By BRADY McCOMBS | Associated Press
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A risque video shot in conservative Utah featuring bikini-clad women firing high-powered weapons and riding in tanks for a pinup calendar has raised the ire of a pair of law enforcement agencies who have found some of their officers appearing in the film.
Utah National Guard Lt. Col. Steven Fairbourn said their initial investigation determined several of their members took part in the video after getting permission from a senior official who shouldn't have given them the green light. Part of the video was shot at Camp Williams with some Guard equipment as backdrops, Fairbourn said.
He said no National Guard weapons or ammo were used in the film. The agency is considering discipline for the people involved, and Fairbourn apologized on behalf of the National Guard for any embarrassment it has caused.
“It was poor judgment on a limited small number of individuals,” Fairbourn said.
The Utah Department of Public Safety also believes two of their officers are in the video wearing agency uniforms in violation of agency policies.
Both agencies criticize the video, a promotional “behind the scenes” look at how they shot this year's “Hot Shots Calendar,” for its edgy content. It features British women wearing camouflage bikinis and other tight clothing while shooting guns, riding in military-type vehicles and striking seductive poses.
“Productions of this kind are not in keeping with the values of the Utah National Guard nor its members,” the National Guard said in a statement.
The British firm that produced the video wasn't immediately available for comment.
Utah Department Public Safety officials are doing an internal investigation and plan to send the findings up to the agency commissioner, who will determine if discipline is warranted. Agency officials noticed their officers in the video when they first saw it on Thursday night, Capt. Doug McCleve said.
McCleve said they're not sure why the two men were there, and said it might have been a non-issue if they weren't in uniforms. But their decision to appear in the video with their uniforms on reflects poorly on the agency, he said.
“It's not a typical assignment for us to send uniformed officers to participate with women in bikinis shooting guns,” McCleve said. “That doesn't reflect the values of our department.”
The video was shot at the Big Shot Ranch, a private gun club about 35 miles (56 kilometers) west of Salt Lake City. The business allowed them to use the facility free this summer to take pictures and video for the calendar because they were told part of the proceeds will go to help wounded veterans, employee Nikko Kelaidis said.
The purpose of the facility, which covers 68 acres (27 hectares) of land located near the southern tip of the Great Salt Lake, is to help law enforcement and military, he said.
Kelaidis said he wasn't there for the shoot and didn't know whose equipment was being used, but Kelaidis did say the tank in the video doesn't belong to the club.
A similar scenario played out in California two years ago when a Los Angeles firehouse found itself in trouble again after letting an exercise company shoot a video there showing a scantily clad woman dancing seductively with a Hula-Hoop.