Town left without police force after entire department resigns

BUNKER HILL, Ind. — An Indiana town was left without a police force Monday evening after the town marshal and his four reserve deputies resigned amid allegations that the town's council asked officers to commit illegal acts, among other things.

Bunker Hill Town Marshal Michael Thomison submitted his resignation to the council Monday along with those of his unpaid deputies, the Kokomo Tribune reported.

He claimed in the letter that the town board asked him to "be involved in illegal, unethical and immoral things over time," according to the Tribune.

Thomison became Bunker Hill's town marshal in 2013. He told WFLI that over the years he's fielded multiple questionable requests from board members, including ones for criminal background checks on other board members.

"They would ask for things and I would have to explain to them, 'You can't have this information,'" Thomison told the news station. "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.'"

Instead of battling the councilors, Thomison said, he forwarded the information to state police.

"The town has refused to educate themselves on how to run a town," Thomison told the Tribune. "They continue to carry out their personal agendas to either run off the police department or make it so that it is impossible to work with or for them."

Council President Brock Speer said he was "blindsided" by the sudden resignations.

"But it is what it is," he added.

The Miami County Sheriff's Office will patrol the town while the search for a new marshal commences.

"At the end of the day, it's the public that's going to suffer, not the town board," Miami County Sheriff Tim Miller told the 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. We will ensure they will have law enforcement present for the needs of the town."

Bunker Hill is about 75 miles north of Indianapolis. Its population was measured at 888 during the 2010 census.