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School police officer has impressive list of accomplishments

Published September 11. 2018 12:19PM

Northern Lehigh School District school police officer Frank Gnas has an extensive list of achievements, which were acknowledged during Monday’s school board meeting.

Gnas is a Municipal Police Officers Education and Training Commission certified police officer; a Pennsylvania forest fire warden; and also an instructor for basic and advanced wildland firefighting. Gnas is also a Pennsylvania Emergency Medical Technician, a Pennsylvania State Police certified firearms instructor, and serves in the Walnutport Fire Department as a firefighter and a training officer.

“Although his certifications are impressive, his personal involvement with our students and staff is what truly stands out,” high school Principal Robert Vlasaty said. “Officer Gnas has been instrumental in assisting us in not only weeding out criminal activity, but has helped us to identify basic security/safety concerns throughout the district (i.e. visitor, safety, traffic protocols, door handle removal, unsecured lockers, etc.).”

Gnas has frequently been invited by the district’s teachers to supplement and enhance their instruction by presenting such topics as traffic and DUI laws in health classes; participated in Positive Behavioral Support days with the students and staff; organized and coordinated the 2017 Students Against Destructive Decisions, formerly Students Against Driving Drunk mock accident.

He raised and distributed funds for the Northern Lehigh Police Department Scholarship Fund; assisted students and staff with questions regarding firearms and firearm safety; delivered lectures regarding fingerprints analysis and microscopic evaluation; assisted the SADD program in their traffic stop video; and attends all of the district’s truancy elimination meetings that are designed to improve student attendance.

Gnas has made an impact in the community through collaborating with Children and Youth Services in regard to students’ well-being; providing assistance with extinguishing a brush fire impeding school district property and a fire at a student’s residence.

He has also been referring students to the Impact Project (community-based justice program) in lieu of charges; establishing and maintaining a working relationship with the local magistrate to provide students with an opportunity to pay off fines by way of community service (i.e. supervised students hours); providing guidance to junior firefighters within the school regarding classes, experience and wildland firefighting.

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