COVINGTON, Ky. — Covington is investing heavily into the security along its riverfront thanks to a federal grant.

What You Need To Know

  • A federal grant is helping Covington put up 18 new cameras along the riverfront

  • The cameras will help police keep an eye on boat accidents, flooding and crime

  • They will be placed on poles and buildings, but won’t show private homes

  • One Covington man says he thinks the cameras will make people feel more safe

The money is going to allow the city to have eyes on the water at all times to better prevent bad things from happening.

“I didn't know it was happening, but I’m glad it is,” John Donaschko said. 

Domaschko walks the riverfront with his wife almost everyday, usually without a care in the world.

“I think in the daytime, I never feel particularly threatened walking down along the river,” he said. “There are things that happen down here that are safety issues for the people to whom they’re happening.”

The good news for Domaschko, and anyone else who’d like to see a little added security on the riverfront, is Covington is putting in 18 new security cameras.

The cameras will be placed on poles and buildings between the Licking River and Brent Spence Bridge.

It’s part of a new wireless video surveillance system, paid with a Port Security Grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The system will be linked to an existing comprehensive network called the Ohio River Port Security Camera Program. The Covington Board of Commissioners recently approved a contract for nearly $180,000 with Digital Visions Security Technologies.

The Covington Police Department said the cameras help officers watch out for things like runaway barges, boat accidents, drownings, trouble on bridges, flooding, and special events.

“Basically this adds additional eyes in an area that’s challenging to patrol, enabling us to both protect assets such as the new Riverfront Commons features and enhance the safety of people who visit the area,” said Lt. Col. Brian Valenti, assistant chief of the Covington Police Department.

“I don’t think cameras hurt anything,” Domaschko said. “I think anything you can do to make residents feel comfortable walking around outside, especially in the summertime, it just makes the city more vibrant. So I’m a fan. I think it’s a great idea.”

The cameras are not up yet as the department is still in the planning stage and design stage, but CPD said it hopes to have them operating by mid summer, or Riverfest at the latest.

As of now, 14 of the cameras will have a 180-degree field of view and four will be able to rotate 360 degrees and also have 40X zoom capability. All will feature both day and night vision. They will now show private homes.

Covington police do not have the staffing required to monitor the cameras in real time but have the ability to do so if necessary or during special events, Valenti said. Footage will be recorded and kept for at least 14 days.

The cameras also provide insight during tabletop exercises following training scenarios used to prepare for emergencies like terrorist attacks or an “active shooter,” he said.