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GASTONIA, N.C. -- Construction has begun on the new Gastonia Police Memorial and Commemorative Park.

The police department and city officials held a groundbreaking on the southwest lawn of the department on East Long Avenue Wednesday morning.

The police chief says the memorial will be a place to honor fallen officers, but he also hopes it will serve as an important reminder to the men and women serving today.

Not only to recognize those officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice -- we want it to be a constant reminder for our officers who are on duty to be on guard and be safe, because we definitely don't want to add any more names to our wall that we're going to put up here, Chief Tim Adams said.

The police department hopes to dedicate the memorial on Sept. 11.

To fund the memorial, the department has raised $20,000 on its own and continues raising money through the nonprofit Gastonia Police Foundation. City departments are also kicking in help to keep costs low.

The city is accepting donations through its Buy a Brick program, which continues through May 28. For more information, click here.

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