An Indiana town has been left without a police department after all five members of its law enforcement agency resigned this week in protest, alleging mismanagement and unethical requests made by local lawmakers.
In his resignation letter, Bunker Hill Town Marshal Michael Thomison wrote that town council members had asked him to “be involved in illegal, unethical and immoral things over time,” the Kokomo Tribune reported. The allegations include being asked to conduct criminal background checks on other council members and requesting access to confidential information.
“I have had to educate them on the things they were asking from me and explained that I would not take part in any of these actions,” Marshal Thomison said.
The marshal submitted his resignation on Monday along with letters from his four unpaid reserve deputies.
The town’s law enforcement also raised concern about their own safety, with WXIN-TV reporting that the deputies said they were forced to share one set of body armor. They worried that a lack of extra sets of body armor puts their lives at risk when multiple deputies went out at one time to make arrests or serve 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,” Marshal Thomison told WXIN-TV.
Bunker Hill Council President Brock Speer told the Tribune that officials were “a little blindsided” by the resignations.
Town officials could not be reached immediately for comment on Wednesday.
Bunker Hill has a population of about 900 people. While the town is without a police department, Miami County Sheriff Tim Miller has said that county deputies will respond to calls from residents and patrol the area.
“At the end of the day, it’s the public that’s going to suffer, not the town board,” Sheriff Miller told the Kokomo Tribune. “It’s an unfortunate situation that the town finds itself in. But we’re going to take care of citizens’ needs in the interim.”