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Sheriff Lain Coffee Klatches

Sheriff David Lain chats with Betty Lou Black (left) and Donna Keene during a visit at the Campbell Street Cafe in Meridian Woods in Valparaiso.

Photo curiosity of Andy Lavalley/Post-Tribune

Porter County sheriff gets a chance to chat

David Lain connects to senior citizens with coffee klatches

October 15, 2008

By Amy Lavalley Post-Tribune correspondent

VALPARAISO -- In an hour that was part joking around, part answering questions and completely casual, Porter County Sheriff David Lain met Tuesday with a group of senior citizens .

Lain, who held the first in a series of coffee klatches at Campbell Street Cafe in Meridian Woods, fielded personal questions about how his teen-age daughter was doing after a horseback riding accident a couple years ago, as well as queries about the sheriff's department, its staffing levels, and programs it offers for seniors.

He bantered easily with the crowd, handing out calendars, his business card, and jokey "get out of jail free" cards, as well as refilling the cafe's bright yellow coffee mugs for anyone who needed more coffee.

"He approached us and said this is something he wanted to do. We immediately thought it was a wonderful idea," said Jill Pfister, public relations director for Pines Village Retirement Communities, which includes Meridian Woods.

Lain told the group he missed interaction with the public now that his job demands he be at his desk rather than in a police car and, with the loss of a cable show on the department, there were fewer opportunities for folks to find out what was going on.

The coffee meetings, he said, provided the chance to find out what people's concerns were.

"I think it's a good idea. We obviously have a lot of questions for him," said Meridian Woods resident Frank Krysinski, who asked Lain about staffing within the department. Lain said his department is short 10 officers.

Donna Keene, who lives at Meridian Woods with her father, 86, wanted to about Project Lifesaver, an electronic monitoring system for people who suffer from memory loss. That was of particular interest to Keene, who said her father's biggest fear is Alzheimer's disease.

The monitoring system is provided by Porter County Triad, a partnership between the sheriff1s department and social service agencies to provide services to senior citizens.

"It was nice to know there were other places to go besides our community to learn about other help for our seniors," Keene said.

Porter County Sheriff David Lain will meet senior citizens for coffee at 8 a.m. the second Tuesday of each month at Campbell Street Cafe in Meridian Woods, Valparaiso

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