The town of Bunker Hill, Indiana has no local police department after all of its officers resigned at once.
According to the Kokomo Tribune, the town marshal and four reserve deputies all resigned over allegations that the Bunker Hill Town Council grossly mismanaged the department and ordered deputies to carry out illegal actions.
At a Town Council meeting on Monday night, Marshal Michael Thomison submitted a letter of resignation along with letters from four unpaid reserve deputies, all stepping down from their posts.
In his letter, Thomison said that members of the town council asked him to “be involved in illegal, unethical and immoral things over time” like conducting illegal background checks on other council members and requesting confidential information.
“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 said.
Furthermore, Thomison said, the council reduced his hours in order to stop providing him with health insurance after he was diagnosed with cancer.
The council also reduced the number of reserve deputies from nine to four and limit the department’s patrol area.
“The town has refused to educate themselves on how to run a town, they continue to carry out their personal agendas to either run off the police department or make it so that it is impossible to work with or for them,” Thomison told the Tribune.
Thomison was hired in 2013 and says it was a difficult decision to walk away from the department, but “the longer I stay there, the harder it is to get anything done. It’s time to step away and do something else.”
“The community will suffer, but I can’t continue to stay there when the support’s not there for the department or the reserve deputies,” he said.
The town will be policed only by Miami County Sheriff’s deputies until the city can hire a new marshal.
“At the end of the day, it’s the public that’s going to suffer, not the town board,” said Miami County Sheriff Tim Miller. “It’s an unfortunate situation that the town finds itself in. But we’re going to take care of citizens’ needs in the interim. We will ensure they will have law enforcement present for the needs of the town.”
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