RANDOLPH, MASS. (WHDH) - Volunteers in Randolph have broken ground on a new playground being built in honor of a former Boston Police officer.
People from up and down the East Coast gathered at Belcher Park in Randolph to construct a new playground in honor of Boston Police hero Dennis “DJ” Simmonds. Simmonds was the fifth person to lose their life to the Boston Marathon bombings after being hurt in the Watertown shootout, passing away a year later.
The project was put together by a foundation called Where Angels Play. The organization’s purpose is to “create joy and light from dark, unspeakable tragedies.”
“With the challenge of law enforcement and the unrest that is happening in the country, I just feel like Dennis picked this time to bring us all together, all of the Black community, the law enforcement community, firefighters, police, labor management,” said Bill Lavin of the Where Angels Play Foundation.
Over the course of two days, volunteers are putting together a playground in the late officer’s home town.
“DJ used to take me here and to a bunch of different parks in Randolph,” said Simmonds’s cousin Bernard Grant. “We were before, so it means a lot, it’s kind of coming full circle.”
Simmonds’s sister, who could not attend the playground construction, gave birth to her son, Knight Dennis Oliver at the time the truck drove onto the construction site, according to Lavin.
“You tell me somebody’s not in charge up above,” Lavin said.
This marks the 55th playground that Where Angels Play has built. A ribbon cutting ceremony is planned for this weekend.
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