To the editor,

I would first like to thank the Heartland Patriots, all the speakers and everyone who showed up at the Heartland Patriots meeting last night. The meeting topic was opiates/drug issues in Van Wert County.

There was a large variety of people there from our community even Adams County Indiana. Amongst this group was Van Wert’s Mayor Jerry Mazur, Judge Martin Burchfield, Commissioner Thad Lichtensteiger and Sheriff Thomas Riggenbach, which showed great support from our “leaders”.

It was very reassuring to hear Van Wert Hospital and some surrounding physicians are looking into different types of pain management other than narcotics, it was also great to hear the state is pushing for change in the medical field.

A Better Life – Brianna’s Hope group was VERY inspiring, educating and gave a ray of hope for Van Wert County to be able to turn this town around.

Sheriff Riggenbach spoke of the deputies and the jail carrying Narcan to help save a life until the EMS can arrive. He spoke of the jail getting a “body scanner” to help keep items out of the jail (which I must say is money well spent). The Sheriff also explained the monies came from Van Wert getting paid to keep prisoners from other counties overcrowded jails, which is also a win for the Van Wert tax payers.

However, I left this meeting wondering what are Van Wert “leaders” doing or going to do to help with the drug issues in our county. If Van Wert continues to house out of county prisoners can the monies be used to fund a program like A Better Life – Brianna’s Hope?

With all the churches in Van Wert County why was only one Pastor (White Horse Biker Church) present. Please understand I am not blaming anyone. However, there are many small groups trying to make a difference and help all the families in need. I strongly believe WE as a county need to make a difference. If everyone pulled together we can make a huge difference. I would love to see the City officials involved, the city businesses, local people making changes.

After these people are clean and sober they need help getting their lives back together. Education, life skills, jobs, anything to get them headed back on the right path. It will take the entire county to end our war on drugs.


Shannan Boroff