Resident troopers honor Gouge as 'good citizen'


County Commissioner Julia Gouge was presented with a Good Citizen Award yesterday for her cooperation with state police.

Mrs. Gouge, who unsuccessfully ran for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor last month, is leaving the commission. "I'm overwhelmed," she said in accepting the plaque from Lt. Bruce Tanner, the barracks commander.

At the resident troopers' quarterly meeting with the commission yesterday, Lieutenant Tanner also thanked the commissioners for their support of the 49-member Resident Troopers program. Carroll County pays the cost of the troopers, including their salaries, vehicles and uniforms, but gains their experience without paying for initial or in-service training.

Lieutenant Tanner reported to the commissioners that:

* In August, the program received a 1994 Yamaha four-wheel-drive, all-terrain vehicle to be used in conjunction with events at the Carroll County Farm Museum, the Agriculture Center and search and rescue missions in the county. It is the second all-terrain vehicle in the resident trooper fleet, he said.

* The officers at the Westminster barracks -- both resident and barracks troopers -- answered 26,360 service calls in the first nine months of 1994, compared with 26,800 for the same period last year.

* Troopers in the resident program helped with traffic and crowd control at the Maryland Wine Festival on Sept. 17 and Sept. 18 and conducted more than 4,000 voluntary sobriety breath tests. The average test result was less than 0.03 percent -- the state's legal standard for intoxication is 0.10 percent -- and there were no arrests for driving while intoxicated among the 20,000 patrons, officers said.

* First Sgt. Steve Reynolds said the state fire marshal's office is investigating the recovery of a loaded anti-tank weapon, manufactured in France with the date 1987 stamped on one section. The shoulder-fired weapon, 4 feet long and 6 inches in diameter, was recovered Thursday on Indian Valley Road and destroyed by Army bomb disposal specialists from Aberdeen Proving Ground at the Northern Landfill.

Deputy State Fire Marshal Jack Waldner, in cooperation with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the FBI, is attempting to trace the path of the weapon into the United States and Maryland. They said it was powerful enough to destroy an aircraft if fired within range.

* Under a change in state motor vehicle laws, as of Oct. 1, the fire chief, first assistant or deputy chief and the emergency medical services commander for each volunteer fire company may have their private vehicles equipped with red lights or signal devices.

The red lights may be displayed only en route to or at the scene of an emergency, police said. The use of the red lights does not make the vehicle an emergency vehicle, and those using them must obey all traffic laws and regulations.

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