Officials question if military, police involved in making video of bikini-clad women using machine guns

SALT LAKE CITY - 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 suspect some of their equipment and officers may be in the film.

The Utah National Guard learned about it Tuesday and is determining if military equipment was used in the video, Lt. Col. Steven Fairbourn said. The Utah National Guard didn't give permission for the project, he said.

The Utah Department of Public Safety 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 England-based company that produced the video wasn't immediately available for comment.

The National Guard learned about the video on Tuesday, and it's hoping to wrap up its probe of the incident in the coming days, Fairbourn said.

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 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 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.