subdued an armed robbery suspect who had just shot someone; on another, he captured a murder suspect hiding in a trash bin, the weapon still in his hand.

The winners -- who were not told of their selection ahead of time -- each received an engraved crystal bowl and $1,000. It was the newspaper's 37th annual police awards.

"I really did work hard this year," said Officer Carter. "But I don't think I worked any harder than anyone else here," he added, nodding to the room full of other officers, each nominated for outstanding police work.

Officer Gable, a resident of Carroll County and a volunteer firefighter, said he was pleasantly surprised to receive the award, but added that much of what he did last year "had to do with luck."

That may be, but his commanding officers say he has a knack for being at the right place at the right time.

"He's one of the ones who is always in the middle of something," said Capt. Thomas Levering, commander of the Wilkens precinct.

"He's a model police officer," said Sgt. Jimmy Smith, who submitted Officer Gable's nomination. "He's not one of those guys who takes this as an eight-hour job."

When on duty, Officer Gable patrols his post with his regular police radio tuned to the Wilkens precent, another police radio tuned to the adjoining Woodlawn precinct, and a personal police scanner tuned to Howard County police and local fire and rescue stations.

That way, he said, he sometimes hears of shootings and other calls over the medic channels, even before the police calls are broadcast from the Wilkens precinct. That was what happened in late 1992, when he was the first on the scene of a double slaying at a Catonsville barbershop.

Officer Gable rendered first aid to the victims, while preserving evidence, such as where shell casings landed. Homicide detectives credited him with helping them make their case, by preserving the crime scene.

Officer Carter, who lives in Harford County, gave more than 40 Officer Friendly talks to children last year, sponsored a skating trip for needy children, dressed up -- along with his wife, Lori -- as "Crash Dummies" at the Towson Fourth of July parade and helped work out problems with skateboarding at a local mall.

A native of Dundalk and a graduate of Patapsco High School, he recently earned an associate of arts degree in criminal justice from Essex Community College.

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