ITHACA, N.Y. — An Ithaca police criminal investigator, who led the department’s case that helped nab a duo connected to 50 Tompkins County break-ins, was honored in a ceremony Monday afternoon.

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Fred Myers, who has been with the IPD for over 20 years, was named Officer of the Month from the Kiwanis Club of Ithaca-Cayuga. He said he intends to retire within the next year.

Investigator Mike Gray, who nominated Myers for the award, said, “This is not a goodbye-kiss-type of award.”

Police Chief John Barber agreed saying that the department has been understaffed for a while, and Myers has always given the department 110 percent.

Chief John Barber, Investigator Fed Myers, and his wife Mary Myers.

“Fred in particular was taking cases left and right,” Gray said. “Fred took those cases without complaint.”

“I just figured somebody had to do the criminal work. It doesn’t stop,” Myers said.

Gray pointed out one case in particular that Myers successfully led as a criminal investigator.

Burglars Leandre Lovett and Nadie Leigh Phoenix accepted a plea deal last October in connection with 50 break-ins throughout the county.

Related: Complete list of Ithaca area burglars’ 50 break-ins in 3 months

Myers said he worked with multiple investigators and agencies, such as the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office, state police and Cornell University Police Department, to catch the pair. The sheriff’s office took the two into custody in a joint effort with the other agencies.

“Literally, that case touched almost everybody in here,” Myers said.

Myers has been in law enforcement since he joined the Army when he was 18-years-old, where he served as a military police officer for three years. He spent 11 years as an officer at Cornell University before joining IPD, where he’s worked as a K9 handler, SWAT team member, special investigator and — for the past five years — a criminal investigator.

He’s been married to his wife Mary Myers for 26 years.

The Frank Hammer Officer of the Month Award has been given to deserving members of law enforcement since the mid-1980s to highlight their positive accomplishments, according to the Kiwanis Club.

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Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.