January 26, 2021

The Sean M. Gannon Memorial Fund Awards Inaugural Police Academy Scholarship to Stephanie Connolly of Rehoboth

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South Yarmouth – The Sean M. Gannon Memorial Fund of The Cape Cod Foundation awarded its inaugural Police Academy Scholarship to Stephanie Connolly of Rehoboth.

To prepare for a career in law enforcement, Connolly earned her associate degree in criminal justice from Bristol Community College and served as a Reserve Officer with the Rehoboth Police Department for two years while working as a Campus Police Officer for her alma mater at the same time. She is currently employed as a dispatcher for the Acushnet Police Department and plans to enter the third class of the Cape Cod Municipal Police Academy in January at Joint Base Cape Cod.

The memorial fund was created by Sgt. Gannon’s family to honor the Yarmouth Police Department K9 Officer who was killed in the line of duty on April 12, 2018. Its mission is to promote education, health, and leadership by encouraging service through action. The K9 Sgt. Gannon Self-Sponsor Scholarship covers tuition for a recruit to attend the Cape Cod Municipal Police Academy.

“Embarking on this career path is a big challenge and a big commitment,” said Dara Gannon, the officer’s wife. “We wanted to help reduce financial barriers to enter the field.”

The Academy takes 20 weeks to complete and covers 21st century policing best practices with specific emphasis on the following core principles: problem solving; procedural justice; ethical decision making; fair and impartial policing.

“Being a self-sponsored Academy recruit allows an individual the opportunity to have a seat in the class without being previously hired by a Municipal Police Department,” said Peter Carnes, Director of the Cape Cod Municipal Police Academy. “Upon graduation recruits are certified and their potential for employment is certainly enhanced.”

“We received many strong applications, and it was difficult to choose just one recipient,” Gannon said. “Ms. Connolly will honor Sean’s legacy and be a great asset to a police department and her community in the future.”

She added, “The scholarship gives me hope that even in these trying times there are many dedicated people answering the call for public service.”

"There are no words to describe how honored and humbled I am to be the recipient of this scholarship,” Connolly said. “I have been pursuing a career in law enforcement my entire adult life and have faced many adversities and obstacles along the way. The opportunity that this scholarship affords me is priceless. I am so thankful to the Scholarship Committee and the Gannon family for selecting me as the recipient."

The fund plans to award the scholarship annually and continues to award grants to support nonprofit organizations and programs that meet its mission.

For more information about the memorial fund, visit: www.gannonfund.org. For more information about The Cape Cod Foundation, visit www.capecodfoundation.org. The Foundation is located at 261 Whites Path, Unit 2; South Yarmouth, MA 02664.

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