A New Orleans 911 operator is on the run from the police after having been caught taking emergency calls and then deliberately hanging up on people in need of emergency assistance. Precious Stephens, 25, has been fired from her job and is apparently in hiding currently. Police are seeking information about where she may currently be. If caught she faces up to five years in prison.
911 operator deliberately dropped calls
A routine investigation into the quality of calls fielded by the 911 operator on August 20 and 21 made an alarming discovery.
Stephens is accused of intentionally hanging up the calls she received on these dates without performing the duties of her position.
She did not collect and convey the necessary information from individuals calling with emergencies, meaning that she was deliberately preventing people from receiving the assistance they required.
The duration of this behavior is unclear. The specific dates are cited as those on which the behavior was noticed but it is possible that Stephens was routinely doing this.
Authorities did not speculate about a possible motive for this behavior, which could theoretically arise from either malice or laziness.
The 911 operator was immediately fired as soon as her behavior was discovered and the information was given to the New Orleans Police Department.
#NOPDWanted: Precious Stephens (pictured) sought on charges of malfeasance in office and interfering with an emergency communication. Call #NOPD at 504-658-6030 or @CrimestopperGNO at 504-822-1111 w/any info on her whereabouts. pic.twitter.com/eu0PyTzLVA
— NOPD (@NOPDNews) September 2, 2021
Serious charges for fugitive operator
Precious Stephens is apparently still in hiding after multiple days spent as a fugitive. Police indicate that they may offer a reward for information leading to her arrest.
As a former 911 operator she was a public employee, meaning that she faces serious charges if she is captured, which must be only a matter of time.
She is charged with malfeasance in office, which is defined as unlawfully performing a job in public service and could result in up to five years in prison.
Stephens appears to be guilty of both wasting taxpayer dollars as a public employee and abandoning people in potentially life-threatening situations.
Whatever the 911 calls she dismissed were, it is clear that deliberately ignoring someone who calls with an emergency is a severe offense which might have led to deaths or injuries.
The other troubles experienced by New Orleans and Louisiana lately may be aiding Stephens in her evasion of the law but she is still being actively hunted by police.