Photography stands as a popular extracurricular hobby for many members of the SFPD. Earlier this year the Harvey Milk Photography Center had a successful exhibition, "Beyond the Badge," showcasing the work of our men and women in blue. San Francisco Police Sgt. Peter Thoshinsky even has his own noted imagery for the world to enjoy. What's not allowed for police officers aiming a camera, however, are shots of nudity or eroticism. Enter fantasy photog SFPD Officer Gared Hansen whose pics recently landed him a 10-day suspension for "conduct which reflects discredit on the department."

Slate has more:

The 36-year-old San Francisco Police Department officer accuses the department of violating his right to free speech by suspending him twice for his off-duty hobby of "creative photography” and nude "figure study," according to his complaint filed on Aug. 9 in a federal court.

Thanks to the 36-year-old cop’s suit, a federal judge in Oakland is now saddled with making a ponderous precedent: Do police officers have the right to take and publish nude photos in their free time? Though cops with a penchant for sexy succubi may be rare, this case has important implications for other public employees with hobbies that their employers may find objectionable.

Most unfortunate. Officers, like you, should be allowed to photograph nude pics—medusa snakes and all!—without antiquated rules on morality or prickly SFPD rules on misconduct. (This also isn't the first instance of an SFPD officer partaking in erotic photography, we need to point out.) Hansen, for his part, never tried to hide his hobby.

Slate goes on to note:

The seven-year officer served 10 days of suspension this January following an internal affairs investigation stemming from a photo shoot in an abandoned hotel in March 2010.

That’s when four sheriff’s deputies and a sergeant in neighboring Contra Costa County cited Hansen and his two models—er, sexy ghosts—for trespassing onto private property. When asked why he was there, Hansen identified himself as an SFPD officer and said that he was taking photos. Hansen says the deputies asked if he had a website for his photos. He said yes, which was enough for his bosses to claim that he was “establishing a nexus between [his] employment as a San Francisco Police Officer and [his] personal website.”

Hansen goes on to defend his work "as art, not porn," adding, "I believe that the work I make is beautiful and interesting and so do my friends and family ... It seems like creating art is a benefit to the department."

You can view Hansen's NSFW photos at