LMPD :: Louisville Metro Police Department
Louisville Metro Police Department - Louisville, Kentucky

'He never lost his positive spirit': LMPD officer loses battle with cancer

WAVE 3 - Louisville, Kentucky
Natalia Martinez - WAVE 3
'He never lost his positive spirit': LMPD officer loses battle with cancer

There aren't many pictures where LMPD Officer Steve Wise isn't smiling.

"Even the criminals," his longtime friend and fellow officer, Pete Pastin said, "If you find somebody he locked up, I'm sure they'll you Steve made them laugh on the way to jail."

Wise had a special way with the badge. It was a job he'd fought to obtain.

Floyd County Chief Wayne Kessinger was a Louisville Police Captain in the First Division when he first met Wise.

Kessinger told WAVE 3 News he considered Wise a maintenance man, not a janitor, because no matter what you needed, Wise would get the job done.

Wise wanted to one day become an officer, and Kessinger sought to help make that happen.

"He was so proud of himself when he finally became a policeman," Kessinger told us. "I was proud of him too."

Wise and Kessinger kept in touch, as Wise continued to grow in his role serving the community.

"He made everything better," LMPD Sgt. Tim Stokes said. "No matter what was going on in the world. No matter what was happening in the world, personally or professionally, Steve could take a room, lighten it up and before it was over, we were laughing."

Wise's wit scored him some fans at slugger field where he worked off duty for 15 years.

"He was a fixture around here," the Louisville Bats Operations Vice President, Scott Shoemaker told us. "He became the security person of all security people here because he was just a great guy."

He also spoke of Wise admirable work ethic, even when the cancer in his body told him to stop.

Wednesday, just two days before Wise passed away, he showed up to work.

That previous Monday, his fellow officers snapped a group picture. Wise is seen standing tall, full of pride and smiling.

"He would never give into the fact that tomorrow was his last day," Pastin said. "He always would have the hope on the horizon that there would be another day."

"It's going to take a while to get over his loss," Stokes said. "The grief for me personally has been enormous."

Saturday, a giant grinning Steve welcomed fans to Slugger one more time from the screen as the ballpark held a moment of silence for their life long fan.

"The last two home stands where he wasn't around, it's like you're looking for that guy," Shoemaker said.

Derby time was Wise's favorite. He rode in the parade as an honorary marshal, keeping that sense of humor and a love for life till the end.

"He was laughing and waiving at people," Pastin told us. "And he goes, man if something happens to me ya'll need to

'Weekend at Bernie's' me through this because this is one of the best moments of my life."

Wise was being credited for keeping the rain away at Slugger field Saturday.

"He was a fine representation of LMPD, " Pastin said.

"Steve always wanted to make people feel better and that was pretty remarkable too. You take that courage and wanting to make the world a better place by making people feel better, you've got a pretty remarkable man," Stokes said.

The man in blue "never met a stranger", a Facebook post from the Louisville Police Pipes and Drums said.

A Facebook message from the Louisville Metro Police Foundation said Officer Wise had battled cancer for the last two years. Throughout, he never lost his sense of humor, calling himself "Chemo-Sabe" and continuing to work on days he could, the LMPF post said.

Each day he worked, he would write a positive, inspirational message on the training board and never let his diagnosis bring him down. He was 'a rare gem who never lost his positive spirit.'

"Steve was a long time member of our Bats family for over 15 years. His persona around the Louisville Slugger Field was one that never met a stranger, and would always make you laugh or smile," Louisville Bats Vice President of Operations Scott Shoemaker Sr. said.

"He was a 'truly' a member of our team, that would do anything for anyone no matter who they were or nor matter what it was, and no matter when it was. He will truly be missed, but we know he is in a better place and no longer suffering."

In a message on Facebook, the LMPF said: "There wasn't a person around who didn't love Steve. Please keep his wife Lynn and the entire Wise family in your thoughts and prayers."