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We began this journey by broadcasting live at a local radio station, WVLP, and quickly realized that there was a demand for information about substance use disorder that stretched further than Porter County, Indiana.  It is our hope that through our and our partner's knowledge we can be an entertaining source of education.

Mar 18, 2020

A rookie on the force for 3 years in the small town of Griffith, Indiana with a population of less than 17,000, Officer Rick Merschantz and his partner David Borgetti observantly noted the patterns of the 911 calls.

The calls originating from the same addresses yielded the same distressing scenarios – domestic disputes, drug use and possession altercations, and overdose victims. In an effort to decrease the town statistics of overdose deaths and provide a viable solution, Merschantz and Borgetti began to research a fledging program called “Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative or PARRI piloted in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

We will discuss the nuts and bolts of PARRI and how this small town with the big idea of coordinating resources has changed the face of the entire region of Northwest Indiana. Join Dawn Pelc as she welcomes the team that made this possible – Griffith Police Officer Rick Merschantz, Griffith Police social worker and coordinator Erica Rios and IUN/IUPUI Master of Social Work Field Coordinator Jennifer Hippie.