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Platte City police officer suspended

by Ivan Foley
Landmark editor

A veteran Platte City police officer was suspended then later placed on administrative leave after his alleged behavior at a disturbance call late Saturday night.

Sgt. David Leach, 57, was off duty at the time of the incident, which took place inside and later outside of a local tavern in the 200 block of Platte City's Main Street.

According to Platte City Police Chief Joe McHale, authorities responded to a reported disturbance at the establishment at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday night. Leach and his wife, Nicole, 36, were inside the bar at the time of the disturbance. Nicole Leach allegedly struck another female patron and faces municipal charges of assault and resisting arrest, according to McHale. She posted $500 bond on the charges.

The chief explained that after the arrival of authorities—which included McHale, three Platte City officers, three Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers, and five Platte County deputies—Leach tried to walk toward the troopers outside the establishment but fell and suffered cuts to his face. McHale said Leach—who according to the chief appeared to be intoxicated—also allegedly urinated on the street.

Leach has been charged in state court with hindering a state trooper in the performance of his duty, McHale said. Leach was taken to the hospital after his fall where his cuts were treated, then was transported to the Platte County Jail where he was held overnight.

McHale said that on Monday morning he suspended Leach pending a review by the Platte City Board of Aldermen. The suspension, McHale said, was the result of "intoxicated behavior in public."

In an executive session held at their regular meeting Tuesday night, aldermen allowed Leach to come off suspension and be placed on administrative leave.

McHale said Leach will be paid using his accrued vacation and compensatory time until the next aldermen meeting, set for Feb. 22, when the situation will be reviewed again at what McHale referred to as a "fitness for duty hearing." Leach will not resume his status as a police officer until that determination is made, the chief said.

Leach's first court appearance on the charge is scheduled for March 15. After the court is done with the case, McHale said he will review the situation again for potential further disciplinary action from a personnel standpoint.

"He hasn't been convicted of anything yet," McHale emphasized. "It's a regrettable situation, the courts are looking at it and we'll do an investigation."

McHale remarked that Leach has been an officer that seems to be well-respected, well liked, "and in some cases even well-loved" by the public. The two worked together at the Kansas City Police Department as well.

"Dave has been an exemplary officer for Platte City and Kansas City for over 35 years. He does an extremely good job. He has never caused me a moment's embarrassment on duty," McHale said.

"This is uncharacteristic for him and has caused him a great deal of personal embarrassment," the chief told The Landmark.

Leach, known to display a friendly and outgoing personality in his contact with members of the public, spent many years as a motorcycle officer with Kansas City. When the City of Platte City recently agreed to lease a Harley Davidson motorcycle to use on patrol, Leach was designated as its sole operator.



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