About LCSAC

The Lake County Substance Abuse Council (LCSAC) is made up of individuals and organizations that want to see the reduction of incidence and prevalence of substance use among adults and adolescents in Lake County, Indiana. This coalition brings together all sectors of the community to build a safe, happy, and healthy environment for its residents. Members include professionals from the prevention/education, treatment/intervention, and law enforcement/justice fields. These members work together towards one goal: substance free environments for the Lake County residents. Please consider becoming involved in the LCSAC to join in the effort to combat drug and alcohol abuse in our county. Any Lake County resident or organization is welcome to join.

The Lake County Substance Abuse Council exists for the following purposes:

  1. To reduce the incidence of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs in Lake County.
  2. To invite groups and individuals who wish to propose programs to combat substance abuse through education, treatment and justice.
  3. To formulate and implement a countywide comprehensive plan.
  4. To fund proposed projects by the awarding of grants from the local portion of the Drug Free Community Fund to help fulfill the Mission.
  5. To hold accountable those individuals and organizations receiving grants from the Council, requiring that their project is geared towards the Council’s goals and guidelines.
  6. To network and facilitate/foster with similar groups the sharing of information relative to prevention, education, treatment, intervention and justice.
  7. To advocate legislative concerns both locally and statewide as it relates to the goal and vision of the Council..

The Governor’s Commission for a Drug-Free Indiana (DFI) was established in 1989 by an Act of the General Assembly in an effort to accelerate Indiana’s fight against substance abuse. The Commission works in a collaborative capacity with 92 local coordinating councils (LCCs) representing all of Indiana’s (92) counties. Each year, LCCs are charged with implementing comprehensive community plans, which address substance abuse challenges through treatment, prevention and enforcement. Membership of a LCC should include volunteers from a variety of institutions and organizations including education, treatment, social services, and local police. Under state law, funding for the local LCCs are obtained through court-imposed fines from alcohol and drug-related offenders in the county. Of these fines, 75% of these funds are annually awarded back to community individuals and organizations involved in designing and implementing projects and services addressing the actions recommended in the LCSAC 2015 Comprehensive Community Plan. Interested applicants should contact the LCSAC for more information regarding obtaining grant funding

The LCSAC has a set of approved by-laws as a reference for our LCC and its members. This document governs the council and has been in place since August 2011. Lake County Substance Abuse Council By-Laws

The Council is also governed by Indiana State Statute IC 5-2-11. Please see below for the complete state statute. Drug Free Fund Statutes

LCSAC 2015 Comprehensive Community Plan

LCSAC Problem Statements

Albert Gay

Chair

Albert Gay was born and raised in Gary, Indiana.  He was ordained into the ministry in 1994 and since that time he has worked with youth and communities in many capacities.  Albert has been in full time ministry as a youth pastor, where he counseled urban youth in positive directions and provided them with alternative solutions to the “streets.”  Albert expanded into the Prevention field in 1997 when he was employed by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana as a Prevention Coordinator.

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Mike O’Donnell

Vice Chair

Currently employed as a sergeant with the Highland Police department where he has worked for twenty eight years and has served as the school resource officer assigned to Highland schools for the last eleven years. He has been an active part of the LCSAC and the Lake County Drug Free Alliance his entire time with the schools and served as Chairman of the Prevention committee for the last two years.

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Kellie Bittorf

Secretary

Kellie Bittorf accepted the position of Executive Director at Lake County Community Corrections (LCCC) in December 2007.  She dedicated 16 years of service to Porter County PACT, a community corrections agency, prior to joining LCCC.

LCCC has seen an approximate thirty percent increase in both population and operating budget under the direction of Ms. Bittorf’s leadership.  Expansion of programs and services include female work release, problem solving court, IDOC work release contract beds, community outreach and commissary store.

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Pat Murray

Law Enrollment Chair

Patrick Murray is a retired Deputy Chief of Police from the Hazel Crest, Illinois Police Department with 28 years of service, 1977 to 2005. He served in Administration and Patrol, was the Department’s Accreditation Manager, and served as a Watch Commander, FTO, Instructor in firearms and the D.A.R.E® and G.R.E.A.T.® programs.

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Jena Bellezza

Prevention Chair

As IPI’s Vice President of Marketing and Community Relations, Jená has been instrumental in developing IPI’s collaborations with funders, schools, youth-serving organizations, faith-based organizations, state and local organizations, and family service agencies throughout Indiana, and is actively engaged in collaborating with CBOs committed to advancing the well-being of families.

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Myra Dixon

Treatment Chair

Myra Dixon is the founder and Executive Director of Another Chance Outreach Center. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Trinity International University (Deerfield, IL) in Organizational Leadership with a concentration in nonprofit services, and Associates degree from Olive Harvey College (Chicago, Illinois).

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