About the Marcus-David Peters Act and Marcus Alert
The Marcus-David Peters Act was signed into law in late 2020 by Governor Ralph Northam, and named for Marcus-David Peters: a young, Black biology teacher who was killed by Richmond police in 2018 while experiencing a mental health crisis.
The Act aims to ensure that the emergency response to a behavioral health crisis is a behavioral health response, and will lead to the creation of a mental health alert system (“Marcus Alert”), with coordination at state, regional, and local levels.
What is the role of the Marcus Alert Stakeholder Group?
As Virginia localities plan, develop, and implement the requirements of the Marcus-David Peters Act, they must form a local Stakeholder Group to identify opportunities, goals, and capacity, and to draft our Marcus Alert Local Plan.
Arlington’s Stakeholder Group is representative of the community and is comprised of persons from local agencies, nonprofits, law enforcement, private practices, and advocacy organizations, as well as individuals and families who have lived experience with mental health, substance use, or a developmental disability, and/or involvement with the criminal justice system.
Arlington’s Stakeholder Group is divided into two subgroups: a Mission Group, and a Technical Group. The Mission Group will set priorities, establish timelines, receive regular updates from staff, review implementation progress, and make recommendations for action. The Technical Group will examine the County's current behavioral health crisis system, gather input from the community, and use this input to draft a Marcus Alert Local Plan that will create a more responsive, health-focused, trauma-informed behavioral health crisis system.