An entire Indiana town is without a police force after every single officer resigned.
Officers are blaming the Bunker Hill Town Council for “serving their own agenda” before considering the needs of the town’s officers, WXIN reports. “We have had issues with the town board and there are some activities there where I felt like they were serving their own agenda,” said former Bunker Hill Town Marshal Michael Thomison.
Thomison served as town marshal for four years, until Monday night, when he and four other officers handed over resignation letters to the council.
“They would not communicate with us or the officers and they kept scaling back,” said Thomison.
The officers said in their resignation letters that council members asked them to do “illegal, unethical, and immoral things,” such as running background checks on other town councilors to find their criminal history.
Officers claim that when they said no, they were threatened. They also brought up the issue of having to share one set of body armor, causing a safety issue for officers who had to make arrests and serve warrants.
Thomison said the department would only allow him to work part-time when he returned from a leave of absence due to cancer because it cost the town too much money. “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,” said Thomison, who plans to sue the town.
Thomison and the other officers did not want to step down, but felt they had to.
Meanwhile, the town is using outside police officers while searching for their replacements.
Town Council President Brock Speer says the town will release a statement soon.
Other towns are also dealing with a shortage of police officers. The Dallas Police Department in Texas, for example, has had 99 officers either quit or retire since October 1. The town of Georgiana, Alabama, also lost its police force in October after its police chief and the other eight officers in the town walked off the job in a dispute with the mayor’s office.