NEW BEDFORD — A new playground planned for a New Bedford elementary school will likely bear the name of a fallen police officer who grew up right across the street.

The Elwyn G. Campbell School is currently in the process of fundraising to build a new playground, and Mayor Jon Mitchell has proposed it be named after Sgt. Sean Gannon, the Yarmouth Police officer that was killed in the line of duty April 12. Sgt. Gannon was a New Bedford native, and his parents still live in the same house he grew up in on Stevenson Street--directly across from where the playground will be constructed.

In his weekly appearance on WBSM, Mayor Mitchell said the idea came to him to find some way to honor Gannon while attending his funeral.

"I found out his parents live on Stevenson Street, right next to the Campbell School, where a playground was being planned," Mitchell said. "So I proposed to the School Committee earlier this week that the playground be named in his honor."

The Facilities Committee approved it, and now it will go before the full School Committee this coming Monday, but Mitchell thinks it's a certainty that it will be approved by that body as well.

"Look, this is a guy we want our kids to emulate," he said. "I also hope, that because it's so visible to his parents, they can at least gain some comfort and pride in having it there as well."

Mitchell said the challenge still remains of raising the money necessary to construct the playground, but he thinks naming it after Sgt. Gannon will help with that.

"We want this great playground to be named after this great man," he said.

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