CLAYTON, MO. - It was an emotional moment as a St. Louis County park was officially re-dedicated in honor of fallen St. Louis County police officer Blake Snyder.
It was one of the first orders of business at Tuesday night’s St. Louis County Council meeting. County Executive Steve Stenger expressed his gratitude for the outpouring of community support, then read the executive order, officially renaming a park in Blake Snyder’s honor.
“The St. Louis County Park, presently known as Clydesdale Park, is hereby renamed and hereafter referred to as the Officer Blake C. Snyder Memorial Park,” Stenger read from the official document.
With those words and the stroke of a pen, a heroic officer’s sacrifice will now be a daily reminder for residents, enjoying the park in the community he protected.
The crowd gave a standing ovation as Stenger handed copies of the signed order to Officer Snyder’s young widow, and to the residents who started the petition to rename Clydesdale Park, just four days ago.
The name change happened quickly. Stenger caught wind of a petition to change the name of the park on Monday. One day later, he made the name change official with an executive order.
“It was something that the public really wanted to see, and I think that it’s really appropriate," Stenger said. "So I began to do some legal research into the proper way that this could be done, and we made the determination that an executive would be the quickest way to do it.”
Officer Snyder patrolled the streets around this park. It’s also close to the spot where he was killed in the line of duty.
“We would love to have Officer Snyder remembered forever. Have his son have some place to come that, this is what my dad left,” said resident Dawn Oppy, who started this petition.
Stenger said renaming the park is just one step in honoring this fallen hero.
“He should be honored as a hero as much as we can. And I think this is a fitting way to do that, and we will do more.”
A formal dedication will be planned at the new Officer Blake C. Snyder Memorial Park in the near future.
According to the St. Louis County Parks and Recreation website, this will be the park's third name. It first opened 40 years ago as Gravois Creek Park and was renamed Clydesdale Park in 1983.