The Marcus-David Peters Act

The Marcus Alert System

The Marcus Alert is named after Marcus-David Peters, a young, Black biology teacher; killed by Richmond police in 2018 amid a mental health crisis. The goal of the Marcus Alert is to provide a behavioral health response to behavioral health emergencies.


Marcus Alert enhances services for people experiencing a crisis related to mental health, substance use, or developmental disability. Marcus Alert creates coordination between 911 and regional crisis call centers and establishes a specialized behavioral health response from law enforcement when responding to a behavioral health situation.


The program is now available in 5 localities, one within each region of the State.

  • Western VA : Madison County, Fauquier County, Warrenton and Culpeper City (Rappahannock-Rapidan Community Services)
  • Northern VA : Prince William County (Prince William County Community Services)
  • Southwest VA: City of Bristol and Washington County including the Towns of Abingdon, Damascus, and Glade Spring (Highlands CSB)
  • Central VA : City of Richmond (Richmond Behavioral Health Authority)
  • Southeast VA: City of Virginia Beach (Virginia Beach Human Services )

The remaining cities and counties in Virginia have until July 1, 2028 to begin Marcus Alert.


  • If you or a loved one make a call to the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline for a behavioral health crisis, you will be connected to the new regional crisis call centers.
  • The regional crisis call center staff are trained to assess calls for what type of intervention is needed. They offer services ranging from over the phone de-escalation to mobile crisis dispatch. In more severe cases, they will also coordinate with law enforcement to arrive on the scene.
  • Mobile Crisis Team – adult or youth
  • REACH Crisis Team (services those with developmental disabilities)
  • Mobile Co-Responder Team (includes Law Enforcement and clinicians)
  • CIT Trained Officers
  • Other community response teams
  • As a last resort, traditionally trained Law Enforcement, EMS, and/or Fire may be dispatched to the scene.

The Statewide Marcus Alert Stakeholder Meeting convenes every six months, and it is open to the public. If you would like to join, the Zoom link is:

Meeting ID: 161 657 9348
Passcode: 669593

The next meeting date is February 27, 2023 at 3pm.

Please visit our YouTube page to see past recorded meetings.