FORT THOMAS, Ky. --"Heroin rush hour" has some telltale signs in northern Kentucky, like a car filled with people in their pajamas venturing to Cincinnati around 9 or 10 a.m.
That's what police in Fort Thomas say.
The city's police department recently launched a three-officer Heroin Interdiction Team to get heroin off the roadways, The Kentucky Enquirer reported.
Sgt. Chris Goshorn said officers have noticed addicts tend to wake up and drive north to nearby Cincinnati for their next fix around 9 or 10 a.m.
With many addicts pooling their gas money together for the trip north, a car full of people in their pajamas can tip investigators to check for an intoxicated driver at the wheel, Officer Derek Faught said.
Of course, a pajama-wearing driver isn't a reason to pull a vehicle over. In order for officers to make a stop, Faught said police need a reason beyond heroin suspicion, such as traffic infractions or not wearing a seat belt.
"We're looking for those intoxicated drivers," he said. "We want to get them off the road."
The anti-heroin unit has made 143 drug charges since it was launched in February in response to seeing multiple heroin-related interstate crashes, Whitford said.
The word is getting out among addicts to avoid Fort Thomas, police said, but Whitford hopes his department's approach will spur other police agencies in the area to focus on spotting heroin-using drivers.
"Mostly, I want to see those people get help," Hoffman said.