New system aims to improve Virginia’s mental health response

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia is launching a new system to improve the response to mental health emergencies.

News outlets report that the Marcus Alert system launches Wednesday in five regions in the state.

The system is named for Marcus-David Peters, who was fatally shot in 2018 by police after he charged an officer amid a behavioral health crisis.

It will start as a pilot program in Richmond, Virginia Beach, Prince William County, Bristol and adjacent Washington County, and five counties in the northern Piedmont. It must expand to all parts of the state by July 1, 2026.

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