A San Francisco police officer faces internal charges that he abandoned his traffic control duties at the airport so he could fiddle with surveillance cameras and ogle women as they walked through the terminal.

Officer William Rossi, a 25-year veteran assigned to the traffic company at San Francisco International Airport, is accused in departmental charges of using the closed-circuit surveillance system at Terminal One substation three different times Feb. 29 to "focus on women's breasts and buttocks.''

Rossi overrode the normal workings of the cameras and kept other officers from using the surveillance system, according to the charges brought by Chief Heather Fong.

Steve Johnson, a representative of the police union, declined to comment on the case. The union represents officers in disciplinary hearings before the Police Commission.

Rossi, 48, is accused of using the security camera system for an hour and a half starting at 7 a.m. He returned for repeat shows at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and scoffed at co-workers' warnings that he knock it off, the charges say.

Rossi told fellow employees "that he did not care," the charges say, and that "since he was not assigned to the substation, he would not get in trouble. ''

The U.S. Customs Service, airport communications and a private security firm "all observed the accused's inappropriate use'' of the system and told the Police Department, the charges say.

Rossi is accused of bringing discredit on the department by using the camera system "in an unauthorized manner to follow and focus in on female airport patrons without permission and without training.'' He is also accused of leaving his patrol duties in the traffic station to use the monitoring system "for his own personal enjoyment.''

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