LPSO deputy dies from COVID-19

Deputies from the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office salute a casket holding the body of the late Corporal Robert McKinney, who passed away Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021, from COVID-19.

Traffic stopped when a convoy of police vehicles escorted the body of a 10-year corporal to a local funeral home Thursday evening, hours after news of his untimely death from COVID-19 was announced.

During the convoy’s passage, members of the community stood on streets to pay their respects.

Corporal Robert McKinney, who joined the force in 2011, passed away Thursday after a “courageous” near two-week battle with COVID-19, according to an earlier statement from Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard.

McKinney was 40 and is survived by a wife and daughter.

Later Thursday evening, vehicles from the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office and other local law enforcement agencies escorted the body of McKinney, traveling east on Interstate-12 before getting off at the Livingston exit.

From there, the convoy turned north on Highway 63 before turning east on Highway 190 and ending at the funeral home.

Two LPSO motorcyclists rode on each side of the hearse bearing McKinney.

The Sheriff’s Office released a video of the convoy’s passage, showing a long line of flashing police vehicles leading the way. Spectators could also be seen on the streets, with many waving and recording the scene with their phones.

McKinney originally joined the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office on May 16, 2011, and was assigned to the Livingston Parish Detention Center as a correctional deputy, Ard said. McKinney eventually worked his way into a supervisory position as a shift corporal.

Ard described McKinney as someone who was “easy to like” and who “loved serving & protecting the people of Livingston Parish.”

“If you knew him, you liked him,” Ard said. “He was easy to like. Robert was always glad to be at work and loved the people he worked with. He never met a stranger and loved serving & protecting the people of Livingston Parish. He was proud to wear the badge.”

Funeral arrangements have not been publicly announced. 

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