COVINGTON -- Criminals who intend to target the Covington Housing Authority had better think twice: There will be an increased police presence there thanks to an agreement reached to hire off-duty officers to work security.
Police Chief Stacey Cotton notified the Covington City Council at its Sept. 6 meeting that Housing Authority Director Greg Williams requested the arrangement due to an increase in criminal activity at the complex off Alcovy Road.
The Housing Authority will pay off-duty police officers to work in four-hour shifts during what are traditionally peak times for complaints, Cotton said. The officers will be paid $35 per hour by the Housing Authority.
Officers will be on foot, on golf carts and at times in vehicles. The Housing Authority will not pay for the use of CPD vehicles, but Cotton said they are needed because of the size of the complex and for safety.
"We benefit if we need to lock somebody in the car or if we need to stop a vehicle, we'll have the blue lights," he said.
As with all side jobs, the shifts will be posted in the Police Department and all officers will have an equal opportunity to work, Cotton said.
There is a recurring problem with trespassing by individuals who have been banned from the property due to past criminal acts. CPD officers will be on the lookout for those individuals and have the authority to ban others when warranted, he said. They will also work with residents to address their concerns.
The CPD previously had a precinct at the Housing Authority that was funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Funding was pulled a few years ago, and the precinct was closed.
"Obviously without our attention (the criminals) are out again," he said. But now, "If they're willing to fund it, we're willing to do it."
The council was not required to vote on the matter, but informally expressed support for the arrangement.