BUNKER HILL, IN (WLFI) — As of Monday night, an Indiana town is now without an entire police force.
Bunker Hill is without a police department after the town marshal and his four volunteer reserve officers called it quits at a meeting Monday night. All the law enforcement officers submitted their resignations to town board members.
Former Town Marshal Michael Thomison said this comes after what he calls “unethical activity taking place.” He said board members have mismanaged the department and asked police to provide classified information.
“They would ask for things and I would have to explain to them, you can’t have this information,” said Thomison. “They asked for me to run background checks and criminal history on other board members, and I told them, ‘I can’t do that without a case number and without an investigation.’”
Thomison said the requests were ongoing for several years.
“In my opinion, they were fishing for information and cases against other people. I told them, ‘I can’t turn that over. What you’re asking me to do is illegal.’ And they said, ‘Well are you refusing a direct order? Because if you are, you could be fired for that,’” Thomison explained. “So that’s when I had to go and ask for somebody to help. As soon as the state police offered that information, I forwarded it to them and that was no longer an issue.”
Alex Lamble grew up in Bunker Hill, and said he hopes to see a new police force as soon as possible.
“There’s so much activity that goes on around here. It’s not even funny,” Lamble said. “I mean, I used to live here, like I said, and I’ve used the Bunker Hill Police Department numerous times.”
For about a month, Thomison said he and the reserves had an ongoing discussion about submitting their resignations.
He said he notified Indiana State Police, the Miami County Sheriff’s Office and the Miami County prosecutor before making the move.
NBC4’s sister station WLFI spoke with town board president Brock Speer, who said the town board plans to release a statement on Wednesday.
Thomison said while he loves the town, he and the rest of the department knew what had to be done.
“I love the community. There’s a bunch of people up there that are great people, and loved going out and helping and doing the job,” Thomison said. “But there just comes a time when you have to separate yourself from problems.”
Miami County Sheriff Tim Miller said the sheriff’s office will patrol the area until further notice.