Virginia Law Enforcement, Mental Health Advocates Call for American Recovery Plan Act Funding, Legislative Solutions to Mental Health Capacity Crisis

Five of Virginia’s eight state-run mental health hospitals remain closed to civil temporary detention order (TDO) admissions due to dangerously low staffing levels. That’s increasing pressure on other pieces of Virginia’s mental health care system. On Tuesday, the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police (VACP) led a press conference where speakers called for the General Assembly to use American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) funds and long-term budget increases to help address the crisis.

“The mental health system in Virginia is clearly broken. We’ve seen the slow degradation of available resources in the state over time, and what we have also seen is the need for mental health resources has continued to grow,” VACP President Herndon Police Chief Maggie DeBoard said.

Read More

Virginia Police Advocate: Breonna’s Law Too Broad, but Not All Bad

Governor Ralph Northam ceremonially signed “Breonna’s Law” on Monday. The law bans no-knock warrants and is named after Breonna Taylor, a Kentucky resident who was killed in her home in March by police. It also bans night-time search warrants without authorization by a judge or magistrate. But Virginia police advocates say the law is too broad — a wholesale ban on a law enforcement tool that they say is already rarely used.

Read More