The 41st Precinct holds first community council meeting since police shootings

Community leaders tried to restore a feeling of normalcy as the 41st Precinct community council met Thursday for the first time since a pair of targeted police attacks last month.

Little mention was made of the February incidents during the meeting.  Rather than looking back at the ambush shootings, in which two police officers were wounded, precinct officers focused instead on reassuring those present that crime was not out of control in Hunts Point and surrounding neighborhoods.

Police released a 28 day Comp Stats report for the precinct, which details all crimes that have occurred since the last council meeting, on February 6th. 

The report showed crime is down relative to last year, but burglaries are up.  In the 41st precinct, 15 burglaries were reported this year, compared to eight last year during the same period.  The biggest drop has been in grand larceny crimes, with 21 coming this year, compared to 33 last year.

The council meeting followed by a day the indictment of Robert Williams on 52 counts that included multiple charges of attempted murder.  Williams is charged with having shot at two officers on patrol in their van in early February, and subsequently entering the 41st precinct house and shooting at nine officers, wounding one.

Paula Fields, president of the community council, stressed that the meetings are very important in bridging the gap between the community and the police.

“The other side gets to have a voice.” Fields said. 

The meeting took place at Open Arms Center on Westchester Avenue. 

Jennifer Kelman, director at Open Arms Center, said that the meetings are useful in granting the community a space to get answers on any issues they are having.

“It brings awareness because people need to know what’s going on in the community.” Kelman said. 

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