ITHACA, N.Y. — A New York State trooper was the recipient of the Kiwanis Club Frank G. Hammer Officer of the Month Award Monday for his years of service at the Ithaca barracks and two high risk criminal cases he worked on in 2017.

Sgt. Seth J. Littlejohn was transferred to State Police Ithaca in 2009 and spend eight and a half years at one of the most transient barracks in New York.

Zone Sgt. Martin Kopcho said most troopers opt for assignments closer to home, but with Littlejohn residing in Lansing, he was in the right position to excel at the Ithaca location.

While working in Ithaca, he became a crime scene technician, field training officer, and was on the Patrol Rifle. He was nominated for the award by Lt. David Stebbins in 2017 when, within 10 months, Littlejohn made answered 263 calls for service which resulted in six felony arrests, four DWI arrests, and 32 crash investigations.

In particular, Littlejohn was instrumental in catching a person who used a sawed-off shotgun to shoot through a glass door during a jewelry store burglary on May 26, 2017. Littlejohn processed the scene and, three days later, tried to pull over a vehicle because a passenger was not wearing a seat belt.  

The vehicle, however, sped away before Littlejohn could stop it and got into a crash. The passenger in the vehicle fled the area on foot and the stolen items from the jewelry store were found inside the vehicle.

On Oct. 8, 2017, Littlejohn was working in the Town of Solon in Cortland County when he helped take an armed “combative” suspect into custody. During the fray, his ankle was broken and he was kept on modified duty for two months.

District Attorney Matt Van Houten said he knew of Sgt. Littlejohn before he became DA a year-and-a-half ago but didn’t know the “prolific” numbers he was producing.

“That’s really impressive — the number of arrests,the number of calls,” Van Houten said.

He went on to say that what especially stand out about Littlejohn is his commitment to working in the Ithaca area when not everybody will.

“This is our home, this is my home. We appreciate your longevity here and the fact that you’re making Tompkins County and you have made Tompkins County a better place … You can’t really count or measure how man people’s lives you’ve effected through the time you’ve spent in Tompkins County, and I think that really deserves recognition and I’m happy to do that today,” he said. 

Featured image: (Left to right) Zone Sgt. Martin Kopcho; Mimi Melegrito, president of the Kiwanis Club of Ithaca-Cayuga; Lt. David Stebbins; Naomi Littlejohn, David’s wife; sons Ethan and Elijah Littlejohn; District Attorney Matt Van Houten.

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.