Updated July 29, 2020 - 7:03 pm
For more than 16 years, Erik Lloyd worked to help the families of fellow Clark County police officers hurt or killed in the line of duty.
On Wednesday, after contracting the coronavirus, Lloyd, who had served with the Metropolitan Police Department for nearly 30 years, died at University Medical Center. He was 53.
“Everyone knows Erik as the man that shows up when tragedy strikes, whether it’s injury or a death,” Will Huddler, chairman of the Las Vegas Police Managers and Supervisors Association, said before learning of Lloyd’s death. “And now, it’s just this awkward feeling for the agency and all of us that Erik is the one who needs help. He’s always been there to help us.”
In a statement from the Metropolitan Police Department, delivered as an Honor Guard led Lloyd’s body and a procession of police vehicles from the hospital to Palm Downtown Mortuary & Cemetery, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said the department “is a better agency for having Erik.”
“He was the type of officer who represents all the values you want in a person,” Lombardo said in the statement. “He was hardworking, honest, kind, and generous with his time. He created a legacy outside of his work here at LVMPD, working to help people in their greatest time of grief.”
Lloyd was born in Downey, California, and is survived by his wife of 22-years, Minddie, two daughters and five grandchildren, Metro said.
Nevada Assemblyman Tom Roberts, who retired from Metro as assistant sheriff in 2018, shared news about Lloyd on Facebook.
“RIP Erik. God bless you and your family,” Roberts wrote. “Honor to know you and work with you all these years. You’ll be missed by so many.”
Lloyd’s wife, who works as the judicial executive assistant to District Judge William Kephart, also contracted the virus and has since been released from the hospital, according to multiple sources. As the two battled the virus, the Police Wives of Southern Nevada launched a fundraiser to support the couple.
‘Like a super strong flu’
Kephart said he has known both for more than 20 years, often spending time together outside of work.
Erik Lloyd and the judge, a former prosecutor, played softball together and traveled across the country on fishing and hunting trips as Lloyd rose through the ranks of the police force.
Kephart recalled how Lloyd, who had survived a battle with throat cancer, told him the virus felt “like a super strong flu,” before his condition suddenly worsened, and he was rushed to the hospital a little over a week ago.
“He always had control of himself and his life,” Kephart said. “That’s what’s kicking my butt is I think he thought he had this under control.”
Through his leadership, Lloyd connected with other elected officials, too, like Clark County Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick.
“Lt. Lloyd was an amazing officer whose work in our community helped countless families,” she said in a statement. “His passing shows us all the dangers of this virus and the importance of doing everything we can to fight it. Knowing the lieutenant is no longer with us makes my heart ache.”
Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson learned of Lloyd’s death Wednesday.
“It’s a sad day for the Metro family, and the entire Las Vegas community as Erik was a superb police officer, and a gentleman,” Wolfson said. “And in all of my dealings with him he was the epitome of professionalism. He cared so much about his work, and he will be greatly missed.”
As president of the Injured Police Officers Fund since January 2004, Erik Lloyd coordinated fundraising efforts for wounded cops and their families, most recently organizing a “Shay Day” for 29-year-old Shay Mikalonis, who was shot June 1 as police took people into custody at the conclusion of a Black Lives Matter Protest on the Las Vegas Strip.
“I don’t know too many people who could do that for that long,” Huddler said. “But there’s never been any desire to look elsewhere. He puts forth genuine care for the men and women he works with, plus he’s good at what he does.”
Lloyd joined the force as a patrol officer in September 1990 before he started work as a narcotics detective in 1995. He climbed the ranks to sergeant in 2003 and lieutenant in 2014, when he worked internal affairs and with the Southern Nevada Counterterrorism Center. He had planned to retire in December, said Annette Mullin, the director of the police employee assistance program.
“Erik was one of those great leaders,” she said. “We have many on our agency, but he was one of those calm leaders that help you get the job done. And he will be missed. Our hearts break.”
Last week, Congress passed a measure known as the Safeguarding America’s First Responder’s Act that provides benefit to law enforcement and presumes that officers who die or become disabled from COVID-19 or complications related to the virus did so in the line of duty.
The results of Lloyd’s efforts for wounded and fallen officers are likely to resonate far into the future.
“There will be more officers injured, and the groundwork that Erik has laid, they’re going to benefit from,” Huddler said. “They’ll have no idea. But we’ll know it’s because the work Erik has put in. He’s just a special guy.”
Supervises deadly force exams
Lloyd also served as the lieutenant over deadly force examinations, leading investigations when someone dies in police custody.
“He’s the right person for the job because he has to be able to represent the community’s interest and still do that in a way where the officers understand that his intent is to get it right,” Huddler said. “There isn’t anyone who wants police accountability more than police officers. The great thing about Erik is he never takes it personal. He’s just very objective about his work, and he’s very fact based, and it’s refreshing.”
Huddler said he had known Lloyd for 18 years, and “I’ve always looked up to him,” recalling how Lloyd guided him through preparing to test for a promotion. “First and foremost, he is a family man. He loves his family,” Huddler said. “But a close second to that is he loves his community. He truly does represent the best of us. He’s a consummate professional. And I’ve never met a person that doesn’t respect him.”
Since the Lloyds were diagnosed with the virus, Kephart said he has received hundreds of messages from concerned friends.
“When you get the good ones, and you lose them like this, or for any reason, it’s just terrible,” the judge said. “It strikes home. He was a great guy. He’s gonna be missed by a lot of people. I don’t know if I can get passed the pain and the hurt that it’s causing me, and I don’t know if I will.”