(WFXR) — An Internal Affairs investigation revealed a Covington police officer “acted in good faith” during a “child in crisis” situation.

The investigation centered around an officer’s actions when taking a young man to a mental hospital in Staunton on Saturday, May 14.

The document — which was released by the City of Covington and Covington Police Department — showed the investigation was initiated as soon as the city manager and police chief were notified about the situation by the Executive Director of the Alleghany Highlands Community Service Board.

According to officials, a magistrate issued a Temporary Detention Order (TDO) for a young man from Covington, stemming from an incident the night before. The officer who responded to the call initiated an Emergency Custody Order (ECO):

“The Covington Police Officer who recognized the need for mental health assistance is the exact same Officer who acted in earnest to carry out their legal obligation as the TDO directed once issued, however
they were prevented from fully doing so, by staff on site at the hospital.”

City of Covington / Covington Police Department

The young man was admitted to the Commonwealth Center for Children and Adolescence “within a minute” of the officer re-entering their car after dropping him off, according to the document.

The release also stated:

“to be clear, our officer, never left the fenced in grounds of the state hospital’s property during their efforts to fulfill their legal obligation of the TDO while maintaining their core values to protect and serve.”

City of Covington / Covington Police Department

It also documented:

“The officer not only remained on the grounds to ensure the young man was taken in, but went back to the state hospital lobby phone and attempted to call the attendant to verify within minutes intake started.”

City of Covington / Covington Police Department

According to the release, the officer says he saw the young man inside the building, behind a secure door, with an employee also within sight, before they “marked out clear” to return to Covington.

Covington’s Division of Police found the officer “acted in good faith” after they completed an Internal Affairs Review which took place between Saturday and Thursday, May 19:

“per the Code of Virginia where the magistrates issues temporary or emergency detention order (TDO/ECO) that directs local law enforcement to transport individuals to designated mental health facilities. Section 37.2-809.1 of the Code of Virginia (1950, as amended), also known as Virginia’s “bed of last resort” statute, states that state-run hospitals are required to accept patients if a space cannot be found at another facility”

City of Covington / Covington Police Department

According to the City of Covington, the Commonwealth-wide problem is that state-run hospitals decline to accept the patient as required by law. Furthermore, officials stated that this “pits law enforcement officers against our mental health professionals and the communities they serve.”

Officials with the investigation say the Covington Division of Police is fully cooperating and will continue to provide crisis intervention training for officers. City and Police officials also stated they will “continue to foster its collaborative relationships with the Alleghany-Covington Department of Social Services and the Alleghany Highlands Community Services Board.”