Princeton Councilwoman Jo Butler is under investigation by the Mercer County Prosecutor's Officer after she placed a 9-1-1 emergency call to police with no apparent emergency, a fourth degree indictable crime in New Jersey.
"There is an active investigation with regard to that 9-1-1 call," said Casey DeBlasio, a spokeswoman for the Prosecutor's Office. "No charges have been filed."
According to multiple sources, Butler allegedly made the call from the Dinky station on Sept. 18 and when an operator answered the emergency call, a woman believed to be Butler asked the dispatcher where she was calling: Princeton University's Department of Public Safety or Princeton Police?
She hung up after the operator ignored her question and tried to ascertain the nature of the emergency.
When the 9-1-1 operator called the woman believed to be Butler back, Butler allegedly declared that she was "an elected official."
She did not describe an emergency.
According to the New Jersey Criminal Code, N.J.S.A. 2C:33-3 e, "a person is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree if the person knowingly places a call to a 9-1-1 emergency telephone system without purpose of reporting the need for 9-1-1 service."
Patch requested a copy of the 9-1-1 call under the state's Open Public Records Act, but the request was denied by Princeton Police due to the Prosecutor's open investigation.
This is not the first time there has been concern over where 9-1-1 calls are routed from the Princeton University campus. In February, a report from nj.com reported that 9-1-1 calls from land lines on campus and University-owned buildings off campus were routed to the University's Department of Public Safety, while calls from cell phones were routed to Princeton Police dispatchers.
At the time, some public officials, including Butler, expressed concern about possible delays or miscommunication in routing more serious incidents from the University to local police. There could even be cases where they said University may want to sweep certain incidents under the rug, according to nj.com.
At the time, Princeton Police Capt. Nick Sutter said police were working on a agreement to outline the responsibilities between the University and the municipal police and that a priority was making sure that all 911 calls were routed to one central location. The two departments announced they had come to an agreement in May, outlining which department would reply to what types of incident. Specific details were not released.
On Sept. 18, Butler's call was routed to a dispatcher in the Princeton Police Department.
Butler was contacted twice on Tuesday for comment. She responded with a text message on Tuesday night saying she would not be available to discuss the matter until Thursday.