Today, the General Assembly's Joint Commission on Mental Health took a tour of the Dodge Durango, one of which will be used in the Commonwealth's alternative transportation initiative. @G4S will provide transportation services for people experiencing a #mentalhealth crisis. #VA pic.twitter.com/YafFJjtaVv— Virginia DBHDS (@VirginiaDBHDS) September 23, 2019
Virginia is adding unmarked SUVs to its fleet to transport subjects of involuntary mental health detentions to psychiatric hospitals. The state has contracted with a private security firm to take over the task, which was previously performed by police officers in marked patrol cars, WVTF reported.
The vehicles have plastic covered seats, no sharp or dangerous objects, cameras that can record both the driver and passenger, and plexiglass partitions between the driver and passenger.
One of the vehicles is a Dodge Durango, which officials got a chance to look at in late September. The new vehicles will “fundamentally change how individuals under a [temporary detention order] are transported from the evaluation site to inpatient psychiatric treatment,” the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services wrote in a Facebook post.