Guizhen Wang talks about the information gleaned from iVALET (Mobile Visual Analytics Law Enforcement Toolkit) Tuesday, September 26, 2017, in Potter Engineering Center on the campus of Purdue University. Wang and Chittayong Surakitbanharn developed iVALET and have been using the software with Lafayette Police Department to visualize crime data from Lafayette. Staff photo by John Terhune/Journal & Courier
WEST LAFAYETTE — Tackling Tippecanoe County's heroin epidemic will require a broad approach that spans fields such as medicine, public safety, law enforcement and mental health.
But Purdue University engineers believe they also can play a role in finding solutions to one of the biggest challenges currently facing Indiana.
Such collaboration was the focus of a discussion Sept. 12 at Purdue by Jim McClelland, who was recently appointed Indiana executive director for drug treatment, prevention and enforcement.
McClelland outlined the state's strategic goals in addressing heroin abuse, one of which is to allocate resources more efficiently through predictive analytics technology.
"Our approach is going to be increasingly data-driven," McClelland said. "Right now, our data systems are not yet giving us access to the kind of timely, useful, actionable information that we really need in order to be able to make decisions and deploy resources in an optimum manner.
"As soon as possible, we want to get to a position where we can start using predictive analytics to help us get ahead of some aspects of this problem."