Richmond to hold Marcus Alert community forum

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The City of Richmond will hold a community forum on Sept. 25 from 1 – 2:30 p.m. to answer questions and take community feedback on implementation of the Marcus Alert system.

The forum, the second of its kind this week, will be held online, and participants can call in over the phone or join with Zoom.

The Marcus Alert is a statewide program designed to provide an alternative to police for people undergoing mental health crises. The program is named after Marcus David Peters, a Black man who was killed by Richmond Police while unarmed and experiencing a mental health crisis.

Statewide, the concept has been advocated by Democrats in the General Assembly, and by Princess Blanding, a gubernatorial candidate and sister of Marcus David Peters.

According tot he City of Richmond, their Marcus Alert system will feature two main elements: a voluntary database of “health profiles” that will allow emergency response teams to determine when a police response isn’t appropriate, and a process to use mobile crisis teams in place of police in some situations.

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