Elijah Stroud Playground
This playground and the adjacent school are named for Elijah J. Stroud (1923-1972), a New York Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty. Patrolman Stroud lived in Freeport, Long Island with his wife and small child and had two other grown children living in California. A veteran of the Police Department, Stroud was assigned to Grand Avenue Station, 80th Precinct, in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Described as mild-mannered and kind, officer Stroud patrolled the area around P.S. 9 and volunteered at P.S. 136.
On the night of March 18, 1972, Stroud entered Irving’s Meat Market, seven blocks from the 80th Precinct. A regular customer, Stroud was making a purchase and speaking with the owners when two armed men entered the store. As the storeowner was putting money in a bag for the robbers, a shot was fired. Gunfire then broke out on both sides as Stroud attempted to get the situation under control. Stroud was shot once in the stomach and once in the head. The robbers fled empty-handed. Officer Stroud was posthumously awarded a medal for heroic acts from Mayor John V. Lindsay (1921-2000) in December 1973. Despite the Police Department’s best efforts, Stroud’s killers remain at large.
This playground, located on Classon Avenue between Park and Sterling Places, was acquired jointly with the Board of Education in January 1964. Parks Commissioner Henry Stern named the playground Elijah Stroud Playground in 1985. Mayor Rudolph Giuliani funded a $116,785 restoration project in 2000 to replace the fencing and fix the pavement and contributed $37,632 in 2001 for a Greenstreet in front of the playground.
The playground contains many benches, a flagpole with a yardarm, three game tables, two drinking fountains, and a comfort station. Play areas include an elephant animal art sculpture, red, yellow, and green play equipment with safety surfacing, basketball hoops, a handball court, swing sets, and a spray shower. A plaque in the school adjacent to the playground commemorates Patrolman Stroud, stating that he was “…a professional policeman, whose love and devotion to his children was outstanding. He gave his life so that we may live in peace. His sacrifice will not be forgotten. Killed in the line of duty, March 18, 1972.”