Entire Police Department in Indiana Town Quits, Alleging Requests from City Officials to Commit 'Illegal' Acts
The town of Bunker Hill is without a police department after the town marshal and four reserve deputies quit on Monday
An entire Indiana town is without a police department after every officer walked off the job in protest on Monday, PEOPLE confirms.
Bunker Hill Town Marshal Michael Thomison submitted his letter of resignation along with those of four reserve deputies on Monday, accusing council members of asking the officers to commit “illegal” acts, a town spokeswoman confirms to PEOPLE.
The spokeswoman describes the claims as “false accusations.”
“The council absolutely denies that it has ever asked Mr. Thomison or any of the reserve deputies to be involved in any illegal, unethical or immoral actions,” town officials said in a statement to PEOPLE.
“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.”
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Thomison told WTTV that council members allegedly asked the officers to run background checks on other town council members and to look into their criminal histories. He alleged that the officers were threatened when they refused the requests.
“We have had issues with the town board and there are some activities there where I felt like they were serving their own agenda,” Thomison told the station.
The officers also claimed they were forced to share one set of body armor, according to WTTV. The town denies the allegation, and told PEOPLE that the council has complied with state law.
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“The current town council as well as prior councils have, on occasion, had disagreements with Mr. Thomison over a number of things,” officials said in the statement. “These disagreements have primarily been caused by lack of funding available to the town to invest in the police department.”
The town is working to obtain a new town marshal and deputies to replace the unpaid reserve officers. The Miami County Sheriff’s Office is protecting the town in the interim, Sheriff Tim Miller told CBS News.