Today’s Celebrity Cop: Miami Beach’s Shaquille O’Neal


Shaquille O’Neal of the NBA’s Miami Heat as sworn in as a Miami Beach police reserve officer yesterday in a private ceremony, reports the Miami Herald. The 7-foot-one superstar had skipped the department’s public swearing in, held just an hour before, because he was concerned about the media attention. ”Officer O’Neal is very considerate toward the other officers, and he was afraid if he was there he would have taken away from that moment for other officers,” said police spokesman Robert Hernandez. “This is a very special time for them and their families.”

Reserve officers can do just about everything a full officer can: carry a gun, wear a badge, and make arrests. O’Neal has spent the past year training for the reserve officer position, which pays $1 a year. He was a reserve officer in Los Angeles, when he played for the Lakers. Miami Beach’s tallest officer is most interested in the smallest victims: He will work in the special victims detective unit, where he can focus on crimes against children. ”He made it clear when he decided to come to Miami Beach that he didn’t want to just be a poster boy for photo ops, he wanted to get down and dirty and do the job,” Hernandez said. “He’s here to conduct investigations and to make arrests.”


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