Newark community gathers to say good-bye to police chief

Local News

HEATH, Ohio (WCMH) — Family, friends and colleagues gathered Tuesday for the funeral of Newark Police Chief Steven Baum, who died last week after suffering a medical emergency at his home.

The service was followed by police funeral customs outside of the Heath Church of Christ.

Baum, a United States Air Force veteran, joined the Newark Division of Police in 1993. In 1999, he was assigned as a detective. He was promoted to sergeant in 2004, and captain in 2010. In 2016, he was appointed the city of Newark’s safety director and stayed in that position until he was sworn in as police chief last year.

“His whole life was about serving his nation and his community, right up to the last minute,” said Interim Chief Craig Riley.

Riley said he knew Baum since the chief’s early days with Newark police.

“I was one of his field training officers, so I’ve known him for 28 years and he’s never pulled any punches,” Riley said. “He’s just been that kind of genuine guy. He was that way with us. He was that way with his family and if you were in his circle, you were there for life.”

Tim Hickman, the city of Newark’s current director of public safety, was also a friend who worked with Baum for much of his career.

“He spent his entire adult life in service,” Hickman said outside of the church. “Whether it was military service or police service, he cared deeply about the community and the people that he served, and it’s a fitting show of respect to have this kind of a turnout.”

Baum leaves behind his wife, son, daughter, and extended family.

“Everything revolved around his family and then when the family could spare him, he spent the rest of his waking hours worrying about the community,” Riley said.

According to Hickman, Baum will be buried at a later date, not yet determined.

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