On May 22, 2020, Officer Jeffrey Stovall, a 6-year veteran of the Billings Police Department, was arrested and charged with a first offense DUI by the Yellowstone County Sheriffs Department. The incident occurred at 0120 hours and Officer Stovall was off-duty and in his personal vehicle.
Officer Stovall was placed on administrative leave pending completion of criminal and internal investigations. On June 22, 2020, the internal investigation determined that Officer Stovall violated BPD policies and the complaint was sustained. Officer Stovall received the following discipline:
- Two week (80 hour) suspension without pay. (Already served and returned to duty)
- Removal from US Marshals Service Violent Offender Task Force and reassigned to patrol for 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) year probation.
Officer Stovall has, or intends to plead guilty to the charge and has completed all requisite court requirements prior to any court order. Additionally, he voluntarily participates in several counseling programs.
Chief St. John said, “I am disappointed that some officers fail to realize they represent this organization on or 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.”
“I take matters of discipline very seriously, especially when the conduct is one deserving of adverse action. In all disciplinary situations, I try to find a balance between discipline and support. In this case, Officer Stovall is a decorated officer with no previous discipline and yearly evaluations that exceed expectations. From the onset, Officer Stovall has owned his mistake, taken responsibility, and taken steps to correct matter. This incident does not define Officer Stovall and he will learn from his mistakes, not repeat them, and continue to be an asset to this department and community.”