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Alternative Transportation Program Begins Today

January 28, 2020 | 0 Comments
by Region Ten

Today marks the beginning of a program to safely and respectfully transport some individuals under a Temporary Detention Order (TDO) in our region. 

Currently, Virginia law requires a magistrate issuing a TDO to specify a law enforcement agency to transport individuals to the location for evaluation or temporary detention, however, the Alternative Transportation program will allow the magistrate to consider using a security company, G4Sfor transport if the CSB prescreener determines that this is appropriate.

The individuals providing transport through G4S are specially trained drivers of secure, unmarked vehicles and will be unarmed and wearing plain clothes. No restraints will be used during transport in an effort to provide safe and secure transportation that is trauma-informed and focused on a person’s recovery and engagement in treatment. Utilizing the Alternative Transportation program will also ease the burden on law enforcement agencies to provide transportation when an individual is placed on a TDO. 

“We’ve been advocating for this program for several years, and were excited when the funds were approved,” said Region Ten’s Emergency Services Director, Curt Gleeson. “The early success in Southwest Virginia over the last few months has been affirming, and now we will start to carefully roll it out in our area. The relief for law enforcement will be tremendous, but even more important is the improved client-centered experience.”

In 2015, the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) established a pilot program with Mount Rogers CSB in southwest Virginia to see if an Alternative Transportation program would be effective. Over a 12 month pilot period, 40 percent of individuals placed on a TDO were deemed appropriate for Alternative Transportation and were transported safely and securely, while also providing relief to law enforcement. In 2018, the General Assembly appropriated funding to expand the Alternative Transportation program statewide with DBHDS forming a plan to gradually roll out the program across the state. A schedule for children and adolescents is under development with the goal of being implemented statewide by 2021. 

For more information about the program see the DBHDS website. 

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