Hero Down: Gwinnett County SRO Robert 'Robby' Kinney Dies Unexpectedly

Holly Matkin

Gwinnett County School Police Department SRO Robert 'Robby' Kinney devoted 11 years to his law enforcement career.

Talmo, GA – Gwinnett County School Police Department (GCSPD) Officer Robert “Robby” Kinney died unexpectedly on April 29.

The 41-year-old officer passed away at his home, WAGA reported.

His father told the news outlet that establishing an official cause of death could take months due to the coronavirus pandemic, but that he believes his son suffered a heart attack.

Officer Kinney’s widow, Candi Kinney, said that her husband was a kind and loving man.

“Because of that, there’s been an outpouring [of support],” Candi told WAGA. “I wish he was able to see how many lives he touched.”

Officer Kinney’s law enforcement career began in 2009, when he was hired by the Hall County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) as a jailer, the department said in a Facebook post on April 29.

In November of 2011, he graduated from the law enforcement academy and was promoted to the rank of deputy.

Officer Kinney served in the Court Services Division before he was assigned as a school resource officer in November of 2014.

Officer Kinney joined the GCSPD in July of 2019, and began serving as a school resource officer at Dacula High School, WXIA reported.

"Our school community is saddened to share the news that Officer Robby Kinney, one of our School Resource Officers, passed away unexpectedly yesterday after work,” Dacula High School Principal Bryan Long said in a letter to families and staff members.

Long said that Officer Kinney was “well respected” and that he had quickly built rapport with the staff and students since joining the department, WXIA reported.

HCSO said that Officer Kinney “always had a smile on his face,” and that he made a “lasting impressions” on those with whom he served.

“I never heard anyone utter a negative word about Robby Kinney,” HCSO Major Chris Matthews said in the department’s post. “He was a wonderful mentor to the children in our community and had such an amazing love for his own children and wife.”

Although he had moved on from the HCSO, he maintained his relationships with his coworkers and was still a member of the sheriff’s office’s family.

“It’s difficult to put into perspective the loss of someone so young with so much more to offer the community,” Hall County Sheriff Gerald Couch said. “I can only express how thankful I am for the contributions Robby Kinney made to the Sheriff’s Office family and his students. I offer my condolences and ongoing prayers for the Kinney family, who will always be a part of our law enforcement family."

In addition to his wife, Officer Kinney leaves behind his teenaged sons, Robert and John, according to his obituary.

He is also survived by his parents, siblings, nieces, and nephews.

Officer Kinney was laid to rest on Saturday.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Gwinnett County School Police Department Officer Robert “Robby” Kinney, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Comments (1)
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