Syndicated by: Montana News
Billings police Officer Jeff Stovall arrested for his first DUI offense by A Yellowstone County Sheriff Deputy on May 22nd, 2020.
Billings Police Chief Rich St. John, Officer Jeffrey Stovall's boss, kept this hidden from the public and the media as Billings police chief Rich St. John has a history of being dishonest with the public.
However, the chickens came home to roost once again.
Billings Police Chief Rich St. John commented in a release stating, "I am disappointed that some Officers failure to realize they represent this organization on or off duty." "These such actions are not just embarrassing on a personal level; they discredit the entire Police Department."
The Billings public, for the most part, does not have confidence in the Billings Police Department.
One only has to look at all the Officer-involved shootings. The Billings Police Department so-far...found to have committed a "justifiable shooting."
The fact remains that Billings Police Chief Rich St. John does not understand that his officers' misconduct gives his department and him a black eye, but then, on the other hand, Billings Police Chief Rich St. John himself, is an embarrassment to the City of Billings, as a Billings Police Chief.
Jeffrey Stovall is a young Officer who has only been with the Billings Police Department for five or six years. There IS hope for him.
Jeffrey Stovall made it to the US Marshals Service Violent Offender Task Force and the SWAT team.
Billings Police Chief Rich St. John failed to let the public know his Officer has been picked up drinking and driving drunk.
It was the Billings Gazette who pressed for information that forced Billings police chief Rich St. John to come clean and admit that Officer Jeffrey Stovall was arrested and charged with a DUI.
Here again, this goes to show that the Billings Police Chief Rich St. John does not disclose to the public that of which he does not want the public or the media to know which also shows that the problem IS Billings Police Chief Rich St. John's own credibility and lack of accountability is horrifyingly astounding.
Officer Jeffrey Stovall was placed on administrative leave while a Billings Police internal investigation and a criminal investigation finalized.
On June 22nd, 2020, the Billings Police Department concluded their investigation and determined that Officer Jeffrey Stovall had violated multiple department policies.
Jeffrey Stovall was removed from the US Marshals Service Violent Offender Task Force and reassigned for two years back to the Patrol division.
Stovall was also removed from the SWAT team and will not be able to transfer collaterally for the next two years or be given individual assignments like hostage negotiation or bomb squad.
The Billings Police Department did finally notify the Montana Public Safety Ofc. Standards and training called POST, which is responsible for certifying law enforcement officers to work in the state of Montana.
Jeffrey Stovall could suffer the revoking of his Police certification and or the POST taking no action.
Billings Police Chief Rich St. John, however, notified POST that he recommended that Jeffrey Stovall only be punished for two years with limited probation. Just a slap on the wrist with a do not do it again a warning.
Officer Jeffrey Stovall has not responded to the post review yet but will have that opportunity when the post takes this upon review.
Billings Police Chief Rich St. John has already undermined the confidence and the trust of the community.
Billings Police Chief Rich St. John commented, "actions such as this are not just embarrassing on a personal level, it undermines the trust and confidence of the community, this conduct is unacceptable and not representative of the BPD."
On one good point, the Montana News would like to give credit where credit is due -- Jeffrey Stovall was named 2019 officer of the year and served different divisional training teams and operations and provided support to other officers.
Officer Jeffrey Stovall is young and can have a lifetime of proper law enforcement under his belt and will probably do well as an officer long-term.
Jeffrey Stovall, at the DUI processing Center, declined a blood or breath sample after being arrested and declined to have a breathalyzer test at the scene of his arrest.
Back in May of 2019, Billings Police Chief Rich St. John wrote a letter in April 2019 to the POST, where he angrily writes that POST overstepped their boundaries in disciplining his Officer Joshua Schoening , in fact, it was Police Chief Rich St. John who indicated that his Officers are above the law.
Here we go again Billings Police Chief Rich St. John is trying to interfere with this Officer Jeffrey Stovall's punishment so that he will not be held accountable in full by POST.
Billings Police Officer Stovall's Billings Police Rating has been lowered from an A+ to an F.
What a shame.