KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For one civilian employee, her KCPD officers are like family. Like any other family during the holidays, Laurie Horton has them over for turkey dinner.
“Well, we would like to Pay It Forward to Laurie Horton for all she’s done for the department and employees that have to work on holidays,” giver Sarah Kirchoff said. “She always makes them feel loved. She opens her home and gives them a fresh, hot meal.”
Laurie has fed hundreds over the last 22 years. For some of these officers, it will be their only holiday meal because they don’t have family in town.
“I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve had a hot meal in a family environment during a shift of work on Thanksgiving or Christmas at Laurie Horton’s house,” Sgt. Jake Becchina said. “She opens it up every year, and it’s something that officers can count on.”
Officer Mindy Earle said COVID-19 has made the gift of familiar faces and normalcy a little more special.
“It’s a big deal,” Earle said. “A lot of us are riding alone right now because of COVID. We don’t get to see our partners. We’re kind of by ourselves out there.”
And also because of the pandemic, instead of opening up her home, Laurie and her husband brought the food to the police.
“It was just really nice to go back to the station, sit down and have a meal with our partners and our friends and everybody that was working that day.”
Kirchoff presented Horton with $400 in front of a group of officers outside of the station.
“We love you so much, and we appreciate everything that you do for, not only for our officers but our civilians on the department,” Kirchoff said. “Every holiday, they have a warm meal thanks to you, and this year, even though it was a little bit different, and you still came through for us we went to present you with this.”
Always a giver, Horton gave the credit back to others who helped make the meals a success.
“I have to say thank you to everybody who participated in this. We had a lot of officers’ wives, the majors, the sergeants, the captains, everybody was involved… To me, it was a team effort,” Horton said. “We do this because offices are amazing people… this is not a job to them. This is their calling. This is their heart and their soul, and I want to make sure that they always know that they’re loved.”
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