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Freaky Night Out Against Crime - Coney Island residents take back the night

By far, this past August’s National Night Out Against Crime was the freakiest Coney Island has seen in a long time.

It was also one of the best, members of the 60th Precinct Community Council said Tuesday.

Gathering at the 60th Precinct on West 8th Street, council members spoke about the fun they had helping cops take back the night, as well as honor Police Officer Hank Stucken, who organized the entire affair.

“Officer Stucken did an amazing job,” new 60th Precinct Community Council President Judd Fischler said as he handed the towering Marine reserve a trophy honoring his service. “As far as I’m concerned, he should be considered ‘Cop of the Year’ and I indicated that on the trophy.”

Other council members honored for assisting in the National Night Out Against Crime included CB 13 District Manager Chuck Reichenthal, Marion Cleaver, Jerry Satler, Lenore Silverman, Barbara Epstein, Pat Minichello, Audrey Gardner and Brighton Neighborhood Association President Pat Singer.

Coney Island’s yearly “take back the night” event – it’s 25th — was held at Steeple Chase Park behind KeySpan Park. At times the traditional barbecue/block party atmosphere morphed into a carny attraction thanks to a visit by Angelica the Mermaid and other sideshow performers.

Fischler said that the Night Out Against Crime was a success because it gave people a “better feel about what’s going on” in Coney Island, Brighton Beach and Sea Gate.

“It was a community endeavor by residents throughout Coney Island and Brighton Beach,” he said. “Everyone was a big help, from the guy giving out the hot dogs to the volunteers who cleaned up.”

“This is why this is considered such a good precinct,” he said.

Looking ahead at the rest of his term as president, Fischler said he, the council members and Deputy Inspector Robert Johnsen, the commanding officer of the 60th Precinct, are in discussions how to change or re-arrange the council meetings.

The council currently meets at the precinct, 2951 West 8th Street, at 7:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month.

While the date is expected to remain the same, the council may start a “road show” where they go to different locations, or hold two meetings to meet the needs of a broader audience, Inspector Johnsen said.

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