SPEARFISH — The law enforcement certification for a Spearfish police officer was revoked by the Law Enforcement Standards and Training Commission.
The commission revoked the certification of Justin Mowery Nov. 9 for “conduct unbecoming.”
He was terminated from the Spearfish Police Department the following day, said Curt Jacobs, chief of the department.
The revocation process began when the Law Enforcement Standards and Training Commission received a complaint dated Oct. 19 alleging, “that on or about Jan. 7, 2016, Mowery falsely reported to law enforcement and his insurance company that he accidentally crashed his father’s vehicle. Mowery had purposely driven the vehicle into a tree.”
Additionally, the complaint alleges that, “in 2020, Mowery illegally purchased and used testosterone cypionate, a Schedule III controlled substance steroid.”
Tim Bormann, chief of staff for the South Dakota Attorney General’s Office, said Mowery may appeal his decertification to circuit court, but once decertified, they can no longer be an officer in the state again unless they appear before the commission to try to have their eligibility reinstated.
According to state administrative rules, “the commission may revoke or suspend the certification of a law enforcement officer who: has been convicted of or received a suspended imposition of sentence for either a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude or a felony; has falsified any information required to obtain certification; has been discharged for cause from employment as a law enforcement officer; has failed to secure domestic abuse training required by SDCL 23-3-39.4; or has engaged in conduct unbecoming of a law enforcement officer.”
Again, according to state administrative rules, “conduct unbecoming of a law enforcement officer” includes, among other items, “Use or possession of any controlled substance not obtained pursuant to a valid prescription.”
Mowery was sworn into the Spearfish Police Department in July 2019. He graduated the state Law Enforcement Training’s Basic Certification Course later that year.
It was the first time he was certified as a law enforcement officer.
“He did a good job for us while he worked here,” Jacobs said.
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