Playground that will honor fallen officer one step closer to getting funding

SE Mass

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — The playground committee behind the Sergeant Sean Gannon Memorial Playground received some good news this week, almost exactly a year after the New Bedford native was killed in the line of duty.

The New Bedford Preservation Committee has recommended the full City Council pay for at least $75,000 of the project. Organizers said the grant would allow them to order the parts needed for the playground.

The whole project is expected to cost more than $200,000. The playground committee initially had hoped to break ground last fall. 

Gannon, who worked for the Yarmouth Police Department, died in the line of duty last year while he was serving a search warrant in Barnstable. His K9 Nero was also seriously injured.

Months after his death, the New Bedford School Committee approved a proposal to name a playground after the fallen officer.

The plan is to transform the field at Campbell Elementary School and New Bedford City Councilor Ian Abreu said the location is no coincidence.

“His parents live pretty much right across the street,” Abreu said. “His family will tell you that Sean used to play there growing up.”

The proposed funding still needs to be approved by the Finance Committee and then by the full City Council. Abreu says this is the easiest vote he will ever make. 

“It’s really been my honor, and I know it’s been the honor of all of my colleagues in city government, to help see this project through,” Abreu said.

City Council is expected to take proposal up within the next few weeks. Abreu said he hopes the playground can bring peace to the Gannon family.

“They’ll know that that was their son’s legacy and it will live on forever,” Abreu said.

The chairperson of the project, Carla Mourao, tells Eyewitness News fundraising efforts are going well and so far, they have raised about $100,000.

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