Off-duty sergeant killed in accident called "epitome of what com - KMOV.com

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Sergeant killed in accident called 'epitome of what community policing is all about'

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Friends and colleagues of an off-duty Bellefontaine Neighbors police sergeant who died after being struck by a vehicle in North County Monday morning said she represented the "epitome of what community policing is all about". Friends and colleagues of an off-duty Bellefontaine Neighbors police sergeant who died after being struck by a vehicle in North County Monday morning said she represented the "epitome of what community policing is all about".

NORTH COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV.com) - Friends and colleagues of an off-duty Bellefontaine Neighbors police sergeant who died after being struck by a vehicle in North County Monday morning said she represented the "epitome of what community policing is all about".

St. Louis County Police said Peggy Vassallo, 53, was in uniform and on her way to work driving her personal car when she was involved in a minor accident. Officers said Vassallo struck another vehicle, got out of her car and walked along the passenger side of the vehicle involved when an oncoming driver hit her. Vassallo died a few hours later at the hospital.

Bellefontaine Mayor Bob Doerr said Vassallo's work in the community was like a ministry. 

"She lived to help others...that is all she ever did," Doerr said.

Rev. Nathan Ruback got to know Vassallo through her work as a D.A.R.E officer in at least three schools, including Gibson Elementary in the Riverview School District and Grace Chapel Lutheran School.

"She became a very good friend through the D.A.R.E program at our school. She was a person who loved her community, and loved kids," Ruback said.

Bellefontaine Police Chief Jeremy Ihler said Vassallo dedicated her life to helping others.

"She did everything she could to bring resolve to community issues...get people's utilities turned back on...find them homes," Ihler said. "She did so much. This loss is catastrophic to police departments and lives she touched."

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