New Bret Sunner Memorial Park to remain near Police Department

Former park gave way to city amphitheater project

Rick Smith
Published: May 20 2013 | 12:07 pm - Updated: 28 March 2014 | 3:34 pm in
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The city has a new Sunner Memorial Park to honor Bret Sunner, the 25-year-old Cedar Rapids police officer slain in the line of duty on June 8, 1984.

The new memorial park is still close to where it had been and should be -- close to the police station on First Street SW.

The former park, along the Cedar River north of the police station, gave way to the city’s new outdoor riverfront amphitheater, slated to open later this year.

A river walk connects the amphitheater to a park area along Diagonal Drive SW south of the police station that the city had informally called Festival Park. The City Council now has officially named this spot the new Sunner Memorial Park.

On June 8, the anniversary of Sunner’s death, the city will dedicate the new park and install the city’s police and fire memorial there.

Sunner was shot by Leonard Berg while responding to a domestic disturbance on Hamilton Street SW. He died at the scene.

Five other Cedar Rapids police officers have died in the line of duty, in 1885, 1913, 1914, 1921 and 1961.

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