Lehighton American Legion Post 314 celebrated the Legion's birthday this week by honoring a Police Officer of the Year and recognizing fourth grade essay contest winners.

Serving as master of ceremonies was Harry J. Wynn III, finance officer.

Honored as Police Officer of the Year was Jeff Frace, a police officer with the Mahoning Township Police Department. Frace was presented a plaque and a certificate. Frace accepted the plaque from Wynn, and the certificate from Floyd Brown, Post commander.

Frace and Mahoning Township Police Chief Kenneth Barnes both made comments after the presentation.

Wynn said that Frace was selected as this year's recipient for his dedication and service to the community.

Frace accepted the plaque and said, "There are at least 20 other police officers in Carbon County who could have been considered for this recognition."

Barnes said that Frace is a good police officer and was not only recognized by the Legion, but by his peers as being a good officer.

Also making a presentation was Brent Getz, who spoke about his experience participating in State Police Youth Week last year. Getz said that he considered the experience "awesome," and only reinforced his desire to have a career as a police officer after graduation from Lehighton Area High School.

Five students were recognized for their winning essays in the Fourth Grade Essay Contest. Winners were, Amanda Yoder, Shull-David Elementary School; David Citro, Mahoning Elementary School; Madison Andrews, Franklin Elementary School; Matthew Dawson, East Penn Elementary School; and Jasmine Mooney, Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic School.

The topic of their essays was, "Your Friend the Police Officer."

Yoder said that "You should not be afraid of the police officer, that he is your friend."

Citro said that "The police officer makes you feel safe."

Andrews said, "You should obey all laws. You should be a good citizen."

Dawson said, "The police are always on patrol. If a burglar breaks into my house, the police would arrest him."

Mooney said, "We should obey the police officers, whether they are male or female."