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Community rallies behind family of former Wichita officer who died at Table Rock Lake

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Tuesday, May 27, 2014, at 6:47 p.m.
  • Updated Sunday, July 13, 2014, at 8:36 a.m.

A fund for the family of former Wichita police officer Shane Little, who died Friday when he fell off a cliff at Table Rock Lake in Missouri, had reached more than $13,500 by late Tuesday.

Fund organizers said more efforts are underway to help the family. Little is survived by his wife, Amanda, who is a Wichita police officer, and four children under age 8.

“The community support has been unreal,” said Carrie Patton, a member of Wives Backing the Badge, a local law enforcement support group that is helping with fundraising efforts.

Little’s funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday at Central Christian Church, 2900 N. Rock Road. A visitation was held Tuesday at Calvary Baptist Church in Derby.

Little, 36, and another man were climbing a trail to the pinnacle of Oswalt Bluff near Branson, Mo., at about 3 p.m. Friday when Little lost his footing and fell 30 to 40 feet to the base of the cliff, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Little was taken to Springfield Mercy Hospital, where efforts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.

Little worked drug and gang cases for 11 years as an officer at Patrol North in Wichita and was a member of the SWAT unit. In 2011, he contracted bacterial meningitis, a rare brain and spinal infection that left him blind and unable to work.

Patton said fellow officers stayed close to Little and his family throughout his illness, performing maintenance and yard work for the family.

“It’s not just a loss for the Little family,” she said, “it’s a loss for all these other officers in general.”

Members of the Fraternal Order of Police and Wives Backing the Badge have established a fund to help Little’s family via the online fundraising site GiveForward.com.

Patton said they started with a goal of $5,000 but surpassed it immediately. Then they learned Little had no life insurance, so they realized the need for his family would be much greater.

“We’re hoping that what we have so far is going to cover funeral expenses,” Patton said. “Then we’re going to keep going.”

They hope to raise money for utility, house and car payments, and other family needs in the coming months, Patton said.

To contribute, go to GiveForward.com and search for “Support for WPD family after tragic death.”

Checks or cash donations also may be delivered or mailed to the Patrol East substation at 350 S. Edgemoor. Patton said people also may take diapers, wipes and formula for the Littles’ 7-month-old baby, as well as gift certificates.

Donations also may be sent to the HERO Fund, at the Fraternal Order of Police office, 477 N. Seneca, Wichita, KS 67203. The name of Little or Amanda should be written on the memo line of checks.

“They’re just good-hearted people that did good things for others,” Patton said, “so it’s time for that to come back around for them.”

Reach Fred Mann at 316-268-6310 or fmann@wichitaeagle.com.

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