An entire police department in a small Indiana town resigned in protest on Monday, the Associated Press reported.
Bunker Hill, a small town which is home to about 900 residents, is now left without its local police department and residents are wondering what happened.
“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 told WXIN.
Thomison later told BuzzFeed News that some town council members asked for background checks on other council members and also requested unrestricted access to police reports.
“They would not communicate with us or the officers, and they kept scaling back,” said Thomison.
In a statement, the Bunker Hill Town Council stated they were surprised by the resignation of the unit.
“The resignation of the entire police force has come as a shock to the council,” the statement read. “It has never been the goal to dismantle or otherwise endanger the town police department or officers.”
In addition to the unethical requests, officers alleged that certain budget cuts forced the department to share body armor, which put the officers' lives at risk.
“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 told WXIN. “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 council denied the allegations.
Thomison also told BuzzFeed News that officers were met with punishments because of personal bias. For example, after one officer pursued a drunk driver, the officer was written up for “speeding.” Thomison alleged that the officer was written up because he had pulled over a council member’s wife on a previous occasion.
Finally, Thomison said the council cheated him out of benefits after he returned from medical leave. When Thomison was diagnosed with cancer, he took time off from the force. When he returned, he was allegedly permitted to work 29.75 hours a week — just short of the 30 hours per week needed to receive benefits.
“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,” Thomison told WTTV.
In a statement, town officials said they are assembling a new police force.
“Bunker Hill is in the process of obtaining a new marshal and reserve deputies. The council asks for patience from the town residents in this process,” it read.
(Photo: Bunker Hill Police)
TRENDING IN NEWS