The town of Bunker Hill, Indiana has no police force after every officer walked out this week.
The entire police department resigned Monday protesting being treated unfairly and asked to do “immoral things” WXIN reported.
“We have had issues with the town board and there are some activities there where I felt like they were serving their own agenda,” former Bunker Hill Town Marshal Michael Thomison said. He and four reserve deputies handed their resignation letters to the Bunker Hill Town Council, blaming the council for the problems. Two other reserve deputies resigned in November.
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“They would not communicate with us or the officers and they kept scaling back,” he said.
The resignation letters accused the council of asking the officers to “do illegal, unethical, and immoral things” like asking police to run background checks on other town councilors to find their criminal history and threatening them when they refused, WXIN reported.
Safety was also an issue, according to Thomison who served as Marshal for four years. The officers claim they were all forced to share one set of body armor.
“I did not want to send someone out there with bad body armor so I would take mine off and provide it to the other officers. I told them we have to provide this, there is an IC code that explains that and says that the town has to provide that body armor,” Thomison said.
Thomison also provided personal reasons for walking out.
He blamed the town councilors for cutting him back to part-time work after he returned following a cancer diagnosis.
“They came at me and said it is costing the town way too much money because of my insurance and they said we are taking you down to part time,” he said.
The Town of Bunker Hill acknowledged in a statement that “disagreements have primarily been caused by the lack of funding available to the town to invest in the police department,” but disputed any claims of illegal or unethical actions.
“The resignation of the entire police force has come as a shock to the council. It has never been the goal to dismantle or otherwise endanger the town police department or officers. The council thanks these officers for their service to the town,” the statement said.
“I know that they are scrambling and have contacted some other officers that do not want the position,” Thomison said, noting that County officers are expected to step in as the town searches for replacements.
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