In the wake of Hurricane Irma, one local police department has garnered a lot of unexpected attention. On Sunday, the Gainesville police department shared a photo of a group of officers on the job — and set off an insane level of internet thirst. Admittedly, many of the comments posted on the department’s Facebook and Twitter streams were NSFW. But basically, after seeing what kind of officers were keeping Gainesville, Florida, safe, the internet’s collective response was, “More please!” There’s good news, guys: there is definitely more on the way. The Gainesville Police Department recently confirmed via Twitter that you can preorder a calendar of (ahem) Florida “hot cops.” And, while planning for the calendar is still underway, the proceeds will go toward helping those affected by Hurricane Irma. If that’s not a double win, I’m not sure what is.
How did all of this attention on Florida’s handsomest first responders start? The internet crush began over the weekend, with a simple photo of three police officers posted on the department’s Facebook page. “Officers Nordman, Hamill and Rengering… part of the night crew getting ready to do some work,” the post explained. But the response was through the roof: The post got more than 500,000 likes and was shared more than 270,000 times as of Thursday morning.
But the real action was in the comments on the department’s Facebook post. “I feel safer just looking at this picture,” one commenter wrote. Another asked, “Um, a court date is still a ‘date,’ right?” And one woman stepped up to defend the three officers in the photo, but got a bit distracted.
I can’t believe how many women are objectifying these poor, fine, young, strong, handsome, brave, sexy, delicious, virile, ovulation-inducing, mouth-watering, beefy, … I can’t remember where I was going with this.
The internet has zero shame (or chill, apparently).
In an update posted later that day, the department let the world know that two of the officers — Officers Nordman and Hamill — were happily married, But the officer “on the far right with the amazing hair” was still single. The department also confirmed in the update that a calendar would be coming, and soon. “We are going to try and do something fairly quickly and funds raised will go toward Hurricane Irma recovery here in Florida,” the post explained.
How can people support the project? The internet is still awaiting details. On Twitter, a spokesperson for the department wrote that preorders would be “coming soon.” But thanks to the massive response to the original photo, it looks like the Gainesville police won’t have to pose alone — and fans can start giving to the community right now. On Wednesday, the Knoxville (TN) Police Department issued its own photo of attractive cops, along with a challenge to everyone who wants to see more of Irma’s first responders:
The Knoxville Police Department would like to challenge the Gainesville Police Department and all the women who are inclined to leave a "comment" to take it one step further. If you leave a comment, then make a small donation in the name of either the Gainesville PD or Knoxville PD to your favorite charity to help Hurricane Irma victims in Florida. We're confident the Volunteers of Tennessee will see that our KPD officers take it to those gators once again!
The communities devastated by Hurricane Irma will almost certainly need the support. Congress agreed to a relief package of $15 billion to help victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana, but have not yet agreed on a similar package for Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas following Hurricane Irma, according to Business Insider. According to that report, recovery from both storms could take upwards of $175 billion over the next 10 years.
Editor's note: The Gainesville Police Department launched a formal investigation into Officer Michael Hamill, one of the officers pictured in the above photo, on Friday after it received a complaint that alleged Hamill made anti-Semitic remarks on his personal Facebook page. You can view screenshots of the Facebook posts here. Officer Hamill seems to have hidden or deactivated his Facebook page. Romper's request for comment to a representative at the police department who could speak on his behalf has not yet been returned. The department released the following statement on its website:
GPD Statement on Officer Hamill:
Several citizens have brought information to our attention regarding a complaint against Officer Hamill.
GPD is reviewing the allegation and will do so in accordance to Florida law and department policy. Under Florida Law, complaint information is confidential until an investigation is concluded.
The Gainesville Police Department prides itself with our philosophy and mission of compassion, inclusion, and respect and will fully review the matter.
Romper will update this post with more information as it becomes available.
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