Today’s news:

Changing of the guard - New officers elected to 94th Precinct Community Council

The 94th Precinct Community Council elected new officers this week, voting in longtime Greenpoint resident Betty Hulsen as the council’s president for the coming year.

“I like working with the community and I look forward to helping them with the best of my abilities,” said Hulsen,

Hulsen has been a member of the 94th Precinct Council for the past 20 years and has served as its Sergeant At Arms over the past five years. She won her election by two votes from among those members casting ballots at the Community Council’s last meeting before the summer recess.

Other Community Council members who sought offices on the board ran unopposed. Cookie Nordt will be the new recording secretary, Laura Flugger is the new sergeant at arms, Marie Bindas is the new vice president, and Pat Riordan, a former office manager with the Greenpoint Gazette, will serve as the new treasurer. Eligible voters must have attended three of the past 12 meetings since March 2008.

In addition to the election, Captain Dennis Fulton gave the crime report for the 94th Precinct, emphasizing that there have been a preponderance of late-night robberies in the district and that residents need to be aware of their surroundings.

“It’s the summer and there are a lot of people out at night,” Fulton said. “When I’m walking at night, I don’t walk down a darkened alley if it’s a shortcut. I take the extra time and walk the longer route.”

Over the past month, robberies have doubled to 20 from ten during the same time period in 2007. Burglaries are down 44 percent in the same period compared with last year. For the year so far, robberies are down slightly at seven percent and burglaries are down 22 percent compared with last year, while felony assaults are up 54 percent and grand larcenies are up 27 percent.

Fulton is encouraged with the decreases in burglaries and robberies overall in 2008, but reminded people to watch their belongings when they are out in public.

“One complainant placed his cell phone next to him in the park and it was gone. He called the phone number, the perpetrator answered it and said, ‘I have your cell phone, give me seventy dollars US currency.”

Fulton urged residents to remove property from cars parked on the street, especially cameras, credit cards, and global positioning systems. He also answered questions about an assault that occurred recently in the basement of St. Anthony’s Church (862 Manhattan Avenue).

“The woman is OK. She’s scraped up but this is unacceptable and it won’t happen again,” said Fulton.

The 94th Precinct will hold its annual National Night Out on August 5 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in front of the 94th Precinct station house at 100 Meserole Avenue. All are invited to attend. For more information, call 718-383-5298.

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