KCPD loses 1 of its most dedicated volunteers - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

KCPD loses 1 of its most dedicated volunteers

KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

The Kansas City Police Department is remembering a volunteer who stepped up to help children in crisis.

Lucille "Peggy" Leach founded the "Huggables" program that gives stuffed animals to children in crisis at crime scenes around the metro.

The 89-year-old spent 20 years volunteering for the department.  She helped investigators in the Perpetrator Information Center and founded a program that has comforted children for two decades.

Inside Metro Patrol, there are many heavy hearts. They said goodbye to Leach, who passed away Aug. 16.

"If you ever wanted a straight answer, you could ask her. She would tell you exactly what she thought about something. Plus, even if you didn't ask the question sometimes, she would tell you what she thought about it too," Community Interaction Officer John Trainor said.

Leach started her volunteer work at Metro Patrol, answering calls and filing reports. She realized Kansas City's youngest citizens routinely witnessed horrific crimes.

She started collecting stuffed animals for officers to hand out.

"She would get them donated to her from around the country. She would separate them by holidays. She separated them by holidays. She would call me and say, 'John, I need you to come by the house.  I have the Christmas ones ready,'" Trainor said.

Officers carry the animals in their trunks just in case a child needs some comfort.

"That was Peggy though. Peggy was always thinking of other people. She saw a need and she took charge," Detective Rick Hart said.

Leach continued the stuffed animal program and also took on a new role in the Perpetrator Information Center.

"She had a lot of hats that she wore. She did all of our filing. She did all of our sorting. We do a lot of computer work. She would get everything ready for us to enter in," Hart said.

Officers say one of the department's longest running volunteers will be greatly missed.

"Peggy is a wonderful person. She made a friend of everyone," Hart said.

At one point during her volunteer work, Leach was doing double duty, serving both the Metro Patrol and the Perpetrator Information Center unit downtown.

Leach would collect both new and used stuffed animals.  She would wash the used toys and bag each one separately.

The department hopes to continue the tradition she started.

Leach was laid to rest last Wednesday.

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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