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Bikini photo shoot nets suspensions for 2 Utah police officers

First Published      Last Updated May 07 2016 08:20 pm


Police » “Hot Shots” calendar also led to discipline for National Guard soldiers.

The Utah Department of Public Safety suspended two peace officers who participated in a video shoot with British bikini models last year.

Rob Wilkinson, a sergeant with the Utah Highway Patrol, received a three-day suspension late last year, according to documents provided last week.

Justin Hansen, an agent assigned to the State Bureau of Investigation, received a one-day suspension. Both suspensions are without pay.

Wilkinson and Hansen were present June 3 at the Big Shot Ranch near Grantsville, where British bikini models were posing for photos and being video recorded while firing guns. The women were making a calendar called "Hot Shots."



Click here to see the video.

Wilkinson and Hansen are seen in a promotional video posted in October on YouTube. The men are wearing camouflage uniforms identifying them as police.

Through a Department of Public Safety (DPS) spokesman, Wilkinson and Hansen declined an interview request. The discipline was issued in December. The DPS provided the discipline records last week after receiving a records request from The Tribune.

An internal affairs report says an acquaintance, Geoff Perrin, who has worked at firing ranges and as a tactical adviser in Utah, asked Wilkinson and Hansen three or four weeks before the event to help supervise the firing line where the models shot at targets. The report also mentions that "Hot Shots" purports to donate a portion of its proceeds to charities for wounded U.K. soldiers. The report doesn't specify if that was a factor in Wilkinson and Hansen's decision to participate.

Wilkinson and Hansen told investigators they knew models wearing swimsuits would be at the Big Shot Ranch.

Wilkinson had apparently been to a gun show where "Hot Shots" was promoted.

"I know what 'Hot Shots' is," Wilkinson is quoted as telling investigators.

Neither Wilkinson nor Hansen sought their superiors' permission to participate in the production. Letters of discipline included in the documents released last week say Wilkinson and Hansen did not tell their superiors about the calendar after the fact because they "recognized the potential repercussions."

DPS superiors learned of Wilkinson and Hansen's participation when they saw video clips played by news outlets in Utah. The letters of discipline noted the two peace officers' participation contributed to "nearly a week" of local and national media attention, "much of which was extremely critical of the department."

DPS administrators found Wilkinson and Hansen to have violated a section of the law enforcement code of ethics prohibiting conduct that brings "discredit" to the officer or agency, and to have violated a similar policy on conduct that adversely affects the department. They also violated a department policy for wearing their uniform during a promotion for a product.

Wilkinson also was found to have not maintained a daily activity log.

After the video was posted on Youtube in October, much of that media attention also was focused on the Utah National Guard's 19th Special Forces Group. Soldiers from that unit allowed the models onto Camp Williams where the video captured them riding in tanks and other military vehicles.

On Nov. 1, the Utah National Guard announced it had forced one non-commissioned officer — typically someone in the sergeant ranks — to retire over the calendar shoot. Three other soldiers received lesser discipline. The soldiers' names and ranks have not been released.

ncarlisle@sltrib.com

Twitter: @natecarlisle

 

 

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