Park to be renamed for fallen officer

[attach]3557[/attach]A small park near Avenue Road and Dupont Street is likely to be renamed to commemorate the late Sgt. Ryan Russell.

The current Dupont Parkette is located close to the site where the fallen Toronto police officer was killed last month.

A motion to change the park’s name was introduced by Ward 20 councillor Adam Vaughan on Feb. 8 and gained unanimous support of city council members.

“There was a lot of joy and play in Sergeant Russell’s life,” Vaughan said in an interview. “He had a young son who is now fatherless and I think that memorializing a place that speaks to the nurturing that the city does with children through park play and playground possibilities, I think it captures a part of his spirit.”

Vaughan said police chief Bill Blair spoke with Russell’s family and that they are in favour of the idea.

“He said the family was grateful and he thought it was a fitting tribute,” Vaughan said.

Officers at Russell’s 52 division were also supportive of the plan. When asked what he thought of the idea Constable Michael Moffatt called it “a noble idea for sure.”

The park will undergo a minor redesign and plans for a new playground are in the works, according to Vaughan.

“The parks department just has to get direction, make the sign and that’s one step. he said. “Then we’ll sit down and look at concocting a budget and moving forward.” Vaughan said.