NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — An annual celebration, designed to create positive relationships between the public and law enforcement, is honoring two officers killed in the line of duty in Massachusetts this year.
Local law enforcement gathered among community members at Riverside Park Tuesday for National Night Out Against Crime, an annual event that thousands of cities take part in.
This year, parents of the late Sgt. Sean Gannon of the Yarmouth Police Department spoke to the crowd, along with Yarmouth Police Chief Frank Frederickson. Gannon was killed back in April while he was serving a search warrant at a home in Barnstable.
Patrick and Denise Gannon said they attended the event to honor their son’s memory by telling the community how much he valued events that bridge the gap between police and the communities they serve.
They also believe their presence at an event like this help to humanize law enforcement. They hope their attendance shows officers have families and stories behind their badges.
“As you go around tonight and you meet some of our first responders who are here tonight, remember that the work they do every day is not just a job it’s a calling for them it’s a vocation to help other people,” Patrick Gannon said.
“It’s very important to realize the people behind the uniform are people, they’re people with a heart,” Denise Gannon added.
Frederickson, who delivered Gannon’s eulogy, also addressed the crowd, and his parents.
“I need to thank you for giving us Sean and it’s hard to describe the heartbreak that we still feel, however, guided by the strength of Sean’s parents together, we’re trying to make a difference that Sean would want us to do,” Frederickson said.
Gannon and Weymouth Police Sgt. Michael Chesna were honored at the event. Chesna was killed in the line of duty last month when he tried to stop an erratic driver.
Other cities in the region taking part in the National Night Out Against Crime include Providence, Cranston and Warwick.