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'Grinch family' carries on legacy of former Moline Police Detective

The family of former Moline Police Detective Rick Ryckeghem found a new way to spread holiday cheer.

MOLINE, Ill — Despite bitterness towards Christmas and having a heart two-sizes too small, these Grinches found a new way of spreading holiday cheer to all.

A family of three Grinches was spotted on Thursday in Moline, near John Deere Road and 53rd Street, handing out candy canes to drivers passing by.

One of the family members, Kathy Ryckeghem, said not everyone was spreading cheer. Some drivers shared a similar attitude to the Grinch who stole Christmas before he had a change of heart.

"The people that drive by and don't wave, those are Grinches I think," Kathy said.

Kathy is one of the family members of late-Moline Police Detective Rick Ryckeghem who died two years ago after 31 years of service.

The Ryckeghem family says what they did is another way to carry on his legacy in the community.

Rick was a Navy veteran, and had been diagnosed with cancer in February 2018 and passed away on Mar. 10, 2019. Moline PD dubbed the day of his passing as "Rick Ryckeghem Day" at the police department.

He was the voice and face of CrimeStoppers in the 1990s when it first debuted on WQAD, featuring the Wheel of Misfortune and crime re-enactment segments.

Rick is the inspiration for WQAD's Beyond the Badge stories, recognizing officers in the area who exemplify what is means to be a public servant.

RELATED: Unlikely friendship between Moline detective and gang member proves anyone can change

Rick was a husband, father and grandfather who also coached girls softball in the Quad Cities for 45 years and went on to spend 12 years working for MetroLink after retiring from the police force.

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