Bunker Hill sounds like a setting for a horror movie and it just got more dangerous because it no longer has police officers.
This small town in Indiana is currently without a police force after all officers decided to resign to protest against the town council. During a town board meeting, all police officers submitted their resignation to the town council who readily accepted it with very little discussions.
According to the former Town Marshal Michael Thomison, “We have had issues with the town board and there are some activities there where I felt like they were serving their own agenda.”
The town previously had 9 deputies but the council trimmed it down to 4.
In the resignation letters, the officers have accused the town council members for asking them to “do illegal, unethical, and immoral things” like performing background checks on other council members.
They also brought up the issue of ‘safety’ as they were all forced to share only one set of body armor.
Thomison, who served as the Town Marshall for over 4 years cited that his resignation was more of a personal issue. He was diagnosed with cancer last year and his job status was changed to ‘part-time’ because he was costing the town too much money for insurance.
Currently, the Miami County Sheriff Department is patrolling Bunker Hill until a new set of police officers will be installed.
After the news has made headlines, the Bunker Hill town council issued the following statement:
Like most small towns, there have been from time to time, disagreements in the policy making process between the town council and other town departments. The current town council as well as prior councils have, on occasion, had disagreements with Mr. Thomison over a number of things. These disagreements have primarily been caused by the lack of funding available to the town to invest in the police department. However, the council denies that it has failed to provide body armor for the marshal or reserve deputies. The council is well aware of Indiana law on the topic and has complied with it fully. Further, 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.
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. Over the last few years, the Council has made attempts to find additional money for the department. Mr. Thomison was instrumental in obtaining a large sum of money on behalf of the town. However, he fails to state that the police department received the benefit of a large portion of that funding.
As Mr. Thomison has stated, there is currently a lawsuit pending against the town relating to Indiana’s Open Door Law. The council denies that it has violated Indiana’s Open Door Law in any manner. However, the council will not comment further on this topic as the litigation is still pending.
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.