An Indiana town no longer has a police department after its entire police force posted their resignations, citing unethical dealings.
Bunker Hill’s Town Marshal Michael Thomison, along with four of his unpaid deputies, submitted their letter of resignation over complaints about unethical requests from town council members and mismanagement.
In his letter, Thomison alleged the town board asked him to become involved in “sketchy and immoral things,” including providing them confidential information and conducting criminal background checks on other board members.
“We’re talking about things that are completely unethical,” Thomison said. “They would request we perform unnecessary criminal background checks and turn over confidential information about individuals.”
“I have had to educate them on the things they were asking from me, and explained that I would not take part in any of these actions,” he added.
Alleged immoral dealings weren’t the only things concerning the police.
Thomison also said the council had not provided sufficient funds and his officers were 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,” Thomison continued. “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.”
The town had also cut down the department from nine reserve deputies to only four, and according to Thomison, officers were penalized over personal agendas. For example, he said, one officer pursued a drunk driver and got a speeding ticket for his efforts because he had once pulled over a council member’s wife.
The town council also found ways not to give Thomison, who has cancer, his health insurance benefits. The marshal had to take time off to treat the sickness but when he came back, he was permitted to work only 29.75 hours a week — just shy of the 30 he needed to get the benefits.
Council President Brock Speer said the council was “blindsided” by the unanimous decision of the police officers to leave and denied all allegations of illegal activities.
“The resignation of the entire police force has come as a shock to the council,” the statement issued by the council said. “It has never been the goal to dismantle or otherwise endanger the town police department or officers.”
The local building commissioner, Bill Gornto, also resigned “due to the actions of the current town council,” and its treatment of the police force.
The town is now building a new department.
Meanwhile, the Miami County sheriff has agreed to patrol the area, home to 900 people, in the absence of a police force.
Banner credit: Reuters