Prospect Park Playground Dedicated To Detective Dillon Stewart
Monday, November 26, 2007
Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe today joined Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes, City Council Member Mathieu Eugene, Community Board 14 Chair Alvin Berk, Prospect Park Alliance President Tupper Thomas, and the family of the late Detective Dillon Stewart to dedicate a newly renovated playground at the Prospect Park Parade Grounds to the NYPD officer, who was killed in the line of duty on November 28, 2005. The ceremony was held in the gymnasium of P.S. 249, across the street from the park.
The reconstruction of this playground was made possible by approximately $1.5 million in City funding secured by former City Council Member, and now U.S. Representative, Yvette D. Clarke. The Public Safety, Community Environment and Youth Committees of Brooklyn Community Board 14 approached the Department of Parks & Recreation asking that the playground be dedicated to Detective Stewart.
“While we mourn the loss of Detective Dillon Stewart, we are pleased to dedicate the playground at the Prospect Park Parade Ground in his honor,” said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “As children play in this renovated facility, they can be inspired by the dedication and sacrifice embodied in the playground’s namesake. We are grateful to Congress Member Yvette D. Clarke for funding these improvements while she was in the City Council, and also to the Prospect Park Alliance for designing and overseeing the playground reconstruction. Everyone at Parks is proud that Detective Stewart, a true City hero, is being memorialized here.”
“Detective Dillon Stewart served his entire career here in the 70th precinct,” said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. “It is fitting that we dedicate this playground to him because we know he had a special place in his heart for children -- his own, whose photographs he kept under his uniform hat, and the ones he met in the course of his work. He will be remembered by all of us as a hero."
"It is indeed an honor to share in the dedication and ribbon-cutting of the Detective Dillon Stewart Playground,” said Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke. “As the former City Council Member for the 40th District, I advocated along with Community Board 14 for the renaming of this playground because it pays tribute to those who have made priceless contributions toward the betterment of our society. It is my hope that this playground will serve as a lasting memorial for not only his family, but members of the community at large."
Detective Stewart, a five-year veteran of the NYPD who was assigned to the 70th Precinct in Brooklyn, grew up in East Flatbush and had distinguished himself with his commitment to the neighborhoods he served. Stewart was thirty-five years old when he was fatally shot in the chest while trying to stop a vehicle that had been driving erratically. He was posthumously awarded the NYC Police Department Medal of Honor on June 15, 2006. On November 8, 2007, State Supreme Court Judge Albert Tomei sentenced Dillon’s killer to life in prison without parole. Stewart is survived by his wife Leslyn, his daughters Samantha and Alexis, his mother Mrs. Winifred Fleming and his sisters Nadine and Cheryl.
Detective Dillon Stewart Playground was designed by Christian Zimmerman, Director of Design and Construction for the Prospect Park Alliance. It is located on Parade Place and Caton Avenue at the southeast corner of the Prospect Park Parade Grounds.
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The Prospect Park Well House is under reconstruction in order to build a new composting latrine. The park remains open while the building gets reconstructed.
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