Indiana Town's Entire Police Force Quits, Citing Requests to 'Do Illegal, Unethical and Immoral Things'
Every single police officer in Bunker Hill, Indiana (population 888), walked off the job Monday night, blaming the town council for a lack of communication, insufficient gear, and requests to “do illegal, unethical and immoral things,” Fox 59 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,” said former Bunker Hill Town Marshal Michael Thomison.
Thomison served as town marshal for four years until Monday night when he and four other officers handed over resignation letters to the council, telling them they have had enough.
“They would not communicate with us or the officers and they kept scaling back,” said Thomison.
In their resignation letters, the officers accuse council members of asking them to “do illegal, unethical, and immoral things.” They cited examples like asking police to run background checks on other town councilors to find their criminal history. The officers also claim they were threatened when they said no.
Another issue they brought up in the letter was their safety. The officers say they were all forced to share one set of body armor, putting their lives on the line while they were out making arrests and serving warrants.
“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,” said Thomison.
Thomison also cited his treatment after being diagnosed with cancer as one of his reasons for resigning. He said that he was ready to return to work in May, but they would only let him work part time. “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,” said Thomison.
He plans to file a lawsuit against the town council.
The other officers said they did not want to step down but felt they had to, Thomison said. The town is currently relying on outside help as it searches for new officers.
Meanwhile, two other Bunker Hill leaders recently tendered their resignations as well.
Citing personal reasons, Council Vice President Jim Panther submitted his resignation from the board, which will take effect at the end of the year, and Bunker Hill Building Commissioner Bill Gornto's resignation leaves the town without a building department.
“Due to the actions of the current town council, I find myself unable to continue in this job,” Gornto wrote in his resignation letter. “This means you now have to notify the state building department that you no longer have a valid department.”
Council President Brock Speer told reporters the council was “blindsided” by the resignations; meanwhile, council members accepted the resignations with little comment.