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Little’s big legacy: Officer remembered as a ‘real life super hero’ after COVID-19 death

Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 2:04 PM EDT
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FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - From a young age, Oliver Little knew what he wanted to spend his life doing.

So, it came as no shock when he became a public servant in the Prestonsburg community. From his days as an EMT to his dedication to the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office, he served in several roles over the last two decades that put him in the line of duty for his neighbors.

“He’s like a real life super hero. I mean, the man was amazing,” said Oliver’s brother Billy Little. “It’s really indescribable.”

Friends and loved ones said he was known for that dedication to the community and his compassion for all he encountered. They said he took on every call with a grin, always striving to be the best he could be.

“Not glamourous. It wasn’t making the front headline of the paper. But it was Oliver,” said Sheriff John Hunt.

Billy and Drew Little said their big brother was much more than just an officer.

“He seen people. He didn’t just see that you did something wrong. He did his job wonderfully, but he seen people. He had that compassion,” said Drew.

They said said he was always working to make sure everyone’s character shined through. He was always working toward the next goal, whether in the gym or his career. And he wanted to see people reach their potential as well.

“He was literally like everybody’s big brother. Not only our big brother. But I would say the community’s big brother as well,” said Billy.

Hunt agreed, saying he was first in line to give back, no matter the situation, and he was always pushing forward.

“He always wanted a new adventure, but everywhere he went, he found home. He found family,” said Hunt.

But as he worked to reach his next goal, joining the Pikeville Police Department, he was diagnosed with COVID-19 last month.

His family said he was an active man who took care of himself- aside from the occasional treat of a donut- so they were shocked by the rate at which the virus presented itself.

Oliver was soon placed on a ventilator and, though his fight was strong, he never made it off, dying Wednesday.

“That kind of person? That kind of loss is terrible. It’s a tragic event to lose an officer of his caliber,” said Pikeville PD Officer Tony Conn.

Now, his family- by blood and by the badge- hopes his legacy will serve the community now that he is unable to do so, as they strive to move forward in his memory.

“I just hope I can be half of the person he is,” said Drew.

Funeral arrangements are still in the works, but officers expect to escort Little’s body from Pikeville to Prestonsburg Friday morning.

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