ITHACA, N.Y. – A New York State trooper based in Ithaca was awarded the the Frank Hammer Officer of the Month Award Monday afternoon.

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Trooper John Pensyl, who has been with the state police for about 2.5 years,was recently asked what his most stand-out case has been.

Sgt. Mikhail Wolchetsky, Cpt. Jeff VanAuken and Trooper John Pensyl.

Pensyl said he was most proud of a common, every day complaint for police — a report of an aggravated harassment at a Lansing workplace in March.

An employee had been fired for making inappropriate remarks to co-workers and began threatening people.

Pensyl arrived at the scene, got a confession from the suspect and arrested him. The man was later convicted for his actions.

The person who nominated Pensyl said the crime was not a flashy, headline grabber. But people live with fear of mass shootings and retaliatory assaults.

“This type of crime causes real world fears,” the man said.

Assistant District Attorney Brad Rudin said that crimes, such as the harassment Pensyl quickly solved, are important to the day-to-day running of society.

“It’s the glue that keeps us together,” he said.

Pensyl said, “I’m very proud to be awarded office of the month. I wouldn’t expect any awards for doing my job.”

He thanked his fellow officers for helping him learn the ropes as a trooper and for the nomination.

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; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.