Valparaiso, IN – Valparaiso Police Department (VPD) Sergeant Steve Kobitz died in the line of duty on May 25 after he suffered cardiac complications while sitting in his patrol vehicle outside the police station.
The 51-year-old sergeant’s fellow officers spotted him in distress and immediately ran to help him, VPD Sergeant Joe Hall told The Times of Northwest Indiana.
“Sgt. Kobitz was immediately tended to by his fellow officers when he was discovered, and Valparaiso fire soon responded and took over treatment,” Sgt. Hall said.
Sgt. Kobitz was rushed to Porter Regional Hospital, where he succumbed to what was later determined to be cardiac complications, according to the Times of Northwest Indiana.
“It is with a heavy heart to talk about the unexpected passing of Sergeant Steve Kobitz,” VPD Chief Jeffrey Balon told the paper. “I spent many years working alongside Steve during holidays, weekends and midnights, and I can truly say that Steve was much more than a co-worker; he was a friend and a brother.”
Chief Balon said that Sgt. Kobitz had a “hardy laugh and dry sense of humor” that he will never forget.
Sgt. Kobitz joined VPD in February of 1992, and spent the next 28 years “honorably serving the City of Valparaiso,” the department said in a Facebook post.
During his nearly three decades with VPD, Sgt. Kobitz served as a K9 officer, accident reconstructionist and field training officer, The Times of Northwest Indiana reported.
He was also a mentor for many young officers, his department noted.
In addition to his years as a law enforcement officer, Sgt. Kobitz was also a U.S. Air Force veteran, according to his obituary.
He leaves behind his children, Stephen and Tayla, as well as his parents and brothers.
“Steve will be sorely missed by every member of the Valparaiso Police Department, and my thoughts and prayers go out to Steve’s children and loved ones,” Chief Balon told The Times of Northwest Indiana.
Sgt. Kobitz was laid to rest on May 30.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Sgt. Steve Kobitz’s family, friends, and work family at the Valparaiso Police Department during this difficult and unexpected time. pic.twitter.com/7LJabX2A4p
— @PorterCountySheriff (@PorterCountySO) May 26, 2020
— R Cook (@retiredNCSHP) May 26, 2020
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Valparaiso Police Department Sergeant Steve Kobitz, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.