Precious Stephens New Orleans 911 dispatcher who deliberately hung up on callers fired and now wanted as woman yet to be arrested.
A 911 phone operator in New Orleans has been accused of deliberately hanging up on callers who dialed the emergency response line for help without taking down their information or passing it on to first-responders.
Precious Stephens, 25, faces charges of malfeasance and interfering with an emergency communication after disconnecting phone calls without getting any information or relaying the incidents to emergency dispatchers, the New Orleans Police Department said.
Louisiana defines malfeasance in office as someone failing or refusing to perform any duty lawfully required of them. If convicted of both charges, Stephens could face up to five-and-a-half years in prison and a fine.
The Orleans Parish Communications District reported Stephens to police on Aug. 23 after investigating a random set of calls with Stephens during her shifts on Aug. 20 and Aug. 21, officials told NOLA.com.
“(The district) has and will continue to cooperate with the … investigation into this matter and is dedicated to providing any and all assistance to aid in (the) efforts,” read a statement from the communications district.
The district said in a statement that its own internal policies helped identify problems with Stephens, who was then referred to the police. The investigation led to Stephens being fired from her job with the Orleans Parish Communication District
Not immediately clear is what led to the emergency dispatcher allegedly hanging up on callers. Also unclear is how long Stephens had worked for district and other previous instances of intentionally disconnecting with callers.
As of Friday morning, the wanted woman had yet to be arrested.
Police are asking anyone with information on Stephens’ whereabouts to call Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.