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Prospect Park

Detective Dillon Stewart Playground

This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.

This playground is named after Detective Dillon Stewart, a five-year veteran of the New York City Police Department assigned to the 70th Precinct in Brooklyn who was killed in the line of duty on November 28, 2005.

Detective Dillon Stewart Playground is located on Parade Place and Caton Avenue at the southeast corner of the Prospect Park Parade Grounds.The city purchased the land for Prospect Park in 1859, and in 1868 the Parade Grounds were set aside as a public area for Civil War veterans of New York’s First Division of the Union Army and New York Guard to conduct military exercises away from Prospect Park’s tranquil interior.

When unoccupied by the military, the lengthy field often hosted archery practice, lawn bowling games, and cricket matches in the late 1880s and 1890s. The Parade Grounds hosted public lacrosse, baseball, football, and soccer games, and by the late 1930s its baseball diamonds attracted an average crowd of 20,000 daily spectators. The Parade Grounds were renovated in 2004 by NYC Parks and the Prospect Park Alliance, which included upgrades to its sports fields and courts.

Following its renovation, the playground was renamed Detective Dillon Stewart Playground on November 26, 2007.  A native of Jamaica, Stewart immigrated at age nine and grew up in East Flatbush. He graduated from Lafayette High School and Baruch College. Prior to serving as an officer, Stewart worked as an accountant at the public radio station WNYC. At age 30, he changed careers and quickly earned his reputation as a dedicated officer with multiple commendations for bravery.

On November 28, 2005, the 35-year-old Stewart was fatally shot after conducting a routine traffic stop. He was posthumously awarded the New York City Police Department Medal of Honor on June 15, 2006. Detective Dillon Stewart Playground serves as a lasting memorial to his heroism. 

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