Billings Police Officer Arrested, Charged with DUI
A six-year veteran of the Billings Police Department was arrested and charged for driving under the influence, according to a press release.
According to the report, Officer Jeffrey Stovall was charged with first offense DUI by the Yellowstone County Sheriff's Department on May 22, 2020. Deputies responded to a 911 call by a woman who reportedly saw Stovall drive off the road in a black Dodge truck near King Avenue West and S. 64th Street West.
Stovall was off-duty and driving his personal vehicle when the incident occurred around 1:20am, according to the press release.
Officer Stovall was immediately placed on administrative leave while internal and criminal investigations were completed by the Billings Police Department. According to the press release, on June 22, the internal investigation concluded that Officer Stovall violated BPD policies, and he received the following disciplinary action:
- Two week suspension without pay. (Officer Stovall has already completed the suspension and has returned to duty, according to the press release.)
- Removal from US Marshals Service Violent Offenders Task Force, and reassigned to patrol for a minimum of two (2) years.
- Removal from BPD Swat Team.
- Ineligible for any collateral duty for a period of two (2) years.
- Incident reported to Montana P.O.S.T. with a recommendation for admonishment and two (2) years probation.
Officer Stovall intends to plead guilty to the DUI charges, and has "completed all requisite court ordered requirements prior to any court order," according to the press release.
I am disappointed that some officers fail to realize they represent this organization both on and off duty. Actions such as this are not just embarrassing on a personal level; they discredit the entire police department. It is particularly troubling when one of our officers violates the very law we are trying to enforce. It undermines the trust and confidence of the community Simply stated, this conduct is unacceptable and not representative of the BPD. -Billings Police Chief Rich St. John
BPD Chief St. John said this incident "does not define" the officer, and that Officer Stovall has "owned his mistake, taken responsibility, and taken steps to correct the matter." Chief St. John also said that Officer Stovall would "learn from his mistakes, not repeat them, and continue to be an asset to this department and community."