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Newport Mayor Offers Reward for Covington Crime, Chief Vows Increased Patrol

Covington Police Chief Spike Jones vows to increase stops in Peaselburg and to enforce the city's teen curfew more rigidly after multiple planters were vandalized for the second straight year in the neighborhood.

"It's not going unnoticed by us. All I can offer to you is, I know we're working on it and we're taking it seriously," Jones told residents of the neighborhood during his monthly forum at the Center for Great Neighborhoods. "It's symptomatic of behavior far worse than that."

The planters, some completely destroyed, were vandalized late Wednesday night by what witnesses described as young teens.

"If things seem a bit rigid in the Peaselburg area and police are stopping a lot of teenagers, I wouldn't be shocked," Jones said. "Nine out of ten times, it's how we find out what's going on."

Resident Tony McCallister said some residents who witnessed the crime are scared to come forward for fear of retribution. "We've got people in the neighborhood who are qualified to carry (firearms), they have security systems in their homes, they're living scared," he said.

Meanwhile, Newport Mayor Jerry Peluso said he will give $100 to the person who brings the vandals to justice. "It saddens me when I hear or read something like this," Peluso wrote in a comment at The River City News website. "Many people who give of their time to help make their neighborhood inviting and beautiful should not be discouraged because of hateful acts by small people. Unfortunately this happens in a lot of communities. However, for the people who want positive change we can't give up. I applaud the residents of Covington and Newport for their beautification efforts. It's so important we continue to improve our communities but also to call out and find the people who destroy the hard work of people who do care."

Written by Michael Monks, editor & publisher of The River City News

Photo via Peaselburg Facebook page