Indiana Town's Entire Police Force Quits in Protest of 'Immoral Things'

December 18th 2016

Willie Burnley Jr.

It's been nearly a week since the entire police force of Bunker Hill, Ind., resigned and left the town of around 900 without local law enforcement.

The dramatic move came amid allegations by officers that they were told to "do illegal, unethical, and immoral things" by the town council, including criminal background checks of the council's members.

The force consisted of one paid officer — town Marshal Michael Thomison — and four volunteer deputies. Thomison said in his resignation letter that the council had endangered officer safety by not providing officers with appropriate safety gear to the point that they had to share body armor. The town also recently reduced the size of the force, to four reserve deputies from nine.

Thomison, who was diagnosed last year with cancer, also alleged that the town would only allow him to return to work part-time so as not to provide him with health insurance; he said he plans to file a lawsuit.

The resignations left Bunker Hill residents dependent on Indiana State Police and the Miami County Sheriff's Office, both of which have been handling calls in the area until the town can hire a new marshal.

The town council said little about the resignations, the Kokomo Tribune reported:

"Council members accepted the resignations Monday with little comment.

"‘We're a little blindsided by everyone resigning, but it is what it is,' said Council President Brock Speer.

"Councilman Luis Nino was absent from the meeting during the resignations, but showed up 45 minutes after the meeting had started.

"After he was informed the town no longer had a police department, Nino only responded, ‘I appreciate the update.'"

The council released a statement two days later, denying allegations of inappropriate or illegal activity.

The council added that the resignations resulted from "disagreements in the policy making process" brought on by a "lack of funding available to the town to invest in the police department":

"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. 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."