A 10-year deputy of the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office has died from COVID-19, Sheriff Jason Ard has confirmed.
The late deputy was identified as Corporal Robert McKinney, who Ard said passed away Thursday after a “courageous” near two-week battle with COVID-19.
McKinney was 40 and is survived by a wife and a daughter.
“It breaks my heart to report that Corporal McKinney died today following an almost two week long battle with COVID-19,” Ard said in a statement. “His courageous battle has impacted every member of the LPSO & those in the community who have been following his wife’s status updates on social media.
“Know that your care, concern & support reached his family.”
McKinney 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 up to 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.”
Ard recalled some of his favorite memories of McKinney, who would often tell stories about his wife and daughter.
“He was so proud of his family!” Ard said. “He told anyone who would listen about his love for his family.”
The sheriff also shared words from McKinney’s wife, Leslie: “Please continue to pray for not only our family but the other families that are hurting. Pray for the [doctors] and nurses as they try to fight this battle. Robert always told me he was gonna be waiting on a woman! Well now he’s waiting on 2!”
Added Ard: “There won’t be another like McKinney. We will all miss him at the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office.”
The sheriff encouraged the public to share their memories, thoughts, and well wishes for McKinney while funeral arrangements are being sorted out.