Reserve police officer who died of COVID-19 called ‘a friend to all’

Jacksonville auxiliary sergeant’s passing considered a line-of-duty death

Jacksonville auxiliary sergeant’s passing considered a line-of-duty death.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A reserve officer of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has died, the Fraternal Order of Police announced Wednesday.

Auxiliary Sgt. Louis Livatino, 71, was described as a dedicated family man who volunteered his time on the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard and countless assignments assisting patrol functions, sometimes working as much or more than full-time officers. According to JSO, he had volunteered with the police auxiliary for 10 years.

“Lou lived a life dedicated to service and was willing to help wherever he could. Everyone at JSO who had the opportunity to work with Lou is mourning his passing and praying for his wife, Sheryl, and their family,” Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams wrote in a statement.

According to the JSO, this is considered a line-of-duty death.

Today we lost an amazing man, Auxiliary Sergeant Louis Livatino. A dedicated family man and a man who served our...

Posted by Fraternal Order of Police Jacksonville, FL Lodge 5-30 on Wednesday, January 27, 2021

“A friend to all and he will be missed by all,” the FOP said in a Twitter post.

“If you knew Lou, you loved Lou,” Melissa Bujeda, a former public information officer for JSO, wrote. “I will miss his kind soul and never-ending smile so much. RIP Lou, we love you and thank you for all that you did for us.”

News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson spent 24 years in law enforcement and said auxiliary or reserve officers receive the same training as police officers and perform essentially the same job for no compensation.

“That says a lot about that individual because they’re giving up their time to be able to contribute back to their community in a law enforcement capacity without being a full-time police officer,” Jefferson said.

This is at least the third law enforcement officer in Northeast Florida to die of COVID. JSO Lt. Chris Cunningham died last August and Clay County Sgt. Eric Twisdale died in September.

Sheriff Williams said the agency is working with Livatino’s family to make “final preparations,” and said more information will be disseminated when plans are finalized.

About the Author:

McLean is a reporter with WJXT, covering education and breaking news. He is a frequent contributer to the News4Jax I-team and Facing the Fall coverage.