Shaquille O’Neal has a long-held interest in law enforcement, and his celebrity has allowed him to indulge that hobby.
Usually to the detriment of his local police and the public they purport to serve and protect.
Shaq’s reach, like his playing career, spread across the country:
- When he played for the Lakers, he was a second-class reserve officer for the Port of Los Angeles police department.
- When he played for the Heat, he became a U.S. deputy marshal and was a reserve officer in the Miami Beach Police Department.
- When he played for the Suns, he volunteered with the Tempe Police Department.
- When he played for the Cavaliers, he was on track to become deputized in Cuyahoga County.
- When he played for the Celtics, he was a member of the Worcester County Reserve Deputy Sheriff Association.
- In retirement, he joined the Golden Beach police.
Yet, the trail of trouble he’s left in his wake is nearly as long.
In Miami, he lied and made jokes on his official application. After leaving Arizona, he broke protocol by, intentionally or unintentionally, impersonating an officer (to frame a personal enemy, that enemy alleged).
And it’s not as if he’s stayed completely clean lately. In March, police investigated him for assault at TNT studios.
But once again, another jurisdiction is ready to cozy up with him.
Former Miami Heat star Shaquille O’Neal applied to be a reserve police officer for the city of Doral on Wednesday.
O’Neal stopped by Doral’s City Council chambers to say hello before sitting down with the police chief. The council was in session discussing budget proposals. The mayor called a five-minute break and council members rushed to pose with the superstar.
A city spokeswoman said O’Neal must meet the same standards of any other officer, and I’m not sure exactly what standards Doral holds. Maybe Shaq actually qualifies, but I bet he’ll pass either way.
Doral Police Chief Don De Lucca held the same role in Miami Beach when Shaq lied and made jokes on his official application there and still got sworn in.
Once Shaq finishes posing with star-struck city council members, he’ll get to business in Doral, too.