The entire police force in the small Indiana town of Bunker Hill walked off the job Monday evening, citing major problems with the town council.
Officers at the Bunker Hill Police Department blamed town administrators for poor communication, a major deficit in gear and requests from officials to "do illegal, unethical and immoral things," according to WXIN-TV.
"We have had issues with the town board, and there are some activities there where I felt like they were serving their own agenda," former Bunker Hill Town Marshal Michael Thomison, who had been serving for four years, told the local news outlet. "They would not communicate with us or the officers, and they kept scaling back."
When each of the officers tendered their letters of resignation, they all noted the "illegal, unethical, and immoral things" they were asked to do. The cops cited examples such as being asked to run background checks on their town councilors to determine their criminal history — a request the officers said led to threats if they weren't acted upon.
In addition, the officers were forced to share one set of body armor, leaving them exposed when they were on the job making arrests and serving warrants.
"I did not want to send someone out there with bad body armor," Thomison said, "so I would take mine off and provide it to the other officers. "I told them we have to provide this, there is an [Indiana] code that explains that and says that the town has to provide that body armor."
Perhaps most worrisome is the way Thomison said he was treated. Last year, he was diagnosed with cancer, but when he was ready to return to work in May, the town would only allow him to return on a part-time basis.
"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,'" Thomison said, adding that he plans to file a lawsuit against the Bunker Hill town councilors.
Though they didn't want to, Thomison said, all of the officers stepped down because they felt it was the right thing to do. Now the town is in a bind, relying on neighboring cops while they search for a new force of their own.
Town Council President Brock Speer told Fox News that he was "blindsided" by the officers' resignations. Nevertheless, the town council members accepted the letters with little to no comment.
The police, though, aren't the only ones unhappy with the town's administrators:
Citing personal reasons, Council Vice President Jim Panther submitted his resignation from the board, which will take effect at the end of the year, and Bunker Hill Building Commissioner Bill Gornto's resignation leaves the town without a building department.
“Due to the actions of the current town council, I find myself unable to continue in this job,” Gornto wrote in his resignation letter. “This means you now have to notify the state building department that you no longer have a valid department.”
In the absence of new officers, Miami County Sheriff Tim Miller said his deputies will ensure Bunker Hill remains safe until a new town marshal is hired.