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- The Marcus Alert System
- Equity at Intercept 0
- Marcus Alert Toolkit for Localities
- Resources From the State Stakeholder Planning Group
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.
WHAT IS MARCUS ALERT?
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.
WHERE IS MARCUS ALERT NOW AVAILABLE?
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, 2026 to begin Marcus Alert.
WHAT HAPPENS NOW?
- If you or a loved one make a call to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273- TALK) 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)
- 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.