Drugs

In summer of topless women, plainclothes cops keep eye out for Times Square street hustlers

  • A costumed character walks past a New York Police Department officer in plain clothes Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, in New York's Times Square. Concerned that Times Square is becoming less wholesome, the NYPD is assigning plainclothes officers to discourage aggressive panhandling in a tourist attraction that long ago rid itself of prostitutes and junkies. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

    A costumed character walks past a New York Police Department officer in plain clothes Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, in New York's Times Square. Concerned that Times Square is becoming less wholesome, the NYPD is assigning plainclothes officers to discourage aggressive panhandling in a tourist attraction that long ago rid itself of prostitutes and junkies. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)  (The Associated Press)

  • A costumed character dressed as the Statue of Liberty interacts with visitors in Times Square Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, in New York. Concerned that Times Square is becoming less wholesome, the NYPD is assigning plainclothes officers to discourage aggressive panhandling in a tourist attraction that long ago rid itself of prostitutes and junkies. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

    A costumed character dressed as the Statue of Liberty interacts with visitors in Times Square Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, in New York. Concerned that Times Square is becoming less wholesome, the NYPD is assigning plainclothes officers to discourage aggressive panhandling in a tourist attraction that long ago rid itself of prostitutes and junkies. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)  (The Associated Press)

  • An New York Police Department officer in plain clothes, left,  blends into a crowd Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, in New York's Times Square. Concerned that Times Square is becoming less wholesome, the NYPD is assigning plainclothes officers to discourage aggressive panhandling in a tourist attraction that long ago rid itself of prostitutes and junkies. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

    An New York Police Department officer in plain clothes, left, blends into a crowd Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, in New York's Times Square. Concerned that Times Square is becoming less wholesome, the NYPD is assigning plainclothes officers to discourage aggressive panhandling in a tourist attraction that long ago rid itself of prostitutes and junkies. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)  (The Associated Press)

The New York Police Department is using undercover and plainclothes officers to respond to concerns about the topless, painted women who have become a summer sensation.

The officers blend in with tourists and try to spot trouble related to the women and others who troll Times Square for tips from tourists in exchange for photos.

Police say Times Square remains one of the safest spots in the city. But last week, two undercover officers arrested one of the topless women and her handler on drug and prostitution charges. Earlier that same night, a South Carolina businessman was arrested on charges he assaulted another topless woman he accused of stealing his wallet.

Police officials say the cases show the need for plainclothes enforcement.