Newark, OH – Newark Division of Police (NDP) Chief Steven “Steve” Baum died unexpectedly on March 30 after suffering a medical emergency.
The 54-year-old police chief was off-duty at his home when the medical episode hit, his department said in a press release.
He was rushed to Licking Memorial Hospital, where he passed away.
“He was always larger than life. He will always be a friend,” NDP Acting Chief Craig Riley said during Chief Baum’s memorial service, according to the Newark Advocate. “I’ll miss you, boss.”
Chief Baum, a U.S. Air Force veteran, served in both Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm, according to his obituary.
He joined the NDP in 1993 and was promoted through the ranks over his decades of service, ultimately being sworn in as the department’s chief in July of 2020.
In addition to his service with the NDP, Chief Baum also worked as a reserve officer for the Heath Police Department, according to his obituary.
“Steven was truly larger than life. When he walked into a room, everyone knew it,” the tribute read. “He had a commanding presence and comforting strength about him.”
Chief Baum’s family said he was “born to be a police officer,” and that he set his eye on becoming a police chief when he was just four years old.
“And so he did,” his obituary read. “He was so proud to serve his community as the Chief of Police.”
Chief Baum leaves behind his wife, Kelly, and his children, Stephanie and Riley.
He is also survived by his mother, brother, nieces, nephews, aunt, and Licking County Chief Deputy Auditor Marty Snavely, who donated a kidney to him in 2014, the Newark Advocate reported.
Hundreds of mourners gathered for Chief Baum’s funeral service on Tuesday, according to the Newark Advocate.
Family, friends and local law enforcement agencies gathering outside the Heath Church of Christ to say goodbye to Newark Police Chief Steve Baum. He passed away last week from a medical emergency. pic.twitter.com/YBbiqnL99P
— Alexis Moberger (@alexiswsyx6) April 6, 2021
Blessed are the Peacemakers
Rest in Peace Chief Steven A. Baum
December 6th, 1966 – March 30th, 2021 pic.twitter.com/Qyk5qX4mhP
— Newark Police PIO (@NewarkPD_OH_PIO) March 31, 2021
— Kent Mallett (@kmallett1958) March 31, 2021
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Newark Division of Police Chief Steven “Steve” Baum, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.