Marcus Alert is a statewide behavioral health framework designed with protocols that emergency responders use to respond to individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis. The law is named in honor of Marcus David-Peters, a high school biology teacher who was killed by a police officer in Richmond while experiencing a behavioral health crisis in 2018.
Marcus Alert aims to provide an appropriate behavioral health response for individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis by:
- Limiting the involvement of law enforcement officers (to the safest extent possible for all parties) and facilitate a specialized law enforcement response to behavioral health crisis situations when needed.
- Diverting individuals away from the criminal justice system and instead to resources and supports for treatment and recovery
- Achieving positive outcomes for individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis
- Increasing awareness and understanding of available behavioral health resources in our community
The RapidSOS Database is one step in achieving the Marcus Alert.
Sign Up for RapidSOS
If someone in your household has a behavioral health condition, you are encouraged to create a RapidSOS profile. This free and confidential service provides 911 call-takers with important information when you call from your registered mobile device - information that you choose to share - that can then be passed along to first responders.
The Marcus Alert law requires all localities in Virginia to establish a database, however participation in the service from individuals in any community is 100% voluntary.