A small town in Indiana was left without a police force after five officers handed in their resignations, blaming the Bunker Hill Town Council for budget cuts that put their lives at unnecessary risk.
Former Bunker Hill Town Marshal Michael Thomison said that police officers were given tasks that were in line with the personal vendettas and agendas of people on the council, while at the same time facing mounting cutbacks.
“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.”
Thomison laid out an even more shocking claim. After being diagnosed with cancer, he said he tried to return to full-time police work in May, only to be told that he could only be part-time due to the costs associated with his health insurance.
“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,” he said.
Thomison plans to file a lawsuit.
In a statement, the town issued a statement denying asking the officers to engage in immoral or unethical activity, and believes they are in compliance with Indiana law in regards to body armor.
“The council admits that it had made a number of cuts to the police department over the last few years. This was a decision the town made due to a lack of funding. Bunker Hill is diligently working to solve this problem for the coming year. The cuts made to the police department were not made with the intention of jeopardizing the safety of any of the town’s police officers,” the statement reads.
“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.”