The Billings Police Department swears in two new officers

BILLINGS - An officer with the Billings Police Department was arrested and charged with a first offense DUI May 22.

A release from BPD says officer Jeffrey Stovall was off the job and in his own vehicle when the incident happened at 1:20 a.m. 

BPD says Stovall was put on administrative leave as they awaited for the criminal and internal investigations to finish. The internal investigation found Stovall in violation of the police department's policies on June 22. 

Stovall's punishment includes: an unpaid 14-day suspension, withdrawal from US Marshals Service Violent Offender Task Force and transfer to patrol for at least two years, withdrawal from BPD Swat team, void from collateral duty for at least two years, incident report to Montana P.O.S.T with suggested reprimand and 2-year probation.

BPD says Stovall has or plans on pleading guilty to the charge and is taking counseling willingly.

Chief of Police Rich St. John said the following statements in the release:

"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 this community. Simply stated, this conduct is unacceptable and not representative of BPD."

"I take matters of discipline very seriously, especially when the conduct is one deserving 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."

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