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Hookers and Heroin Growing Problem in Mainstrasse

Mainstrasse Village is Covington's and one of the region's most vibrant entertainment districts but there is a growing problem with new visitors to the more residential parts of the neighborhood. Prostitutes are visible in daylight and at night working corners at Ninth and Main Streets, walking along Pike Street, loitering around Philadelphia, Greer, Bakewell, Seventh, and Eighth Streets. The issue has grown significantly in the past few months, so much so that Covington Police have dedicated a special 4-man task force to crack down on it. Police Chief Spike Jones attended Wednesday's Residents of Mainstrasse Association (ROMA) meeting at Chez Nora and explained the problem is deeper than prostitution and different than just metal theft, another growing problem across the City. "Folks out prostituting are doing it to feed their addiction, stealing copper to feed their addiction," Jones said, noting that most if not all of these new troubles can be blamed on an old problem: heroin. "It's to the point that they're not always doing it to get high, they're doing it to keep from getting sick."

The heroin epidemic plaguing Northern Kentucky and much of the country is even visible in parking lots across town, particularly the ones that surround Mainstrasse. Jones said it was not uncommon to discover addicts passed out in vehicles or bathroom stalls with syringes hanging from their arms at gas stations and fast food restaurants. Every day the Covington Police deal with at least one heroin overdose and while the drug is the root of the related problems, the Police have their hands full combating the growing number of street walkers who cannot be taken to jail for prostitution but rather only for a related charge, loitering for prostitution, thanks to a change in state statute to address jail overcrowding. Jones explained that some of these prostitutes taken into custody are only in jail for half an hour. 

"We can't do it by ourselves," the chief said. He has met with the new local command post director of the Kentucky State Police and the Newport Police Chief and hopes to meet with the Cincinnati Police Chief to discuss strategy. In the meantime, Covington officers will continue undercover and more overt work to tackle the prostitution problem in Covington's most visited neighborhood. One officer working the beat tells The River City News that he only carries $15 in cash and that is usually enough to entice one of the streetwalkers. Heroin is mostly sold in $20, $40, or $60 packages and a few of the houses distributing the drug are also being identified and targeted for future arrests.

"We've got these good neighborhoods and these great people living in them and they have to deal with this mess," Jones said, adding that phone calls to the police from concerned residents are encouraged. "When you see something, burn the phones up."



I have a friend who is a Hamilton County Sheriff's Deputy.  He and fellow Deputies often take off hours security details at restaurants and other establishments in high crime areas.  The establishment owners pay the off duty police men, to serve as uniformed security, to act as visual deterrents.  Is this something that can be done here?

How about the city of Covington accept the prostitutes, move them to a part of the city where they can legally operate, and have the police focus on the actual crimes of hard-drugs and violence? If handled properly, prostitution can be safe, and not raise crime rates.

Also, most people who are prostitutes have addiction problems, which is why they started hooking in the first place. How about we help some of these women out instead of expanding their criminal records? These suggestions would lead to a safer city, with greater liberty, lower crime, and better treatment for those who want it.

sure, some tax dollars would need to be spent. But they're spending them anyway. We might as well get better and more permanent results from it.

Yeah legalize prostitution... that's a perfect answer... NOT!!! 

Drugs are bad....M'kay

Cheap hookers? I don't understand the problem.

In the above article, Chief Jones is said to believe heroin addiction to be the root of these problems.   If this is true, then it seems that the only effective fix would be to treat the heroin problem.  I don't know how this is done.  Are there treatment programs available for addicts in Covington?  I remember a recent kerfuffle about a planned methadone clinic.  It does seem like a wasteful use of resources to only go after the resulting crime without tackling the root cause.


Did anyone ever stop and think that drug dealing and prostitution, peddling, scrapping, etc they all move money through the streets of Covington whether we like it or not. Cant wait til the city buiids the new project on the river and prostitutes and drug dealers stroll down the boardwalk. they will be the only ones making money. If the city wants to improve its image they should have a standard for decency. Drug dealers, prostitutes, repeat offenders etc should be ousted because of public nuisance. A lot of lawyers, cops , business men etc wouldnt be able to get their quick fix right away. Contrary to what people believe it happens every day. Through police power and enabling acts our local officials should be able to come up with a solution. Just a few thoughts that can be elaborated

I think Mr. Jones in Verona has a way of dealing with heroin addicts that decide to steel to fulfill there addictions. Drug heads take notice the people in Ky. are getting sick of this. So one way or another your going to die if not from the drug then from someone that is going to shoot you for trying to rob them. To all the law abiding hard working people out there, get your CDW permit and start protecting yourself and property.

Another example of people in State government being completely out of touch with local issues.