New 911 database to include mental health

New 911 database to include mental health
911 Communications Center/HENRY COUNTY

A new database will keep Henry County and Martinsville citizens and first responders safer in an emergency.

JR Powell, the dispatch director for the Martinsville-Henry County 911 Center, said law enforcement doesn’t always know what to expect on a 911 call. They also don’t always know when someone’s having a mental health crisis, which can be dangerous for the citizen and the first responder.

This month, the center launched an online database where citizens can enter their own or a family member’s mental health information.

It’s a statewide initiative stemming from a Virginia bill passed last year after the death of Marcus-David Peters, a Virginia man who was shot and killed by police in 2018 in the midst of a mental health crisis.